RESULTS: Top 20 Mountain Teams!

It’s finally here! Without further ado, here are the teams you all voted to be the top 20 of the mountain season. The number in parentheses next to the team number, if there is one, represents how many people voted the team first place.


The 2017 Mountain Top 20!

20. 6530

As a rookie attending only one regional this year, not much was expected of 6530. They went above and beyond, seeding second and captaining an alliance to the finals of the Arizona North Regional. There, they also received the Rookie Inspiration Award and a berth to the Championship. Ra seeded 25th on Carver and was not selected, but there aren’t many rookie teams that can say they captained an alliance to the finals of an event, much less to victory.

The fact is Ra had a great rookie season, and I look forward to seeing what this team from Arizona does next year.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Arizona North Regional:

  • 2nd seed, #2 captain
  • Regional Finalist
  • Highest Rookie Seed
  • Rookie Inspiration Award

Carver Division:

  • 25th seed

19. 6411

6411’s wooden bot was quite a curious sight at the Utah Regional. They were a rookie team, but they didn’t look like it. They seeded 22nd at Utah (their home regional) and were selected by 987 to put their gear oriented robot to use. They did, and they won the regional. The Gravediggers also picked up a Rookie All Star Award, an impressive feat in a field of qualified rookie teams at the event. They couldn’t quite replicate their success in Utah on the Galileo Division, but the Gravediggers had a better rookie season than most. I’ll be interested to see if this team can replicate their success next year.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 22nd seed, 14th pick
  • Regional Winner
  • Rookie All Star Award

Galileo Division:

  • 52nd seed

18. 2996

2996’s robot performance this year wasn’t quite to par, but their outreach and award winning capabilities were. Cougars Gone Wired first attended the Utah Regional, where despite the fact they were ranked 29th, they were the first pick by captain 3288. Their gear oriented robot fought hard, but went out in the quarterfinals. At Colorado, they unveiled a floor pickup for gears, but various issues kept them from seeding high. They were a second pick, and they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by the eventual finalist alliance. However, their strong outreach program won them another Engineering Inspiration Award, securing their spot at the Championship. Unfortunately, they were not selected on Hopper.

Cougars’ robot this year was significantly more capable and consistent than in the last two years, and that leads me to believe that they will bounce back next season and reenter Colorado’s top tier.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 29th seed, 7th pick
  • Regional Quarterfinalist
  • Creativity Award

Colorado Regional:

  • 27th seed, 11th pick
  • Regional Quarterfinalist
  • Dean’s List Finalist Award (Madison Rutherford)
  • Regional Engineering Inspiration Award
  • Safety Award

Hopper Division:

  • 39th seed

17. 3166

It wasn’t quite their division finals run from last year, but 3166 still built a great machine. They had some issues at Utah, and because of them they seeded low and were not picked. In Idaho, their issues were gone. Their gear running robot performed at its best, and they were a captain because of it. They were eliminated in the quarters, but the First Year Ravens showed that they can significantly improve when they attend multiple competitions. I hope they recognize that and attend two regionals next year, and even win one.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 45th seed

Idaho Regional:

  • 10th seed, #6 captain
  • Regional Quarterfinalist

16. 4944 (1)

What a difference a summer of training (and a powdercoat on your robot) can make. The Hi Fives had the greatest season in their history, and they’ve become a rising star in Colorado. The Hi Fives unveiled a gear running robot with a reliable climber to seed 10th in Utah and become the second pick of 3230. They went out in the quarterfinals of Utah but won the Chairman’s Award for the first time in their history, a big feat for a team in rural Colorado. At the Colorado Regional, they suffered some issues and were not selected. Even there, they won their first ever Woodie Flowers Finalist Award. On Hopper, the Hi Fives added a gear floor pickup, and they seeded 17th in a crowded field. There, they were selected by fellow Coloradans 1619, and they went out in the quarters.

The Hi Fives showed significant improvement this year, and I hope to see them build on it next season with another impressive robot.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 10th seed, 12th pick
  • Regional Quarterfinalist
  • Regional Chairman’s Award

Colorado Regional:

  • 33rd seed
  • Woodie Flowers Finalist Award (Sergio Galindo)

Hopper Division:

  • 17th seed, 17th pick
  • Divisional Quarterfinalist

15. 3288

3288 had an ambitious design this year, and their robot was really cool to watch. At Utah, they performed well and seeded 7th. They went out in the quarters, but their gear and climb oriented bot was a cool sight to see. At Colorado, despite seeding 17th, they were not selected for eliminations.

