Hello and welcome to Week 4!
We’ll be doing something a bit different this week-- instead of posting all the previews at once, I’ll be putting up the regional previews today and the district event previews tomorrow.
Without further ado, the previews!
Four of last year’s RCA winners will be making their way to** Rocket City** with none of them having already taken home the award this year. The front runner here is likely 1902, Exploding Bacon, who has taken home RCA or EI every year since 2012. Their biggest competition may be 4013, Clockwork Mania, who has brought home the award for the past two years. One of our other previous winners, 2783, has already qualified for St. Louis (at St. Louis…), but is still likely to be gunning for an RCA win this season. Our final one of last year’s winners, 3337, is also on their last opportunity to qualify this season. On the outside, we have a visitor from Peachtree, 4188, looking to lock themselves into Champs after a DEI award in Albany, and Apophis, 5006, looking for an upgrade from their Engineering Inspiration awards the past two seasons.
**Sacramento **has one of the big boys coming to play-- **604 **has won an RCA every year since 2007, except for 2009 which didn’t really exist anyways, which is more than the rest of the regional has put together, if you don’t count last year’s Hall of Fame team, 597. Going up against them will be 1323, who brought home a couple of RCA awards before 2013, and 1671, who is coming off an RCA win last year and an Engineering Inspiration Award in Central Valley.
Some great teams will making their way to Ventura, including a couple of last year’s winners-- **207 **and 1868. Metalcrafters brought home their first award last year in Los Angeles, while The Space Cookies took it home last year at Alamo after a year off from a 2011-2013 streak. Looking back a bit further, **1515 **has taken 3 RCAs home in the past, and might be ready for another after an REI win at this event last year. Our outside shot is the Devil Duckies, 1266, who brought home a couple of RCAs in the past and might want back in on the game.
It’s looking to be a good time for the teams visiting the Mile High City for the **Colorado **regional. Many of the teams we’re going to mention may be familiar-- that’s because most of them have already competed this season. On the top of our list is team 4499, who brought home the RCA here last year and an EI award at Arizona North. Also up is 2996, who brought home a couple in ‘13 and ‘14 and needs to punch their ticket to Champs at this event. Also up is 1011, who had a huge amount of REI awards and finally took home RCA last year. After a drought in AZ North, they’re definitely looking for something here. Last up is 1138, who last took home an RCA in 2014, but has a long history with the award-- 8 wins from 2004-2014. It’s hard to count them out of the running with a record like that.
A lot of teams heading to the **Iowa **Regional are probably breathing a sigh of relief right now-- 4 of the teams attending have already taken home an RCA this year, which opens up the field a lot. That being said, there’s still likely to be plenty of competition for the award here-- 1156, 1816, and **2512 **all took home a Regional Chairman’s Award last year, and they’re all most certainly going to try to do so again. Even with all that competition from out of state, it’s still quite likely that the awards will stay in Cedar Falls-- **525 **has built a heck of a program and is bringing a hometown advantage. Also from Iowa is 3928, which, while they may not have the pedigree of the other contenders here, has been improving their program greatly over the past few years.
Finger Lakes is looking a bit thin for Chairman’s this year-- 1511 and 3015 have already taken home an RCA at GTR Central and Pittsburgh, respectively, which leaves a rather open field. To be sure, it’s difficult to say 340, who has taken home, count them, EIGHT, Chairman’s Awards is anything but the frontrunner, but there’s also 2809, who took home the award here back in 2013, to think about. It will be interesting if the award goes to the perennial or any of the number of newer teams attending this regional.
Honestly, I’m not sure what to say about Oklahoma. Other than 932, who has 6 RCAs (and has already taken home the award this year), there’s only one other team here who has won the award-- 3660, LIGHTSABERS, and that was back in 2013. There aren’t even many Engineering Inspiration Award winners-- the leader far and away for that award is 2341. We honestly have no idea what will happen in Oklahoma.
**North Bay **has a bunch of good teams that will be competing for the Chairman’s Award-- this includes three of last year’s winners. On that list is 1241, who will be looking to take home the award outside Toronto after an EI win at GTR East, 1305, who won it here last year and has taken home 6 RCAs since their inception, and 1325, who took home their first award last year at GTR East. Up and coming is 5024, Raider Robotics, who took home an Engineering Inspiration Award last year and RAS the year before that.
You want a regional that’s a complete mystery for Chairman’s? Look no further than Dallas. For all the fantastic Texas teams here, almost none of those attending have brought home an RCA recently. The one team that has is 3478, from Mexico. Whether it will go to one of the older teams like **148 **or **383 **or one of the plethora of Rookie All Star and Rookie Inspiration Winners such at 5454, who won Rookie Inspiration at Champs last year, is completely up in the air.
**Wisconsin **has a number of perennials competing-- top among them is 1714, who is looking to win more Chairman’s Awards to add to their existing 5, followed closely by 537, who has taken the award home at 4 different events. There’s also 1306, who has a habit of taking the Wisconsin RCA on odd years, 1675, who took home a couple of RCAs in ‘13 and ‘11, and 1732, who likes to take home the award on even years. Of course, we haven’t yet talked about 2826, Wave Robotics, who brought home an RCA at North Star last year and would love to win it in their home state, or 2500, who hasn’t brought home an RCA since 2011, but has won a whole boatload of Engineering Inspiration Awards.