Emily Hall – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- The LRHS Technology Students Association (TSA) Mustangs Robotics Program had its most successful competition in its ten-year history with both teams finishing in second place in their divisions, qualifying them both for the VEX Robotics World Championship in April.
“We knew that this was an important match. If we lose, we are not going to Worlds and if we win, we’re going,” Vex team member Joey Robertson said. “It was a lot of built up intensity, followed by a, ‘Wow, we just did it.’”
The 6743a team enjoyed the closest margin of victory.
“We won by one point,” Ryan Hillock said, “At the end of the match, I just stood there, counting up the points trying to make sure. Once, I counted out that we had one more point, I was amazed.”
The next competition will take place Apr. 22- 25 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY. It will test the teams’ robotic design, robot driving skills, and autonomous coding against 1,000 of the best teams in the world.
To prepare, the teams are working on redesigning the robots, based upon issues that came up at the tournament. These observations drive practice, and additional coding. The teams are also working on getting sponsors to fund their work.
“We are excited to go to Worlds no matter how well we do,” Vex team member Cooper Zion said.
The Mustangs Robotics program has come very far over the course of the year. Last year they got last place in their own tournament but now, a year later, they are qualifying for Worlds.
“We are happy that we are getting the chance to push through and be able to do this,” Robertson said.