It may have been a tough season for the Punchers, but their robot design was ambitious. It is my hope that they figure out how to make a complex robot like this year’s work well for next season, and go far because of it.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 7th seed, #7 captain
  • Regional Quarterfinalist

Colorado Regional:

  • 17th seed

14. 3230

3230 was one of the best teams this year to not qualify for the Championship. Their robot was built to climb, deliver gears, and score fuel in the low boiler. It did all three of these things very well, and they earned a captain’s position at both regionals they attended this year because of it. However, they were eliminated before the finals in both Utah and Idaho, and thus ended their season.

PrototypeX builds good robots, and has done so for the last few years. Next year, they’ll be looking to prove that they are the best in Utah.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 5th seed, #5 captain
  • Regional Quarterfinalist

Idaho Regional:

  • 7th seed, #5 captain
  • Regional Semifinalist

13. 2403

2403 suffered some early drama in Utah by being declined by four different teams. Despite the fact that Plasma could deliver gears, shoot in auto, and climb reliably, the four teams were convinced that they would be better off on their own. Plasma proved their worth by getting to the semifinals, losing only to eventual regional winners. At Arizona West, they were selected by the 7th alliance, and unfortunately went out in the quarterfinals. However, thanks to a waitlist spot, they attended the Championship and competed on the Roebling Divison. They seeded a modest 22nd, and were selected to an alliance. Unfortunately, their alliance couldn’t make it out of the quarters.

Plasma’s machine this year was sleek, and it performed well. Next year, Plasma Robotics should focus on doing more with their robot to seed high and win.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 2nd seed, #2 captain
  • Regional Semifinalist
  • Excellence in Engineering Award

Arizona West Regional:

  • 17th seed, 7th pick
  • Regional Quarterfinalist
  • Industrial Design Award

Roebling Division:

  • 22nd seed, 11th pick
  • Divisional Quarterfinalist

12. 6314

They may not have a rookie success story like 2753 in 2009, but 6314’s story this season has still been amazing. Desert Mountain Robotics had an incredible rookie season, both in awards and in robot performance. Not only did they win a Rookie All-Star Award and a Woodie Flowers Finalist Award (which is highly impressive for a rookie team), they also were captains at both of their events. They got to the semifinals of Arizona North and the finals of Arizona West, showcasing a capable robot that could run gears well and climb reliably. On Carver, they didn’t do quite as well in the qualifications as they hoped, but got to hitch a ride with 2122 and 987 in the eliminations. When 4910 broke in the finals of Carver, 6314 was called upon to help get their alliance to the Einstein Field. They got the job done, and they won the Carver Division, becoming one of the few rookie teams to ever have the privilege of getting to the Einstein Field.

I don’t know if they’ll be as good next season, but their story should inspire rookie teams everywhere for years to come. Look for the Desert Mountain machine next year.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Arizona North Regional:

  • 4th seed, #3 captain
  • Regional Semifinalist
  • Rookie All Star Award

Arizona West Regional:

  • 3rd seed, #2 captain
  • Regional Finalist
  • Woodie Flowers Finalist Award (Rich Simoncic)
  • Entrepreneurship Award
  • Highest Rookie Seed

Carver Division:

  • 54th seed, 18th pick
  • Divisional Champion

Einstein Field:

  • 3-2 record
  • 3rd place

11. 60

60’s debut in Arizona North was far better than last year. The Bionic Bulldogs performed very well, getting to the finals of the regional. They lost to the #1 alliance, but they secured a wildcard to the Championship. In Las Vegas they weren’t as capable as some of the powerhouses that were there but they were picked by the #8 seed, losing in the quarters to the 118-148 combo. On Newton they played their hardest, but were not selected. It was good to see 60 build another great machine, and I look forward to next year’s.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Arizona North Regional:

  • 3rd seed, 2nd pick
  • Regional Finalist

Las Vegas Regional:

  • 35th seed, 9th pick
  • Regional Quarterfinalist

Newton Division:

  • 33rd seed

10. 1339 (1)

This season was just more proof that 1339 is getting better every year. At Utah, their gear-oriented got turned more into a defense-oriented bot, and it was that which got them picked by the #1 alliance. They got to the finals, and a missed climb by them lost their alliance the chance to take it to a third match. However, Angelbotics still received a wildcard, getting them a spot to the Championship. At Colorado, they started getting their gear mechanism working. They were selected by the third alliance, and got to the finals once again. They lost to 1619, but this marked the first year they’ve ever been to the finals twice. On Roebling they had a fully-functioning robot, and was the top seed for almost the entirety of the qualifications. They eventually dropped to the 11th seed, where they were picked up as a fourth pick. Their bot may have never hit the carpet, and they may have gone out into the quarters, but their robot won the Quality Award on Roebling, a first for their team. This was Angelbotics’ best season yet, and I hope to see them be even better next year.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 34th seed, 16th pick
  • Regional Finalist

