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Halifax robotics teams have a tough go at competition

Two Halifax County robotics teams made it to the semifinals of Saturday’s Southern Virginia VEX Robotics Championship at Halifax County High School. Unfortunately, neither was able to make it beyond that point.

The Metal Jackets team from Osbourn Park High School in Manassas won Saturday’s robotics competition with the Southside Vexters from Southside Virginia Community College in South Hill taking the runner-up spot.

Two of three Halifax County teams that competed in the competition, the Keepers of the Asylum and the Robo-Clowns, were eliminated in the semi-final round. The Land Of Oz team was eliminated prior to the semi-final round.

Ricky Gordon, who served as the local competition director, said that with nine teams entered, it appears unlikely that the winner of Saturday’s competition could qualify for a berth in the national competition. In most circumstances, a minimum of 18 teams is required.

And, while none of the Halifax County teams made it to the championship round, there is still hope that a Halifax County team could advance.

“Prior to this event, we signed up to compete in the Roanoke Regional Robotics Championships to be held Jan. 15, 2011 at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke,” Gordon noted.

“That is an open competition. Hopefully, we will get a shot at earning a berth in the World Championships. Today’s competition served as a good practice run for us. The kids will have a chance to look back at what happened today and work on their robots and try to improve them for the competition in Roanoke.”

Several special awards were presented by the event judges. The Metal Jackets team won the VEX Robot Skills Award, and the Twisted Bots team from the Gloucester-Williamsburg Homeschoolers won the VEX Programming Skills Award.

The ROTEC Robotics team 861 from the Roanoke Technical Education Center in Roanoke won the VEX Excellence Award. The Judges Award went to the ROTEC Robotics team 861-B from the Roanoke Technical Education Center in Roanoke.