On December 15, the Windward Omnicats rose bright and early to travel to Hesperia one final time for the Desert League VEX Robotics Championship. By event's end, the Omnicats had walked away with the best performance in the School's VEX Robotics history.
The tournament began as the previous three - with inspection. After our teams fixed minor last minute oddities on their robots, all were approved and ready. Next came the selection process. 14 teams selected their alliance partners for a 28 team single-elimination tournament to determine the tournament champion. The first seed team from Burros Robotics chose our team 5871c, OccelottaProblems!. The third seed team, our very own team 5871f, ClawshankRedemption, chose another Windward team, 5871a, GenericCatPun. This left teams 5871g, Purrrrrrgatory, and 5871b, CarelessWhisker. Purrrrrrgatory chose CarelessWhisker when their time to choose came up.
With the teams set, the quick elimination rounds began. 5871c and the alliance of 5871a and 5871f got byes during the first round. During their first round, Purrrrrgatory and CarelessWhisker were defeated. Although both robots performed well during the match, a lost opportunity during the autonomous portion and a loss of the climbing dominance nevertheless resulted in a loss.
Quarterfinals and semifinals established the dominance of the remaining three Windward teams. Both soundly defeated their foes in each match. In one case, the opposing alliance was completely routed with a score of 39-0. These victories set the stage for a final match between Burros with 5871c, and 5871f with 5871a - three of the teams in finals came from Windward!
Before the final match, a preliminary awards ceremony was held. Recognition for superior programming, design, and teamwork was given. Windward took home the Think Award for the best programming, and the Teamwork Award.
The final match held the audience rapt. The two highest ranked teams were titans of flag scoring, while the alliance of ClawshankRedemption and GenericCatPun possessed one excellent flag scorer and one excellent cap scoring robot. With one match, any mistakes made a huge impact. While 5871a’s autonomous cap scoring delighted everyone in the previous three matches, it failed to succeed in the final match. Coupled with the climbing performance of the Burros bot and the flag execution of 5871c, the autonomous went to the Burros/5871c alliance. By the end, while not a rout, the victory went to Burros and 5871c. Teams 5871f and 5871a would leave with semi-finalist trophies.
Team 5871c, by winning the tournament, simultaneously qualified for the State Championship in March (likely to be held in LaVerne, Ca), as well as the National Championship to be held in Omaha in April.
Excellent showing, Omnicats!