Posts Tagged ‘ competition

Bellarmine VEX Regional

This past weekend, Bellarmine College Prep held its 3rd annual VEX Robotics regional. 51 teams from throughout the Bay Area flocked to Sobrato Theater to compete in the largest Northern California VEX Regional of all time. Thanks to Bellarmine’s generous funding, we were able to offer a registration price of only $25, much less than the usual $80. As a result, many more teams took the opportunity to participate in a competitive VEX regional.

Throughout the first semester, all 7 Cheesy Poof teams worked hard to design, assemble, test, and program their competition robots in preparation for this tournament. By January, our collective success was evident as team 254 won every VEX tournament that it attended this season (Merrill F. West High Regional, All Star Championship, Vanden High Regional, Pan Pacific Championship, and Cal High Regional).

In preparation for the tournament on Saturday, students and parents of team 254 gathered Friday afternoon to set up the robot pits in Liccardo Center and the tournament fields in Sobrato Theater. Bellarmine directed three competition fields (including one practice field in Liccardo), one of which was generously donated by our friends at Cal High in San Ramon and another by the president of the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and a founder of team 254, Jason Morella.

The tournament officially began at 7:30 AM on Saturday when all 51 teams piled into Liccardo and settled into their pits. By 10 AM, the judges had inspected all teams and the 4 hour block of qualification matches and skills challenges ensued ahead of schedule. Due to the size of the tournament, eliminations were run with 10 alliances of 3 instead of the usual 8. Team 254 was represented in alliance #2 with 254E, 254H, and 254D and in alliance #4 with 254B and 254A.

Both alliances breezed through quarterfinals but alliance #2 hit a setback as they lost the 2 out of 3 round in semis. By the final round, alliance #4 faced 3129A, 1935A, and 1000B. With 3 matches and dangerously close scores, 254B, 254A, and their partner 5203P took the tournament victory. Team 254H also won the Programming Skills award for the highest scoring autonomous route.

Tournament Awards
Champions: 254B, 254A, 5203P
Finalists: 3129A, 1935A, 1000B
Excellence: 3129A
Programming Skills: 254H
Robot Skills: 1000A
Amaze: 563
Judge’s Awards: 920A, 1935A

Team 254 would like to thank all our parents, students, volunteer judges, field coordinators, and our MC, Mark Leon, for making this tournament possible. Special thanks also go out to Mr. Gerhard Mueller, our tournament coordinator, for successfully running the Bellarmine VEX regional for the 3rd time in a row. Congratulations to all the teams for a great showing on Saturday and for making this a great tournament!

The Royal Blue

Team 254 in royal blue after the tournament. Go Poofs!

Update: Bellarmine’s VEX tournament was featured in the Local News section of the January 17th San Jose Mercury News. More pictures are available online at

VEX Tournament Setup & T-Shirts Arrived

Today, we setup for the Bellarmine VEX Robotics tournament which will be occurring tomorrow in the Sobrato Center at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose.  For the most part, the setup ran smoothly and we are very excited for tomorrow’s tournament.

On a separate note, the 2010-2011 team t-shirts have arrived.  We began distributing them today to the students who were volunteering for the VEX tournament setup and will continue handing them out at the tournament tomorrow and into next week.  Students who have their new shirts should wear them to the tournament tomorrow.

Scouting/Spirit 12/6 and 12/13

Hey team,

First, I apologize that last weeks update didn’t get put up. I wrote it, but for some reason it didn’t post…

So, last weekend (12/4 specifically), teams 254A, B, and D competed in the Pan Pacific tournament, and 254C, E, H, and S competed in Fairfield. 254A and B took home their championship, and thanks to some great scouting 254E and H dominated at Fairfield. CheesyScout was used at Fairfield, and appeared to mostly work.

On the spirit side from last week, James Garbanati has agreed to lead a refurbishing of the mascot costume. Major grievances to be fixed are the amount of air flow in the costume, and the washability of the costume. The plan is to put more ventilation in the head, and to make it possible to wash the sweat out of it, instead of just febreezing the hell out of it after each tournament. If you are interested in helping James, email him at

For today’s meeting, the results of this Saturday’s San Ramon tournament were announced. 254D and H competed. Although both were experiencing field-related difficulties, H ended up ranking, and both D and H were picked in the first round. Unfortunately, they were picked by different alliances, and so were pitted against each other in the quarterfinals, where H prevailed and went on to win the whole tournament. However, D went straight to the driver’s challenge field after their defeat, and scored a 72, winning the challenge by 17 points and qualifying them for the championship as well. This brings our total VEX teams that have qualified to 5, being A, B, D, E, and H.