Colorado Regional:

  • 26th seed, 14th pick
  • Regional Finalist
  • Team Spirit Award

Roebling Division:

  • 11th seed, 19th pick
  • Divisional Semifinalist
  • Quality Award

9. 842

It was disappointing not to see their robot at the Championship, but I admire the philosophy of Falcon Robotics. Although they had every right to attend Houston due to their Hall of Fame status, they decided that they would not attend the Championship this year unless their team qualified through another award. Thinking like that will force a team to build a strong, capable robot. At Arizona North 842’s machine was impressive. Their gear delivering capabilities and ability to shoot into the high boiler earned them a spot on an alliance. They went out in the quarters, but Falcon Robotics had some ideas they implemented. At Las Vegas, their team unveiled a Hopper autonomous that could get a lot of fuel in the boiler. During the eliminations, Falcon managed to eliminate 987 and force three rounds with 118.

They didn’t win a regional, but they had a cool robot this year. Hopefully Falcon Robotics will win a regional next year, and we’ll see them at the Championship.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Arizona North Regional:

  • 11th seed, 4th pick
  • Regional Semifinalist
  • Gracious Professionalism Award

Las Vegas Regional:

  • 19th seed, 5th pick
  • Regional Semifinalist

8. 662

The last time 662 had a season like this was a very long time ago. Rocky Mountain Robotics debuted in Utah with a consistent, reliable machine and their reliability got them the first seed, ahead of powerhouses like 987, 1619, and 2122. They picked two other Coloradans, 1619 and 1339, and got all the way to the finals. They would lose in two close matches, but would win a Championship spot for the first time in ten years. At Colorado they didn’t take top seed, but still captained an alliance. However, they lost in the quarters. On Galileo they were not selected, but it was a great way to end a comeback season. I’m excited to see what 662 will build next year.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 1st seed, #1 captain
  • Regional Finalist
  • Entrepreneurship Award

Colorado Regional:

  • 8th seed, #7 captain
  • Regional Quarterfinalist

Galileo Division

  • 48th seed

7. 2486

This year was the first time in a long time that 2486 hasn’t won the Chairman’s Award. However, they made up for it by building a strong and capable robot. They were a first pick at every competition they attended this year, beginning in Arizona North. They lost in the quarters, but picked up an Engineering Inspiration Award. In Los Angeles, they teamed up with second seeded 3309, and were six points away from winning the regional. In Idaho, they were picked by 3230, and lost in three rounds to 5499. Even on Galileo, they were selected as a first pick, even though they would go out in the quarters.

For a long time, 2486 has mostly been known for their outreach rather than their robots. Maybe next year will be the year they’re known for both.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Arizona North Regional:

  • 17th seed, 5th pick
  • Regional Quarterfinalist
  • Regional Engineering Inspiration Award
  • Dean’s List Finalist Award (Zach Smith)

Los Angeles Regional:

  • 3rd seed, 2nd pick
  • Regional Finalist
  • Excellence in Engineering Award

Idaho Regional:

  • 13th seed, 5th pick
  • Regional Semifinalist
  • Team Spirit Award

Galileo Division:

  • 16th seed, 4th pick
  • Divisional Quarterfinalist

6. 4499 (1)

I’m willing to call 4499’s machine the best robot in the mountains this year that did not win a regional this year. They had a season full of ups and downs, starting in Lubbock. The Highlanders were a second pick there, and went out in the quarters. At Colorado, they were significantly better. A ground gear pickup gave them an edge in competition, and they were the second pick overall. A missed climb in the semis cost them the chance to force a third match, and the Highlanders signed up for Las Vegas as one last shot to get to the Championship. At Las Vegas, they managed to keep up with a very competitive crowd and captain an alliance to the semis. Unfortunately, the Highlanders’ traditionally strong outreach was unable to win them any team culture awards. However, a waitlist spot gave them the chance to compete on the Galileo Division. There, they seeded 12th and were picked up by the 7th alliance. Even though they didn’t make it past the quarters, it was the first time in team history that a robot of theirs touched the carpet in a divisional eliminations set.

