Gaulbots to Compete in Regional Championships
Webb’s senior robotics team – the 358 Gaulbots – will compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Championship on Saturday, March 12 at Monrovia High School.
The team advanced to the finals after a thrilling performance at a qualifying competition held Feb. 20 that included Webb’s two younger teams, 19888 Code Alf-a and 359 Webb.EXE.
“The entire tournament was a roller coaster,” Gaulbot team member Victor Zhang ’22 said. “We pushed as hard as we could and, with a bit of luck, we were able to win.”
Zhang credited the team’s success to hours spent in the lab “grinding on designing, testing and coding, and having a great team dynamic.”
“Every team member contributed to the robot,” he said. “Through months of training, trial and error, we built a robot we were excited to bring to the competition.”
Still, the team didn’t know how its robot would fare against the competition.
Strong victories in the contest’s first two matches buoyed the Gaulbots, but they lost their third match by just two points while sustaining damage to the robot. That was followed by a second and third loss.
A new alliance and a flawless performance by the robot – despite yet more mechanical challenges – earned the team the day’s highest score yet and propelled it into the finals. There, Webb notched an even higher score en route to defeating opponents in two straight matches.
Physics teacher Andrew Hamilton, who coaches the teams along with math and computer science teacher Carissa DeRanek, praised all three Webb teams for their performance at the February contest.
“The teams did incredibly well,” Hamilton said. “They have a lot to be proud of.”
Code Alf-a – Webb’s rookie team – battled above its weight through the daylong contest, going down by just one point to a power-house team from LaCañada.
Webb.EXE – which includes a mix of rookies and more experienced competitors – put up huge points all day and was selected to compete in the playoffs in an alliance with the top-seeded team from Marlborough School.
“We went into the competition knowing that it would most likely be the last one of the season, so it felt like our chance to make the most of all the hard work we put in this season,” Webb.EXE team member Aiperi Bush ’24.
“When we got selected by the top team in the competition to join their alliance, my entire team was in complete shock because we hadn’t thought that a mostly newbie team like us could make it that far. Even though we didn’t make it past semi-finals, we were all really proud of ourselves for our performance in the competition,” Bush said.