Yorkton Regional High School continued to punch above its weight in national robotics competition this month in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Provincial robotics champions Brent Chiasson, Sean Furber, Brett Guenther and James Thiessen took gold in the 22nd Annual Skills Canada National Competition June 5-8.
The foursome did not lose a single match over the three days of competition.
“They were the class of the field and persevered throughout,” said Kevin Chiasson, robotics coach.
He attributed the success to preparation.
“Just looking at the design, I knew they would easily be 30 seconds ahead of everyone else.”
They are now qualified—pending Canadian Trials, which the coach said will not be a problem—to represent Canada at the World Skills competition in Abu Dhabi, Dubai in 2017. Leading up to that they will get some high level experience in Ottawa in September and international “fun” competitions in Sweden in December and somewhere yet-to-be-determined in the spring.
In the past five years, the YRHS robotics program has represented Saskatchewan four times at Skills Canada and brought home three national titles.
In 2012, Bo Chiasson, Jayden Leister, Rachel Machnee and Taylor Pachal kicked off the school’s winning ways with Saskatchewan and national gold and qualified to represent Canada at the 2012 World Skills Americas championship in Sao Paulo and the global championship in Leipzig Germany in 2013.
They struck gold again in Sao Paulo, but came middle of the pack in Germany.
In 2013, an off-year for World Skills qualifying, Brayden Miller, Joshua Tysowski, Mike Koshuska and Carter Park made it back-to-back national titles for YRHS.
The following year, the team of Drew Bulitz, Miller, Park and Tysowski came up short at nationals with a bronze propelling the Ontario duo of Zachary Larose and Maxime Marineau to Team Canada for the worlds in Brazil.
In 2015, the YRHS team took second to Regina’s Campbell Collegiate and missed out on Skills Canada.
Interestingly, in 2011, the year prior to the Regional kicking off its impressive run, Yorkton’s Sacred Heart High School won the provincial title. Nicoli Ochitwa and Jaedo Pellatt went on to place sixth at the national level.