North Carolina District - Raleigh
This weekend, 33 teams will arrive at Southeast Raleigh High School to compete at the final 2017 North Carolina District Event. For most, it will be the last chance to get those district points they need to qualify for the State Championship next week, and with 3 weeks of iteration under their belts, teams will be putting their all to secure Ranking points and getting ready for takeoff.
North Carolina, like most areas, has been characterized by Gear scoring. Every winning alliance so far got 0 fuel points throughout their run to the blue banner, and it seems unlikely that that will change. Teams have gotten a lot of practice shortening their cycle time and cutting down on dropped gears. This event will likely be decided by the race to the fourth rotor.
The serpentine selection will create some very close playoff matches. Upsets from lower seeded alliances will probably be very likely at this event. Defense will also be strong, and traction tank drives will be in high demand towards the end of alliance selections.
3737 and 2642 will get the chance to reunite their week 1 winning alliance. Strong gears and consistent climbs characterized their win, and they will look to continue it. 2059, having scrapped their fuel capabilities, and this being their third event, will get valuable match time to practice with their gear pickup. This will be a valuable skill to have, as the other strong NC gear pickups are absent from this event.
Like last year, 5518 went tall, and it has helped them speed up their climb, and with driver practice, they should cycle gears well. 2682 went through a transformation during their last event, and they will have a fresh look. Their low climber made for some highly entertaining climbs at Pitt County. 4561 had a good start, and as always, they are a solidly built all around bot. Their great 2016 season ended with a high rank on the Division of death (Newton), and they have always picked up in their later events. Watch out for the Terrorbytes.
5160 and 5190 paired up in Pitt county, upsetting many alliances to make the finals. Watch out for their drive teams, as 5160’s mechanum adds manuverability, and 5190’s tank can hold its ground.
4795 had a very strong 2016 season, and will need to make up for a decent first event to qualify for states. With more driving practice, their off center gear holder can be great. The same is true for 4828, as these 2016 Einstein Quarterfinalists need a very good event to make states. Both these teams will be hoping that fuel becomes the tiebreaker people are expecting it to be, as they have proven ability to slip in a few points in teleop and auton, respectively.
Fuel - 900 has been far and away the best fuel scorer in the region. As is tradition, they focused all their resources on this one task (and a consistent slip-knot based climb), to great effect. As a result, they seeded very high their first NC event, but were eliminated in QFs as a result of a heartbreaking tiebreaker, where rotor points pushed the opposition over, despite 900 having had a solid fuel match. However, fuel scorers a la 2642, 4795, 3196, and 4828 may be more valuable, as getting those few points may be all it takes to push a 305-305 tie into a win. That is unless 900 dials in that 40kpa auton of course.
0 - Number of out of state teams
3/3 - All three of NC’s Einstein teams will be competing at this district event (435, 900, 4828).
7 - Rookies competing. 6500, with a quick consistent climb, can easily be a dark horse come alliance selection. 6502 will also be a top contender (they also have the best bumpers)
21 - Number of spots to the NCDCMP that have not been claimed yet
0 - Times so far that the 40kpa threshold has been reached at any of the three previous NC competitions
All four of last years EI winners (2642, 5190, 4828, 4534) will be in contention for the Culture Changing awards, as will two of last year’s chairmans (2642, 3737) . Throw teams like 2059 and all the other contenders into the mix and there is very little separating the teams. In the past few years FIRST North Carolina has exploded in growth, and FRC teams have led the charge. With FLL mentorship, Roblox Sumo, working with Refugees, and even more, the judges will have a hard time picking the top teams.