SPARTA — Andy Cooley and Sarah Cooley are returning to Louisville for the VEX Robotics World Championships. The siblings qualified last year when they were in a group with Hannah Cecil.
Andy and Sarah qualified for the World Competition by making it to the semi-finals during the state competition tournament at Columbus East High School on March 10. During the qualifying rounds of the state competition, the team had 7 wins with 1 loss and finished in fifth place to qualify for the state elimination tournament.
The twins had a three-team alliance with teams from both Bellefontaine High School and Perry High School. Entering the tournament as the number 5 seed, they had to eliminate the number 4 seed alliance in the quarterfinals. The alliance faced the number 1 seed in the semi-finals, and took them to a tie-breaking third match before finally bowing out of the tournament.
The semi-final finish qualified them for the World Competition. They are one of 18 teams that have qualified for the world competition from the state of Ohio. The world competition will have approximately 588 teams from around the world, including Europe, Japan, China and the United States.
Andy and Sarah are both seniors at Highland High School and have been doing robotics since the seventh grade. Andy made it to the middle school state competition in eighth grade. Andy and Sarah teamed together in 10th grade and were the first team to qualify from Highland High School for the state competition.
They followed it up with their first world qualification during their junior year. They have been a vital part of creating a solid engineering and robotics program within the Highland school system. Andy plans to attend Ohio Northern University to major in mechanical engineering. Sarah plans to attend Bowling Green State University to major in forensic science.
To support their trip to Louisville along with the two teams from Highland Middle School that are also going to Louisville, there will be a Pancake Breakfast at Highland High School on Saturday, April 7. It will be in the high school cafeteria from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $5 for all you can eat pancakes along with sausage, fruit and drinks.