We could have never imagined the outcome of this weekend and what makes it so crazy is that we weren’t even scheduled to compete and were by no means ready.
2 Qualifiers in 7 days, 2 Inspire Awards and Advancement to 2 State Championships
Just seven days earlier after winning a bid to the Arizona State Championship on November the 9th at our first ever FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournament by achieving the highest honor of “Inspire Award” winner, we again this weekend, in our second ever qualifying tournament went on to rank #1 in the qualifying rounds for the win of the Qualifying Finalist Alliance Award and the “Inspire Award” for a second time winning a bid to the New Mexico State Championship in March. If you read the story of the journey to our first tournament in Arizona you might understand what makes this win so special. But wait there’s more…
On our way home from the Arizona Tournament, coach Russ asked if any team members would like to head down to the Alamogordo Tournament the following Saturday to help out if they needed and take the opportunity to scope out the New Mexico Competition. A few members confirmed and on Monday we let the region affiliate partner know that a few of the team that would be down there to help out if that was okay. On Tuesday he responded that a team had dropped out and would we be willing to compete so that we would have a minimum full card.
We asked the team who would like to go compete, with such a short notice, and by Thursday we had everyone but one coach and one team member that couldn’t make it. After making the decision to go and confirming that we’d be there we placed an order for some clamping hubs to replace all the hubs that we had set screw issues with to be delivered by Thursday. In the meantime…
The first win was very emotional for the family of Coach Russ and Isabel as her grandpa who has been her biggest cheer leader and supporter has fallen ill and is currently on hospice care. This first win was like a win for him and during the week on Wed & Thurs they were out of town to visit him, take and show him the robot and trophy that he was such a big part in winning, and to show him that the support and investment in Isabel is really making a difference in her life and for her future. Thank you grandpa/dad for everything.
After getting back into town late Thursday night we got to spend some of Friday working on the robot’s intake, replacing the set screw hubs and then off to an STEM outreach at a school from 6 to 7pm. After the outreach event we packed up and got ready to head out the day of the tournament getting up a 2am and leaving at 3am to make it to the pits by 7am.
The Alamogordo Qualifying Tournament was the first qualifying tournament for the newly formed FTC New Mexico region. It was held at the Chaparral Middle School and hosted by the 704 Test Group, and ASTRO Vikings FRC. It was a fantastic tournament and special thanks to Jim Jackson (FIRST Affiliate Partner for NM), Ford Page from the Griffins Robotics Team and nex+Gen Academy, ASTRO Vikings FRC, the host teams, and so many volunteers (referees, judges, etc.) that make this possible. Thank you to our coaches, mentors and parents with your steadfast participation and great patience with a rookie team. A huge thank you to our sponsors and supporters for which none of this would be possible.
We’ve accomplished 2 of our major goals of qualifying for the state championship in 2 states increasing our odds of making it to World’s. We still have a lot to do with the robot dialing it in, getting in some real practice time, training up an alternative drive team and trying to fundraise for the new expenses to cover 2 State Championship Tournament registration fees and travel to the Arizona tournament in February.
Here is a video of one of our semi-final matches and some photos of the team at the event:
A big thank you to our sponsors: