Peninsula robotics teams compete in international contest

Two high school robotics teams from the North Olympic Peninsula held their own at the FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston, Texas, which gathered roughly 400 teams from 33 countries around the world.

Teams from Sequim and Port Townsend traveled to Houston in April.

For the preliminary rounds, the 400 teams were split onto six different competition fields, with roughly 66 teams per field.

The Sequim Robotics Federation ranked 42 out of the 66 teams in the field.

“They proved they could compete at that level,” said Stu Marcy, a Sequim High School teacher and one of the robotics team’s mentors.

Port Townsend’s Roboctopi ranked 39 out of the 67 teams it competed against in the preliminary matches but didn’t place high enough to move on.

Sequim had a lot to prove since the team was selected to go to nationals based on the points and awards it had acquired throughout the season. However, in competition, the team didn’t make it past the district event in Auburn.

“It’s kind of a strange way to qualify,” Marcy said.

The Port Townsend team did qualify for the national event through its competition wins, but Dallas Jasper, one of the Port Townsend parents who traveled with the team to Houston, said the team members were just happy to be there.

“It was just super inspiring for the kids,” Jasper said.

“In our field, we had teams that won the last two years, so it was cool that the kids got to compete against these kids that they considered the best in the world.”

At the end of the competition, almost 30,000 people gathered in Houston’s Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros baseball team, to watch the final teams compete.

However, both teams are looking forward to next year’s competition.

“What the kids really want people to know is they’re looking for more kids for next year,” Jasper said.

Five of the nine students on the Port Townsend team graduate this year and Marcy said the Sequim team always is looking for new recruits.

Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at

The Port Townsend robotics team, Roboctipi — Sam Jasper, Spencer Drewry, Pallas Burhen, Max Morningstar, Chance Kane, JR Kienle, Ella Ashford, Emily Skeel and Aaron Robert, from left — competed with roughly 400 teams from around the world at the FIRST Robotics competition in Houston. (Port Townsend Robotics)

Almost 30,000 people gathered in the Houston Astros baseball stadium to watch the final teams compete at the FIRST Robotics competition. (Dallas Jasper)

Almost 30,000 people gathered in the Houston Astros baseball stadium to watch the final teams compete at the FIRST Robotics competition. (Dallas Jasper)

More in News

Fire on Hood Canal Bridge may delay some newspaper deliveries

Because of a fire on the Hood Canal Bridge today’s newspapers will… Continue reading

Firefighters step into dodgeball training

Firefighters turned back the clock for a game of schoolyard dodgeball last… Continue reading

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
PA’s Ice Village offers skating fun

Six-year-old twin sisters Emma Miller, left, and Aubri Miller get help from… Continue reading

Fir Street reconstruction likely set for April 2019

Anticipated reconstruction on West Fir Street is on hold — again. City… Continue reading

Blaze destroys Blyn home near Chicken Coop Road

Fire consumed a Blyn home late Monday morning that fire officials say… Continue reading

OPHS receives grant for deaf narcotics detection dog

A dog named Ghost was seen and heard around the nation when… Continue reading

Follow-ups: Quilter wins prestigious award, woman wears dress to support trafficking victims

Week to week, reporters cover dozens of stories from the heartbreaking to… Continue reading

Police blotter — Dec. 5, 2018

The weekly police blotter includes incidents that occurred in the City of… Continue reading

Learn about local forest conservancy at next Science Café

Garrett Dalan will talk about conservation efforts in the Olympic forests, as… Continue reading

Most Read