WildStang Helps Team 6968 at Midwest Regional
At this year’s FIRST Midwest Regional, FRC Team 6968 Team Pi joined the competition from Eindhoven, Netherlands. They traveled over 4,000 miles to compete in their only regional this season. They encountered one of the largest problems a team can face pre-competition; having their robot lost in shipping. Their robot was caught up in US customs and they weren’t able to get it until late Friday night. This story has an unfortunate beginning, but WildStang is proud to say we did everything we could to help them be successful in the end.
On Wednesday, the first day of set-up for Midwest Regional, the lead robot inspector and WildStang mentor, Al Skierkiewicz, informed us that Team Pi did not have their robot. He learned that their robot was caught in customs at O’Hare and would take about 3-5 days to get through. Al racked his brain for anything he could do to help team Pi, and his final thought was WildStang’s practice robot. Al is very close to the team and has been mentoring WildStang for over twenty-five years. We are very happy that Al thought of WildStang to step up to this challenge. WildStang always makes two robots, one for competition, and one that our drive team uses for practice. When we found out they needed a robot, we got everything approved by FIRST and then brought our practice robot to the regional. WildStang teacher Kurt Fenzel and our lead mentor Harrison Drake drove back to MacArthur Middle School to pick up the robot to lend to Team Pi. The robot was not fully competition ready, so after getting it to UIC, Team Pi and WildStang worked together to get the robot ready for inspection and competition. We also gave Team 6968 use of our tools since theirs were stuck in customs along with their robot.
WildStang did our best to set them up for success, and considering that they only had one day to learn the drive controls, their performance was amazing! Team Pi’s robot arrived on Friday night, allowing them to compete with their robot on Saturday. Team Pi and WildStang worked hand-in-hand Friday evening and Saturday morning to make their robot ready for competition. They were chosen by the number 5 alliance to play in the quarterfinals, and although they did not go further, everyone was proud of their performance.
WildStang is always here to help anyone who needs it, especially in the FIRST community. WildStang hopes that FRC Team 6968, Team Pi had a valuable time, even though their one regional event did not go as planned. WildStang would like to thank everyone who helped make this process as quick as possible. We are proud to say that we now have an honorary shirt and a lasting friendship with Team Pi, and we will always remember this as a special Midwest Regional for our efforts to help another team be successful.