Alexandria mechatronics students performed well in the Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference in Bemidji on Saturday, April 17.

They finished third out of 24 teams.

"Macahila Hinnenkamp and Rachel Duchene started our team's climb right away in the morning," said Jennie Mounsdon, seventh and eighth-grade science teacher and head coach of Alexandria's 3313 Mechatronics team. "Our first match was our only loss until finals but that match was a tough fight playing some great teams."

Cody Hunt and Sarah Fuchs went up against some more tough teams and pulled Alexandria into a seventh-place seed ranking before the finals. The Accelerators from Cass Lake Bena was the number-one alliance and Alexandria was its first pick, followed by the Bog Bots from Kelliher.

In the finals, Alexandria took a loss in match one by less than 10 points.

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"Match two we fought back to take the win," Duchene noted. "Finally, match 3, we had a few breakdowns with robots and lost again by only 12 points. It was a hard fought semi-final against an alliance that went on to win the championship."

The Alexandria mechatronics team also won the Northern Minnesota Robotic Conference's "Chairman's Award," which is the most prestigious award to be handed out at the competition, Duchene said. "We completed an interview, essay, executive summary, and video promo to enter and came out on top!" she said.

All students had a part in the win, Duchene said, and the interview team consisted of Sarah Fuchs, Ilana Jensen and Sydney Bock.

Alexandria also took home "Student of the Year" honors which was given to Kailei Johnson.

"To say that we were excited to play in person was an understatement," Duchene said. "We enjoyed great competition and camaraderie with all of the robotics teams. As a coach, I am beyond excited to see what next year holds as we have no graduating seniors on the team this year. I am very proud of this year's team and looking forward to more in person events next year."