Although they didn’t win a regional this year, this was by no means a subpar year for the Highlanders. Their robot was elegant in design and performance, and I’m sure they’ll be back with a vengeance next year.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Hub City Regional:

  • 32nd seed, 11th pick
  • Regional Quarterfinalist
  • Woodie Flowers Award Finalist (Debbie English)
  • Dean’s List Finalist Award (Nela Mohan)
  • Innovation in Control Award

Colorado Regional:

  • 10th seed, 2nd pick
  • Regional Semifinalist
  • Gracious Professionalism Award

Las Vegas Regional:

  • 8th seed, #6 captain
  • Regional Semifinalist
  • Judges’ Award

Galileo Division:

  • 12th seed, 23rd pick
  • Divisional Quarterfinalist

5. 4334 (2)

In Utah, Alberta Tech was just another gear runner. They seeded eighth and lost in the quarterfinals, and won no awards of any kind. They added a floor gear pickup for Western Canada, and that made all the difference. The top seeded 2122 skipped over a number of good gear runners to pick them, and they went on to win the regional for the fourth time in five years. On Carver, they looked just as good, if not better, than they did last year. They ranked fourth and captained an alliance, but problems with their alliance partners led to their ousting in the quarterfinals.

With yet another strong robot from the Alberta Tech Alliance, I think there is little dispute that this team is now a powerhouse. Watch for another strong robot from them next year.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 8th seed, #8 captain
  • Regional Quarterfinalist

Western Canada Regional:

  • 13th seed, 1st pick
  • Regional Winner
  • Quality Award

Carver Division:

  • 4th seed, #3 captain
  • Divisional Quarterfinalist

4. 1011 (4)

Earlier this year, I wrote about 1011 before the Arizona North Regional. I said although they had a wonderful 2016 season, they would be out to prove it was not a fluke. Well, there’s no question now that it wasn’t.

Crush’s machine was simple. It didn’t shoot balls like many elite teams did, and it wasn’t as flashy as some of them too. However, it did an incredible job at delivering gears. They started unassumingly in Flagstaff, but their ability to run gears got them onto an alliance. They would go out in the semifinals, after being overpowered by the eventual winning alliance. In Denver, they played the same way and were selected by top-seeded 1619 to join their alliance for a second consecutive season. They would go on to win again with 1619, and they also picked up a Chairman’s Award too. On Roebling, they managed to pull off a two gear autonomous multiple times in the qualifications. Top-seeded 973 requested their help to win as the first pick, and Crush accepted. They only ran gears and climbed, but it was those two things they did so well that brought them their first Championship win.

Before 1011’s win, the farthest any Arizona team had gone on Einstein was the semis, and the most recent Arizona team there was 60 in 2008. Crush not only won the Championship, they brought Arizona home a title. Their season isn’t over yet, though, as they’ll be facing the winning alliance of St. Louis in New Hampshire in late July. I encourage all mountain teams to tune in and cheer them on!

Awards and Competition Performance:

Arizona North Regional:

  • 15th seed, 3rd pick
  • Regional Semifinalist
  • Quality Award

Colorado Regional:

  • 16th seed, 1st pick
  • Regional Winner
  • Dean’s List Finalist Award (Reuben Castro Ornelas)
  • Regional Chairman’s Award

Roebling Division:

  • 8th seed, 1st pick
  • Divisional Champion

Einstein Field:

  • 5-2 record
  • Championship Winner (!!!)

3. 987 (8)

A lot was expected from the then-newest Hall of Fame member this year. And oh my goodness, they delivered. 987 started their season strong in Utah, seeding third and captaining an alliance. They did battle with 1619 and came out the victor after some close matches. As one of the first teams to successfully meet the 40 kPa requirement, I was excited to see what Highrollers would do in their home town. However, their showing in Las Vegas was dismal, as they suffered some issues and went out in the quarterfinals. They didn’t look like the Highrollers I saw in Utah, and I must admit I lost faith in them after their poor performance. However, I quickly learned that you should never underestimate a team that believes that whatever they’ve done is never enough. Highrollers came out swinging on Carver, and their machine paired up with fellow mountain team 2122. Their stellar match strategy was fun to watch, and got them to the Einstein Field for the third year in a row. They fell just short of the Einstein finals, but once again inspired the FRC.

