Southland robotics teams heading to nationals

Published 6:47 pm Friday, March 10, 2023

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After setting a new standard for its robotics program, Southland now has teams heading to worlds in April.

During this year’s competition, Southland’s VEX Robotics program sent all eight of its teams to the state competition, which was held last Thursday and Friday in St. Cloud. Of those eight teams, three of  them — the Borderbots (middle school), Southbots (high school) and Roverbots (high school) — are heading to the worlds competition on April 24-30.

“We did awesome,” said coach Paula Mortenson. “It’s awesome those three teams made it. It would have been awesome to have the other teams go.”

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The Borderbots continued their string of excellence with a state excellence award as well as the top skills award. During the regular season, the Borderbots were four-for-four at competitions in earning the excellence award.

“Big kudos. That’s pretty amazing,” Mortenson said.

Mortenson said that competition during state was tight and nearly resulted in two or three other teams making the cut as well.

The high school teams will compete in the first part of the tournament, set to be held in Dallas, Texas. The Borderbots will then travel down after and compete as the Southbots and Roverbots are finishing up.

Mortenson said it was a time of excitement for not only the teams and program, but for the school.

“I think it brings a sense of pride,” she said. “Schools tend to have a couple things that they highlight and stuff can  ebb and flow. We’re so grateful to be highlighting something that is more academic based.”

The fact that it can lead to lucrative and amazing careers, I think the kids really feel a sense of pride,” she continued. “It’s a good feeling to have everybody’s support. We’re excited and looking to do really well.”