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The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

Team 7157 Mubotics Crowned Beach Blitz Champs

Amber Lee
Danica Alejo, senior, and pit crew member, checks the elevator and makes sure it runs smoothly. Team 7157 Mubotics notched a win in their final competition of the season, Beach Blitz, on Nov. 5.

BOHS’s Team 7157 Mubotics saved their best for last with a championship-clinching performance in the final appearance of the team’s most successful robot to date, Tai Lung.

The win at Beach Blitz, hosted by Capistrano Valley High School from Nov. 3 to 5, earned the team its second-ever “blue banner.”  

“The final round of the competition was very nerve-racking. In the driver’s station, all I could think about was that this is the very last match of Charged Up that our team, and our bot, will ever play,” Aaron Yoon, junior, and programming lead, said.

Going into the competition, victory was not assured.

The drive team, consisting of three veteran members — Christian Hudson, senior, drive coach, and strategy lead; Matthew Pinskey, junior and build lead; and Yoon — was joined by two freshmen: Jonathan Kwon, who controlled the robot to score on the field, and Christian Lee, who dropped game pieces into the robot’s intake.

“It’s truly incredible how we, even though we have a brand new pit crew and a brand new drive team, were still able to win the competition,” Austin Yamamoto, senior, and president of Team 7157, said.

Team 7157 Mubotics

“This was my first ever year doing anything on the team, and I somehow helped us win the entire competition, which made me really happy,” Lee, in his rookie season, said.

Hudson acknowledged that the freshmen stepped up during competition. “They got to see what it looked like to win at [October’s] Tidal Tumble, but this time they were able to convert it to a win,” he said.

In this year’s contest, Charged Up, the robot’s objective was to place as many cubes and cones onto a scoring grid for points. The first 15 seconds of the match is autonomous, where the robot scores purely based on its coded function with no driver. In the final seconds of each match, robots then have to balance on a seesaw-like charging station with the two other robots. 

On day one, teams arrived at the venue to set up their pit and practiced driving the robot on the field.

Qualification matches took place on day two, where three robotics teams were randomly selected to be on an alliance, either red or blue, to compete against another alliance. 

Mubotics won nine of their ten qualification matches. 

“The robots at Beach Blitz weren’t slouches. Even a month ago, I wouldn’t have realized that it was going to be this competitive. We had to fight our way to the top,” Hudson said.

Teams that scored higher from the qualification matches earned more ranking points. The top eight teams from day two would get to pick which two robots would be in their alliance, which would lead to favorable odds in elimination rounds for day three. 

Team 7157 Mubotics, ranked first, selected Team 359 Hawaiian Kids (Waialua, Hawaii), and Team 4079 Quantum Leap (Cypress, Calif.) to be in the first alliance. Team 4276 Surf City Vikings, from Huntington Beach, was also on the first alliance as a substitute in the event a robot would not function.

Hudson was especially excited to work with the Hawaiian Kids, who have won multiple blue banners this year. “They are consistently a really competitive team, and it was nice learning from them and working alongside them to get the banner,” he said.

The robots at Beach Blitz weren’t slouches. Even a month ago, I wouldn’t have realized that it was going to be this competitive. We had to fight our way to the top.

— Christian Hudson, senior

On day three, Mubotics lost the first round of eliminations against alliance eight, 203-188. 

Due to the loss, Team 7157 moved to the lower bracket, composed of the teams that lost their first match.

“There were no easy matches for eliminations,” Hudson said. 

However, Team 7157 advanced through the next four matches in the lower bracket and made it to the finals. The showdown came down to the best of three matches between alliance one versus alliance eight, the alliance that had defeated Team 7157 in the first match earlier that day.

“We really went full circle. It was our chance to prove ourselves because mechanically and technically, our robot had what it took to win,” Danica Alejo, senior, and pit crew member, said. Throughout the competition, Alejo performed maintenance of the robot to ensure that it was in optimal playing condition.

In the first finals match, Mubotics was edged 204-201. 

Jonathan Kwon, freshman, and robot driver, felt that they “could not lose after working so hard to get into the finals,” despite losing the initial stage.

Finals two ended in a win, 201-197, so the contest went to a tiebreaker in the third round.

“It was the last match that determined if we were going to come home with a blue banner or not. Everything came up in this match,” Yoon said.

After the autonomous period, Kwon locked in, steering the robot across the field, avoiding collisions and ensuring that each cube and cone were placed in the scoring grid. Three 150-pound robots inched forward to balance on the charge station as the two minute, 30 second clock neared zero. 

The audience waited for the updated scoreboard. The result: 199-155. Team 7157 were tournament champs.

“After countless hours of drive practice with our drive team, long days of scouting and strategy, and all the fixes on Tai Lung, our hard work paid off,” Kwon said.

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About the Contributor
Ellen Kim
Ellen Kim, Editor-in-Chief
Ellen Kim, senior, has been a member of the newspaper staff since her freshman year and is excited to lead the staff as Editor-in-Chief. Alongside her leadership in the Wildcat, Ellen is involved in ASB as Senior Class President and can be spotted in many clubs and organizations across campus including HOSA, Mubotics, Orchestra, and FTOC. Outside of school, Ellen can be found learning the ukulele, listening to her favorite pop tunes, or playing a competitive round of Uno. Ellen has published over 35 pieces for the Wildcat and is thrilled to create lots more during her final year at BOHS.
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