The robotics team from Charles Finney School in Penfield was not expecting to win the regional FIRST competition, but now they're getting ready for the next stage.



The team placed first out of 49 teams to compete in the Northeast Finger Lakes Regional competition at RIT on March 2 and will advance to the world championships in St. Louis, MO next month.

The robotics team from Charles Finney School in Penfield was not expecting to win the regional FIRST competition, but now they're getting ready for the next stage.

The team placed first out of 49 teams to compete in the Northeast Finger Lakes Regional competition at RIT March 2 and will advance to the world championships in St. Louis, MO next month.

This was Finney's first win since 2004.

Team mentor and Finney math teacher Larry Latona said Team 1405 entered Gordon Athletic Field House with low expectations, based on their average performance in years past.

Their robot, Mr. Roboto, placed fourth out of the top eight teams who qualified for the finals on Friday. They then chose Canandaigua and Victor as their team "allies" in the finals on Saturday, ultimately defeating Rochester teams like McQuaid and Webster to claim the championship.

"If you can believe, you can succeed," said Latona, who said the team managed to stay positive and have faith in the face of difficulty. "I'm very proud of the teamwork. It all came together."

The team consists of about 20 students and nine adult mentors. They will compete in St. Louis starting April 24.