September 15, 2019
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John Bapst Robotics Team headed to VEX Robotics World Championship

Community Author: Chip Fussell
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John Bapst Memorial High School | Contributed
John Bapst Memorial High School | Contributed

BANGOR — After 10 hours of competition, a team from John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor joined in an alliance with the second seed team from Cape Elizabeth High School to defeat an allied team from Limestone’s Maine School of Math and Science and Dover-Foxcroft Academy to claim the title of 2019 Maine State VEX Robotics Champions on Feb. 23.

In their shared victory, both teams qualified to represent their home state at the World Championship VEX Competition April 24-27 in Louisville, Kentucky.

As the final eliminations got underway, two of the teams from John Bapst remained in competition, held at The Point Community Center in South Portland. They joined 14 other teams having individually survived eight qualification rounds that included more than 90 individual team matches.

Then in a format where remaining teams form two member team alliances, Bapst team 2142e and the Cape team 56j joined forces.  After eight more single-elimination rounds, quarter-finals, semi-finals and then the final dramatic center stage confrontation of design, programing and strategy, the allied Bapst-Cape team emerged as Champions of Maine.

The winning Bapst team coached by Bapst Engineering and Technology Department chair, Mike Murphy, was made up of sophomores Hayden O’Connell, Elliot Collins and Charlie Fussell.  The Bapst team was one of five teams the school fielded this season.  Other local area teams in competition were from All Saints Catholic School and Hampden Academy.

The annual competition of robotics teams from 50 Maine high schools and middle schools from Limestone to York culminated a season of day-long tournaments held around the state from November to February.

Throughout the season teams are judged on robot design, build quality, documentation, team spirit, sportsmanship and competition points earned on a specified field of play seeking to maximize points by accomplishing a standard set of objectives.

According to the VEX website, competitions occur in over 50 countries, representing more than 22,000 schools, 20,000 + teams and over one million students.  In 2016 the VEX Robotics World Championship was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s largest Robotics Competition.