From March 21st to 23rd, we traveled to our second district competition in Greenville, Texas. This time we went against 41 other teams and this competition came out with a surprise in the end.
On the first day, some of our pit members went to the high school to go and work on the robot and practice while the other members went touring around downtown Greenville. There were lots of unique shops and beautifully drawn murals. Afterwards, we had a great dinner at Braums with burgers and ice cream. Of course, we had to take some pictures. 🙂
Then came the first day of qualifying matches! We were able to pass inspection and so now we were just getting ready for our first match. We won our first match of the day and this definitely got us pumped up. Then, we were able to win our second match, then our third, fourth, fifth, sixth, in fact we won 10 out of 12 of our qualifier matches! The mechanisms of our robot were working well with only a few minor tweaks in between matches and because of that, we were able to develop an auto-align feature on our robot. This lets us press and hold a button to where the robot will find a target and it’ll drive to that target. This helped to cut our cycle time in half. As the matches went on, we improved our cycles and only focused on the hatch panels. We could have gone for scoring cargo, but we decided to play to our strengths. Eventually, we were also able to develop a level three climb by using a suction cup. Our suction cup method actually worked in one of our matches but we didn’t have enough suction to carry the weight so the robot fell off before five seconds. Although we had some issues with the robot, they were very high level which are things that good teams look out for. At the end of qualifiers, we were ranked 7 and became alliance captains. After careful studying, we chose Team 3005 RoboChargers and Team 1745, The P-51 Mustangs, thus making the 4th seed alliance.
During quarterfinal matches, our alliance was against the 5th seed alliance. The other alliance put up a strong fight where after two matches, it was 1-1. But on the third match, we were able to win and advance to semifinals! Our whole team cheered and was excited for the next few matches. For the semifinals, we were against the 1st seed alliance and unfortunately we lost both matches. In the end, we were able to improve so much that we placed 8 hatch panels in our very last match. Right now, as we prepare for district champs, we are working to improve our hatch and cargo mechanism.
Not only was the robot working hard, but we also nominated two of our members for Dean’s List award. We nominated Will Tomshe and Kameela Baagil to have an interview with judges as we felt they were outstanding students and leaders on our team. Kameela couldn’t be with us at Greenville but she working hard on the interview at home! Our Chairman’s team was also working to pull off another great presentation for the judges. On Friday, our Chairman’s presenters practiced all morning and when it came closer to their presentation time, they changed into their formal clothes and once they put on their Chairman’s presenter badges, you know they are ready.
As the presenters went into the room, those waiting felt anxious and nervous for what was going on inside the classroom. For what felt like an eternity, our presenters walked out with their bulky monitor and told those waiting all the details. During the presentation, they were cut off and were not able to finish the whole presentation but thankfully, they could answer the questions easily. We were worried because of our time but also relieved to have finished. All that was left was to wait…and take some pictures. 🙂
Now it was time for the award ceremony. As they announced each award, our faces grew more anxious as our number hadn’t been called out yet. As the awards were drawing closer to the end, it seemed as though we would leave Greenville empty handed. Then the last award was starting to be announced: the Chairman’s Award. As the MC described the team that won, we couldn’t depict which team it would be. But then, as the numbers 3-7-3-5 were called out, screaming and crying filled the stadium! We all couldn’t believe our ears! Our whole team went down, with the presenters at the front, and high fived all the judges. Not only that, but our Chairman’s Video also played on the big screen which triggered even more tears.
Greenville is definitely one to be remembered and will go down in VorTX history. We had so much fun teaming with RoboChargers and The P-51 Mustangs! Also VorTX 3735 won the District Chairman’s Award for the first time which also qualified us for district championships! We definitely celebrated on the way back!
Good luck to all the teams qualified for district championships and make sure to support us in Austin and World Championships in April!