ORADELL, NJ - The Millburn High School Robotics team won the Northern New Jersey Meet Championship at River Dell High School on Sunday.

Coming off of a loss at the Cliffhanger II Meet two weeks earlier, SallyJoeBot and the MHS Robotics team were facing the end of their inaugural season as competitors in the FIRST Tech Challenge. This regional qualifier would be the team’s last chance to advance to the upcoming state tournament; for the first time this year, if they lost at this meet, the team’s season would be over. Build team leader Kirk Willens, code team leader Erik Lamp, and the rest of the team were working overtime for the week leading up to the competition to make sure everything would be ready on time.

By the end of the seeding rounds, the team’s chances were not looking very good. Millburn won just three out of the five seeding rounds, mostly due to coding issues, and the team was worried about finishing well enough to even move on to the elimination phase of the tournament. Fortunately, the first place team, Megahertz!, selected Millburn as an alliance partner. The alliance proceeded to win every elimination round, despite continuing issues with the programming, and ultimately won the entire competition.

In addition, thanks to the efforts of team leader Ryan Sullivan, Millburn’s past documentation was greatly improved. The existing Engineering Notebook was reorganized, and a new section on the team’s outreach activities was added. As a result, the team also won the Inspire Award, the most prestigious award that recognizes a team’s performance both on and off the field.

SallyJoeBot will next compete in the New Jersey FTC State Championship Tournament at NJIT on March 8. The MHS Robotics team is coached by high school computer science teacher David Farrell. For more information about MHS Robotics, visit https://www.facebook.com/MillburnRobotics.