The Mankato West Scarlets are becoming known more and more for their strong robotics program.

This past weekend, robotics teams from all over the state converged on St. Cloud for the state tournament.

A number of teams from West won awards for design, others were state finalists and a couple of teams even paired up and won the coveted state title which resulted in a berth at the World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

Head Coach Mark Zenk has high expectations for his squad when they make the trip to Kentucky in April.

“Our goal for the world championship is going to be going down and bringing some hardware back to Minnesota,” Zenk said.

Obviously winning and success makes Robotics more enjoyable, but that isn’t the only reason more students in the region have been getting involved.

“I joined robotics my Freshman year and I’m a senior now," team captain Matt Preis said.  "I joined it just to be part of something and get involved.  I really have a passion for building with my hands and getting involved so it was a perfect fit for me.” 

Preis’s team is undefeated in qualification matches this year and boasts a 58-5 record overall.  This has been the most successful team for him in his high school career.

“We’ve had a successful season," added Preis.  "We’ve won two tournaments now and we won the state championship last weekend.  We’ve took home 4 excellence awards this season which is just awesome for our program and everything.  It speaks volumes on how this program is one of the best in the state.”

The qualifying teams compete at the world championships in Louisville on April 25th through the 28th.  

If your school doesn’t have a robotics team and you or somebody you know may be interested, go to the Mankato West website and find the e-mail of robotics head coach Mark Zenk.  He would be happy to help start any new programs in the area.

--KEYC News 12