The Bridgewater-Raritan Competition was full of downs and some very high ups.
On Saturday, the first day of actual competition, the Daleks were 2-7-0. At first, one might think it was a disappointing day. But there were a lot of good things as well. We had new pit walls, which looked sharp in team colors. We had a lot of fan support, which we didn’t have nearly as much of last year. And most importantly, we had also redesigned part of our climber, and we were confident that we could contribute valuable points to our alliances. Sure enough, in match 43, we made it to the top of the pyramid–a feat only accomplished by one other team during the entire competition!
We all went home happy about having finally achieved our season-long goal: to get to the top. We would never do it again.
At the end of the day, both figuratively and literally, we had a very inconsistent robot. We only accomplished a handful of 10-point climbs, a few 20-point climbs, and that one amazing trip to the top. But our amazing senior leaders showed incredible strength–they worked nonstop throughout the competition, even when we were about to go onto the field (and sometimes in the queue). Our robot didn’t always make it onto the pyramid at all, and a couple times it fell off. Our team never gave up, despite the frustration that all of us were feeling. The Daleks poured their heart and soul into this robot, an effort that, while the robot wouldn’t make it to the top again, would come back in the end to reward us in a different way.
The next day, we arrived determined to be drafted into the elimination matches. We worked hard on our robot and nobody wanted to see our season end before lunch. This hard work paid off–we won all of our three matches that day. Despite our victories, we were still only 26th in the rankings before alliance selection, and we sadly didn’t make it into the playoffs. But we were still winners that day, because we were the proud recipients of the prestigious Gracious Professionalism® Award, for “outstanding sportsmanship and continuous Gracious Professionalism® in the heat of competition, both on and off the playing field.” We are honored that the judges selected us as embodying the spirit of FIRST®, and proud that they recognized our dedication to persevering in the face of failure.
We’re disappointed that we didn’t qualify for the MAR Championships in Lehigh, but it has still been an incredible, exciting season! We are thrilled to have been able to take part in some unforgettable moments, matches, and late-night builds.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Team 3637 throughout our adventures, especially our mentors, advisors, and sponsors!
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