Murrieta Valley High School robotics students can add another accomplishment to their resumes.
One of three Murrieta Valley robotics teams who traveled to California State University at Northridge to compete in their largest tournament of the year won the entire event, according to a news release.
There were 72 teams in attendance at the CSUN Los Angeles VEX Robotics Competition Championship, according to Murrieta Valley High School Robotics, Engineering and Drafting Teacher Kevin Bradley, who accompanied the teams to the tournament. Teams hailed from California, while two were from the United Kingdom, he said.
VEX Robotics competitions are affiliated with the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, which exists to connect students, mentors, and schools in every community to a variety of successful and engaging technology-based programs, according to its website.
"Our goal is to provide these programs with services, solutions, and a community that allows them to flourish in a way that fosters the technical and interpersonal skills necessary for students to succeed in the 21st Century," the foundation says.
The competition held Saturday was a timed contest dubbed "Sack Attack," during which each team had to use a robot they created to move as many bean bags—called sacks—as they could into a goal. Green sacks were worth five points each and yellow worth 10, Bradley said. Teams could also score in the high goal, which is 30 inches off the ground, he said; in the high goal, green sacks were worth 10 and yellow worth 20.
Murrieta Valley students competed as part of three separate teams: 569A, 569B and 569C.
An alliance comprised of Murrieta Valley Team 569C and two teams from Granada Hills Charter Hill School earned first place in the tournament after defeating an alliance that included another Murrieta Valley team, Team 569 A—the reigning world champion.
Team 569C includes students Devin Bailey, Jenna Patton, Ryan Berger, Bryce Longacre, Noah Ekstrom, William Davidian, Remy Doucet, Bryan Doney, Chance Tran, Steven Vidaure, Matt Woods and Toren Schurb.
"(They) had a dominant robot amongst this very strong field. They not only beat our very own defending world champs in the divisional finals, but then went on to beat the other divisional champs to win the entire tournament," Bradley said.
(Watch a video of Team 569C in action by clicking here.)
During the tournament, Team 569C also earned the Think Award, Bradley said, for their "amazing autonomous skills and impressive interview with the judges."
Bradley said the win qualified Team 569C for this year's World Championships, to be held in April at Anaheim Convention Center.
Murrieta Valley's other teams were also commended for their performances.
Team 569A's performance led to it being selected as part of the No. 1- seeded alliance in its division.
"They made it to the divisional finals where one of our other teams, 569C was able to beat them," Bradley said. "Team 569A continues to improve as they continue their quest to defend their world championship title."
Team 569A is comprised of students Jordan Niell, Erik Ruiz, Harrison Chea, Matthew DeNava, Grady Quinn, Roger Scherer, Jordan Petersen, Vishakh Pillai, Ruvan Jayasinghe, Cooper Helms, Connor Crawford, Dario Fenaroli, Royce Sato, Darren Wang and Camille Maxwell.
Team 569 B also had an "excellent morning going 5-1 in the qualifying rounds," Bradley said.
"They ended up being the fourth seed in their division. They excelled in the playoffs, but were unfortunately knocked out in the divisional semifinals," Bradley said. "However, Team 569B does have an Amaze Award under their belt and is tied for second place in the league we are in. Look for more good things to come from this team."
Team 569B consists of students Michael Berna, Mason Coram, Michael Riewer, Eric Jimenez, Kevin Cruz, Alex Kehrli, Kyle Kirtland, Isaac Padilla, Ben Boardman and Devon Brotherton.
"Please congratulate these students on a job well done," Bradley said, of all the teams.