On Saturday, Nov. 3, the Windward Omnicats brought their five teams to Sultana High in Hesperia to compete in the second of three league tournaments. On balance, the team fared well, maintaining or improving upon their previous rankings. The Omnicats are currently poised to bring up to three teams to the championship on December 15.
The five teams, named with cat puns to reflect the Windward mascot, all had slightly different experiences. Team 5871a—GenericCatPun—struggled mightily at the last tournament due to unforeseen motor issues and lift problems. They came into this match with the same design, but with some untested claw elements. The team’s robot is a "cap scorer," which seeks to lift caps from the ground with its six-bar system and place them on high or low pegs to secure points. In addition, the team’s "Westcoast drive" proved more than capable of climbing the platforms at the end of the match. The team ultimately made good on their goals, scoring a cap or two during match play. However, their process proved slow as much of the fine tuning is a manual, driver intensive affair. They ended the day with the same ranking as before, a disappointing 29th out of 32. In order to have a chance at selection for the championship, the team will need to make speed and precision improvements on their process and really show off at the last tournament.
Team 5871b—CareLess Whisker—showed up with only one team member, Emma K. '19. Coming into the tournament, the team had a ranking of 22 and was looking to make significant gains. This team, like GenericCatPun, has an expanding lift system and claw designed to place caps, and they are capable of climbing. Emma drove the team’s bot each round and borrowed a student from other teams to coach during each match. With a bit of alliance luck and a tremendous amount of consistent skill, Emma made gains and improved on processes. Although she only scored a high-cap once or twice over the course of the day, her consistent work elevated the team from 22nd to 11th place - well within the top half!
Team5871c—OcelottaProblems!— is the undisputed team to be beat. They brought an improved robot that can shoot and score all flags, as well as turn caps and climb. In addition, their improved autonomous code outscored every other team. The team had a perfect record during the day, bringing their overall win-loss record to 15-1, just shy of the first place spot by the slimmest of margins. Their story during the day was one of trading places back and forth with the top ranked team.
Team5871F—Clawshank Redemption—came to the tournament with a massively changed bot. They replaced their chief scoring mechanism with one based on the OcelottaProblems! Design. Early match play did not go in their favor due to some driver miscalculations, but by the end of the day, Clawshank was dominating. They ended the day at 5th.
Finally, Team 5871G—Purrrrrrrgatory (six r’s, one for each team member)—started the tournament with some big challenges. Namely, the complex cascade lift and new drivetrain were too much to complete in time. A decision was made this last Thursday to retrofit the completed new drivetrain with the old flipper scoring mechanism. Despite this setback and a robot not quite finished at the start of match play, the team did reasonably well, holding on to their mid twenties rank by end of day. Much like GenericCatPun, this team will need to bring out their best on December 1 to have a shot at the championship tournament.
All teams represented Windward exceedingly well. Our students are performing better in these VEX tournaments than we ever have before - we look forward to them ending League Play with great placement and likely tournament victories!