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Bellarmine Robotics Team Wins Regional Tournament

Bellarmine’s Team 254 and alliance partners Team 5499 and Team 6418 pose with robot Backlash after winning at the 2019 Silicon Valley Regional.

Bellarmine College Prep’s Robotics Team 254: The Cheesy Poofs, in collaboration with FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 5499, The Bay Orangutans; and Team 6418, The Missfits; won the Silicon Valley Regional Tournament, held March 29-31 at the San Jose State University Events Center.  In its victory, Bellarmine earned its 20th Blue Banner at the tournament and received the Engineering in Excellence Award sponsored by Delphi for its robot, Backlash. 

“We were very excited to earn our 20th Blue Banner at the Silicon Valley Regional,” said Mr. Sachin Salgaonkar, Bellarmine faculty member and co-moderator of the Robotics team.  “I would say that our record did not really tell the full story. The tournament definitely had a fair bit of drama. Backlash ran into a few issues during the qualifying rounds. The 254 Pit Crew and our excellent technical mentors were able to identify the problems and patch it for competition.”

There were 59 teams registered to compete in the tournament, including one from Turkey and five teams from China.  A total of 43 Bellarmine students participated on Team 254. 

“I only heard compliments from other teams about our alliance readiness crew,” noted Salgaonkar while conveying praise for the students, indicating that many remained long after the event had ended so they could assist with clean-up at San Jose State University’s Event Center and tear down the field.

Next for The Cheesy Poofs is the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas, taking place April 17-20, with more than 250 teams competing. 

In addition to Mr. Salgaonkar, Bellarmine’s Robotics Team is co-moderated by faculty members Ann Johnson and Brad Lindemann.    

Team 254 from Bellarmine participates in the VEX Robotics Competition (VEX) as well as the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). As a three-time world champion (2011, 2014, 2017), the most decorated team in FIRST, and a member of both the VEX and FRC Hall of Fames, Team 254’s goal is to inspire other robotics teams and our community through STEM outreach in the spirit of FIRST’s Gracious Professionalism.