They may have their spot at the Championship permanently secured, but the Highrollers are not backing down when it comes to robot quality. This season proves that, and I expect we’ll see another incredible robot from them next season. And if I know the Highrollers, it’ll have a turret.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 3rd seed, #3 captain
  • Regional Winner
  • Industrial Design Award

Las Vegas Regional:

  • 5th seed, #4 captain
  • Regional Quarterfinalist
  • Gracious Professionalism Award

Carver Division:

  • 5th seed, 2nd pick
  • Divisional Champion

Einstein Field:

  • 3-2 record
  • 3rd place

2. 2122 (7)

Idaho doesn’t have a ton to brag about, and 2122 is quickly becoming one of the things that it can. Team Tators followed up last season with an even better one, and after their incredible year it’s no doubt that they are now part of the FRC’s elite. They had a rough start at the Utah Regional, losing in the semifinals, but came out in Idaho with what was essentially a completely different robot. They would win in Boise with their fuel-shooting robot and go on to win the next week in Calgary, marking the first time in history that Team Tators has won multiple regionals in a single year. On Carver, they seeded third and teamed up with fellow mountain teams 987 and 6314, as well as 4910 from Georgia. After some very close finals matches, they would overcome the challenge and beat the 1690-971 combo to reach the Einstein Field for the second consecutive year. On Einstein, they only missed out on the Einstein Finals by just over 100 points.

Team Tators, in my opinion, is now in the same position many Einstein winning teams were in before they won the Championship. Another stellar robot from them, and they may just be your world champion next season.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 4th seed, #4 captain
  • Regional Semifinalist

Idaho Regional:

  • 2nd seed, 1st pick
  • Regional Winner
  • Excellence in Engineering Award

Western Canada Regional:

  • 1st seed, #1 captain
  • Regional Winner
  • Excellence in Engineering Award

Carver Division:

  • 3rd seed, #2 captain
  • Divisional Champion

Einstein Field:

  • 3-2 record
  • 3rd place

1. 1619 (9)

When I first saw their bot in Utah, I knew 1619 would go far this season. They ended up being the first pick of the top seed, 662, and they got all the way to the finals. They lost Utah in some very close finals matches, but they won their first Engineering Inspiration Award since their rookie year. At Colorado, their fuel-shooting machine stormed the field and seeded first yet again. They yet again teamed up with 1011, and managed to pull off a win at Colorado for the third year in a row. On Hopper, they quickly emerged as the top team on the field and seeded first in a division for the first time in their history. They then chose 3309, another great fuel shooting bot, and then bad luck came their way and they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by the #8 alliance. It was a disappointing result for Up-A-Creek, but an incredible season nonetheless.

For the last three years, 1619 has built a world class robot and performed as such. They are undoubtedly in the FRC’s top tier as of now, and they have the resume to to prove it. Up-A-Creek has one thing left to do, and that is to get to the Einstein Field.

Awards and Competition Performance:

Utah Regional:

  • 13th seed, 1st pick
  • Regional Finalist
  • Engineering Inspiration Award

Colorado Regional:

  • 1st seed, #1 captain
  • Regional Winner
  • Excellence in Engineering Award

Hopper Division:

  • 1st seed, #1 captain
  • Divisional Quarterfinalist

That’s it, everyone!

With this post, I conclude Mountain Man analysis for this year. Thank you to my readers and supporters, you all are the reason I do this. I hope I’ve helped highlight a fairly unknown region of the FRC, and I’ll be back for the 2018 season. Go CRUSH!

Thank you so much for all that you’ve done. I love this region and the teams in it, and you’ve done as much to jhighlight their accomplishments as anyone.

This is some awesome analysis! Thank you for taking your time to write this and showcase some amazing teams.

Thanks for your in depth analysis! I love reading these every time they come out. As a graduating senior, it’s been such an honor to be able to play with the teams on this list. For 1619, I’ve looked up to you guys for years, ever since I was a small Freshman at the 2014 Utah Regional. Your machines are amazing and I can’t wait to see what you all come up with next.

For those who didn’t know, 6314 came in clutch for our alliance. 4910 had a drive train break and would not have been able to play the next match. 6314 had an amazing attitude and was ready to hop into the third finals match at the last second. It’s hard enough for an experienced team to do that, but a rookie is unbelievable. 987 was a class act to work with, their team made Houston Champs my favorite robotics experience over the last few years. I’m very happy they’re in the hall of fame; they certainly live up to that title. 4910 was wonderful to work with as well, being very helpful when our robot had failures.

Thanks again to the amazing Mountain teams this year and in the past. I’m excited to see this region growing and I’ll be rooting for us all.

I cry every time because it’s true.