For spirit, it has been decided that we will be creating a new flag, replacing the one that was lost last season at the championships, which was replacing the one that was lost two seasons before that at the championships, which was probably replacing a flag lost way before any of those, most likely at a championship. It was immediately agreed upon that we would not lose this one, at a championship or otherwise. It was debated whether or not to make 2 flags, one with the FRC swoosh and one with the Vex swoosh, and it was agreed to wait until it had been decided whether the Vex swoosh violated copyright or government logo standards on whether or not to make two flags. If you are interested in helping me create this flag, email me at

That’s about it. Go Poofs,


San Ramon Tournament Results

On December 11th, 254D and 254H traveled to San Ramon to represent Bellarmine at its fifth tournament of the season.  After technical difficulties with the field and limited time, the teams played 3 qualification matches leaving 254D with a 1-2 record and 254H with a 2-1 record.  The 6th seeded alliance went on to pick 254D and lost in the quarterfinals to a dominant alliance carrying 254H.  The third seeded team, 3129A, picked 254H and 4804A and ended up winning the tournament.  However, the winning did not stop there.  254D, after being knocked out of eliminations, was determined to win Robot Skills and scored 72 points.  The tournament and robot skills wins bring home two more qualifications for World Championships leaving the Poofs with 5 spots to Worlds for 254A, 254B, 254E, 254H, and a newly added 254D.

On another note, all vex robots needed to be done by the end of this semester.  Although every robot is competition-ready, many teams are making a few repairs and fixes to their robots after being in competition in the past few weeks.  In the heat of this competition, the JVN Design Challenge entry never got finished.  Lack of concrete deadlines and motivation lead to the downfall of this project.

In light of increased competition for Vex, Derrick Dominic was able to contact NASA employee, Dr. Wendy Holforty in order to obtain Vex pneumatic kits for the team.  Due to liability concerns and respect for Dr. Holforty’s parts, a release form must be made before any teams can borrow these parts.  Some teams have already expressed interest in the kits and it will be exciting to see what they are used for.

The goal by the end of the week is to have all the Vex teams prepared for the winter break to make the changes and fixes they need to.  The parts locker will be open on Monday, and probably Tuesday.  The kits will be handed out near the end of the week after forms get filled out.  There might also be an overall team design / team meeting for the Vex participants over break for those interested in learning and discussing more about the team’s goals coming next semester.


Pan Pacific and Fairfield

This past weekend, the Bellarmine Robotics Team 254 once again stretched itself to the limit, entering two separate tournaments 3,000 miles apart.  At Fairfield, CA, 4 Bellarmine VEX Robotics teams competed in the 2nd annual Vanden High VEX Regional, waking up early for a 2 hour drive on Saturday morning. That afternoon, after several qualification matches which pinned Bellarmine teams against those of other schools in the Bay Area, the Cheesy Poofs came out as first seed, picking a second Cheesy Poof team in the alliance that eventually won the tournament, undefeated. Across the Pacific Ocean, three more 254 teams competed at the second largest VEX Robotics tournament in the world in Hawaii, the Pan Pacific VEX Championship, second only to the World Championship.  After a tough set of qualifications and 36 hours of continuous repairs on their robots, one of the the Cheesy Poof teams managed to seed third in their division.  Just like at Fairfield, this team selected another Bellarmine team along with team 2438B from Hawaii and fought through two divisions and 112 teams from around the world to win the championship.  After this successful weekend, Bellarmine successfully defended its winning titles at both tournaments for the second year in a row.

VEX Tournament: Tracy

Teams 254 A and 254 E are ready to take on the Tracy regional. 254 D is another potential Cheesy Poof team that would want to attend, but is awaiting confirmation from the Tracy director for an extra slot.  254 B, C, H, and S have opted out of the regional in order to get extra time to perfect their ideas before heading into a regional ill-advised.

254 A deploys a “sketchy” at best hanging mechanism accompanied by a claw that has the ability to score and descore.

254 E has avoided the infamous ladder for the time being to focus on their double sided robot.  One side carries a simple spatula to descore while the opposite side of 254 E shows a rolling intake for scoring.

Both robots are tournament ready. There is a scheduled “pack-up hour” for Thursday after school in the Physic’s Lab to collect items such as tools and build material the teams may need for the regional.