Climbing Up The Competitive Ladder
The horn blew signaling 30 seconds left in the match. Nemesis attempted to mount a gear to the airship but were too far away. After multiple attempts they gave up on the gear and headed straight for the newly released rope. Suddenly Nemesis was driving in circles. 5 seconds remained. More circles.The horn blew declaring the end of the match. A win would have sealed the victory delivering Nemesis’ fifth consecutive Hatboro-Horsham win. With this devastating loss, Nemesis was carried off the field only to discover it was missing a wheel.
It is Saturday March 5th and the Hatboro-Horsham District competition is underway. Nemesis FRC2590 from Robbinsville, New Jersey is one of the 36 robotics team from New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania at the event. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, Nemesis arrived at Hatboro High School in Horsham Pennsylvania ready for the 7:30am start. With matches not starting until 11:00, Nemesis is hard at work in the pits. Build Members are scurrying about, making last minute modifications to the robot and Marketing Members are taking pictures and eagerly awaiting visits from the judges.
During their only practice match, Nemesis had a rocky start, struggling to place gears on the pegs, but showcased a successful climb. The Build Team knew what needed to be fixed, and exactly how to fix it. Nemesis was ready.
Back to the pits to prepare for their first qualification match and to fix the gear issue, Nemesis impatiently waited for their time on the field. While Build Members were working on the robot, the Marketing Members were conversing with judges about what it means to be on Nemesis and how “we run our team like a high-tech business”.
Let the games begin. Eris, Nemesis’ FIRST Steamworks robot, had a rough start. After losing the first three matches, the Drive Team worked hard to counteract each issue as it arose and things started looking up. Nemesis finished the qualification matches 6-4-0.
Sophomore Build Team Member, Bhargavi Lanka professed, “My first competition was such a surreal experience! It’s incredible seeing our robot start at the bottom and climb its way up the competition.”
Sunday, shortly after 11:00, alliance selection began. Nemesis found itself on the third seed alliance joining captain FRC3974, E=mcD, and their alliance partner FRC2539, Krypton Cougars.
Dominating both the quarterfinal and semi final matches, Nemesis and the Blue Alliance headed into the finals hoping to bring home the district championship trophy. Alas, the alliance encountered several unwanted difficulties.
The first three finals matches were a win, a tie and a loss for the Blue Alliance. Throughout the tie breaking match the Red and Blue Alliances kept the scores close. By the end of the match the score was 240, Red, and 235, Blue. It all came down to the climb and when a Red robot fell off of the rope the Blue Alliance knew they had the win. But, as Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” As fate would have it, with less than two seconds left on the clock, a Blue Alliance scaling rope broke and the Krypton Cougars’ robot crashed to the ground as the final bell tolled. Because of this series of unfortunate events, the score remained 240-235, with the Red Alliance taking home the win, breaking Nemesis’ Hatboro-Horsham District Event win streak.
The Nemesis family joined together to watch Eris play in her a inaugural competition. Not only were team members and parents on hand to cheer her on, but also, alumni, alumni families and Nemesis friends. Nemesis also had many alumni volunteering at the event and Nemesis students volunteered at the Mid-Atlantic Robotics donation table.
Nemesis took home the Entrepreneurship Award showcasing the Marketing and Business Teams hard work and efforts. The award celebrates a team which has developed a comprehensive business plan and the business skills to ensure a self-sustaining program.
Nemesis and Eris will be competing at Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy District Event, March 18-19 and Festival de Robotique - Montreal Regional, March 23-25.