We’re looking forward to week three, as we’re seeing a lot of last year’s winners competing for Chairman’s for the first time this year!
Other than 1515, who picked up Chairman’s banners in 2014, 2013, and 2010, there aren’t any real Chairman’s favorites in Ventura. This could open the door for up and comers **1622 **to pick up their second RCA after winning in Idaho last year. **1138 **hasn’t won since 2011, but that doesn’t mean they won’t pick up right where they left off. **2576 **could hope to punch their ticket to Houston by following up on their 2014 RCA. Finally, for a second-year team with the potential to start a Chairman’s streak (2486 won an RCA in their first year of eligibility!), look to 5857, whose international outreach caught the eye of the Rookie Inspiration judges last year in San Diego.
Central Illinois Regional has some serious competition both from instate and coming from the rest of the midwest. We’ll be seeing the teams that have won this award at two previous CIR-- **2220 **in 2016 and **2039 **in 2015. We’ll also be seeing the Minnesota team with the most Chairman’s Awards prior to this year coming down-- 2169, who has taken home five RCAs but hasn’t brought home a banner since 2014. A winner from last year, 2338, will be making their way to Peoria as well-- they’re on a two year win streak, which is hotter than anyone else in attendance. From Wisconsin, 2826 will also be in contention-- they’ve only taken home Chairman’s hardware on odd years so far, so we’ll see if that continues. On the outside, we’ve got 2081, who took home EI here last year, and may be looking to upgrade, having taken home 4 EI awards up to now. Also in Peoria will be HOF team 111, Wildstang.
The favorite by far to take home the Greater Kansas City Regional is most certainly 1710, who has a streak going all the way back to 2012 of Chairman’s Award after Chairman’s Award. Following them however, there are a few programs who have picked up in the last couple of years in this department. Among those is 1764, who took home their first-ever Chairman’s Award last year at this event and will be looking to defend their title. **1986 **and **1987 **also took home Engineering Inspiration Awards last year, though both have taken home Chairman’s hardware in the past. In attendance here also will be a previous winner from this season-- 624.
Two of the most decorated Chairman’s teams not to be inducted in the hall of fame will be attending the Finger Lakes Regional: 1511, who is on a recent upswing with a three year streak and 7 wins overall, and 340, who has eight total RCA wins, but hasn’t taken home an award since 2014. Other than those two, not many teams at Finger Lakes have taken home a culture change award recently other than 2638, who took home an RCA here last year, and 3015, who took one home at Greater Pittsburgh. Last year also saw **639 **and **870 **take home Engineering Inspiration awards, which they may be looking to upgrade. This event also has HOF team **191 **in attendance.
The other regional happening in New York this weekend, New York Tech Valley Regional, has a little less firepower in attendance-- we’re looking at 3990, who took home their first-ever Chairman’s Award last year at Festival de Robotique, as well as a Championship EI award, as a clear leader, but last year’s winners, 229, will certainly have their say. **358 **also has a history with the award, though they haven’t taken home a culture change award since 2013 at Long Island. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see someone not on our radar pop through with a win.
The Greater Pittsburgh Regional is going to be a breakout year for someone-- other than Hall of Fame teams **359 **and 144, there just aren’t many teams with RCA or EI history at this event. The standouts here are 3504, who took home an RCA in 2015 and an EI award last year, and 291, who has taken home Chairman’s hardware 3 times previously, last in 2013. We might also see 3260, who brought back an EI award here last year, bring it home. Or we might see a newcomer break through.
Lone Star Central has a few teams to look at-- top of that list in the only team in attendance who took home an RCA last year, 1477. This year **3847 **has already taken home an Engineering Inspiration Award, and we might see them upgrade that hardware. One other team took home an EI last year, and that’s 2881, who might be in the running as well. On the outside, the last time **118 **took home a Chairman’s Award was 2010, but they’re a hard team to count out if they’re making a solid push for the award. It’s hard to shake the feeling that this might be a good opportunity for someone not on our radar to break out in judging.
The South Pacific Regional is in an interesting position-- many of the teams here competed only a few days ago at the Southern Cross Regional, which took place at the same venue. With **3132 **out of the picture, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see **4613 **take home a Chairman’s Award at the end of their almost 9 straight days of competition. Other than them, this is a team with a great number of very young teams, many of whom will surely be looking to break through and take home some hardware.
Few teams attending the inaugural San Francisco Regional or even in FIRST as a whole, have as impressive of a Chairman’s history as 604, who have won the award every single year since 2007 with only one break (in 2009, and are we sure there was even a competition that year?). Though they are the clear favorite, **812 **revived their 3 RCAs from 2005-2008 with a fourth last year in nearby Central Valley, which could point to the beginnings of a new streak. **1700 **and **4159 **have had recent EI success, and are going to be gunning for an RCA. Finally, while **3256 **and **2035 **may not have as deep a history as 604 with the award, they’ve both won it in recent years.
Feel like we missed someone? Want to give a shoutout or correct us on something? Feel free to comment, and good luck to all the teams competing this weekend!