Owatonna High School's Robotics Team (a.k.a. Rebel Alliance) competed at the state tournament Saturday at the University of MN. 

The raised floor at Williams Arena was turned into a 25-by-54 foot court for games of three-on-three robot 'basketball.' Exercise balls about two feet in diameter were launched, caught and scored. The 'athletes' were robots designed, built and controlled by 30 teams of Minnesota high school students.

In their second year of having a robotics team, Owatonna competed at state for the first time. They went 3-6 in qualifying, finishing 25th overall. An alliance of teams from Woodbury, Irondale and Chanhassen won the state title

The Minnesota State Robotics Tournament is in its third year and was the first of its kind in the nation sponsored by a high school activities association. It was conducted on the famous raised floor of “The Barn.” Students on 30 teams throughout Minnesota competed.

Owatonna senior co-captain Marty Gleason spoke with KRFO Radio before the tournament:

Aerial AssistSM is the name of the game, the same game that robotics teams throughout the country played this year. Designed and managed by FIRST®, — For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technologythe game involves two competing alliances of three teams attempting to launch and catch and score with the exercise balls as many times as possible in a two minute and 15 second match using their remote-controlled robots they designed and built.



  • Co-Captains: Emily DeNio and Marty Gleason (both seniors)
  • Arthur Bartholomew 12
  • Jessica Beckman 11
  • Sam Bendorf 9
  • Stephan Bourne 10
  • Owen Davis 11
  • Trevor Duerr 10
  • Timon Higgins 12
  • Braden Holmes 11
  • Evan Holt 9
  • Carter Hyronimus 12
  • Dakota Johnson 10
  • Tyler Kain 10
  • Kyle Lewis 11
  • Noah Moore 11
  • Eli Ojeda 12
  • Pranshu Parmar 12
  • Michael Pfeifer 11
  • Morgan Rappe 9
  • Tate Romnes 11
  • Eric Runner 11
  • Ethan Schulz 11
  • Joel Seaser 11
  • Donovan Simonson 11
  • Preston Smith 12
  • Ben Stephens 12
  • Aaron Tryhus 11
  • Jackie Warehime 11
  • Nili Waypa 12
  • Shannon Zwaniger 10


Larry Chladek, Glenn Duerr, Steve Frank, Kevin Hyronimus, Wes Kain, Dann Rypka, Karl Schulz, Dale Sellner, Dana Simonson, Terry Strand, Derrick VanDenBroeke, Jarrod Neuharth, Trevor Carlson and Jeff Dusek. Vickie Gleason has been our parent coordinator.

Valorie Rose & Dam Nguyen are the advisors.

Additional facts about Minnesota robotics:

•        The growth of robotics programs in the state has been exponential. In 2006 there were only two teams; 16 in 2007; 54 in 2008; 81 in 2009; 105 in 2010; 131 in 2011; 153 in 2012; 180 in 2013; and 207 teams in 2014.
•        Edina is in its ninth year of competition, the longest running robotics program in the state. The program was initiated by a junior who built the robot in his dad’s kitchen. Eighty percent of Edina’s robotics team graduates pursue higher education in either engineering or science.

Read more at mshsl.org.