The Sutherlin 4-H robotics team the Mechanical Maniacs was on the winning alliance at a recent state robotics championship event and will now advance to the regional championship level.

Sponsored by the Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program, the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Tournament for the state of Oregon was held on Feb. 25-26 at Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland.

The statewide robotics competition brought together 48 top middle/high school robotics teams to compete with custom-made robots in a 1.5-day competition called “Velocity Vortex.”

Earlier this year over 200 teams from around Oregon competed at league meets and qualifying tournaments, and the top-performing teams from these events participated in last weekend’s championship.

Based on their performance at the Oregon Championship last weekend, Oregon teams including the Mechanical Maniacs have received invitations to the FTC West Super-Regional Championship, where the top teams from 13 western states will compete on March 9-12 in Tacoma Washington.

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Education and Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Vera Westbrook is the education, nonprofits, and arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4216 or by email at

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