Presentation Invasion


Ryann McManus, Sport's Editor

Presentation Invasion, Pres’ own robotics team, has been making a statement at their past few competitions. Most recently, while other Pres girls were catching up on schoolwork or working on their CRP last month, Presentation Invasion was in Madera, competing in the Central Valley Regional tournament.

After putting hours of hard work into building their robot “Crush,” the team was excited to compete. “Robotics competitions are always a lot of fun as we get to showcase and demonstrate our robot, interact and strategize with other teams, and foster our love for STEM,” said sophomore Anjali Sinha, the team’s Manufacturing Lead.

Entering the competition, the team had a rocky start.  Robotics Coach Jeff Mullins said in an email to the Pres faculty and students: “We started out with a couple of tough losses in our first matches on Saturday, so we were in 47th (last place) for a bit. Then things began to come together.”

The team was able to recover, winning five out of the next seven matches, ending up in 17th place for qualification rounds. After qualification rounds, the top eight teams choose two other teams to form an alliance, forming 3 v. 3 alliances for the elimination rounds. The teams win and lose together as one unit.

Presentation Invasion was chosen by the second seed alliance, Citrus Circuits (UC Davis/Davis High School) and MadTown Robotics (Madera). Both teams were very prominent and successful in the past years, Citrus Circuits being the 2015 National Champions, so the alliance was a competitive one.

“Both have been very supportive of our team and we always enjoy working together, but we had to take on the top-seeded alliance to win–not an easy path,” said Mullins.

The alliance was able to work together to shut down the first place alliance, with Crush completing every climb in the endgame.  Junior Alyssa Ungerer, Control Systems and Software Lead, said, “The most exciting moment during the Central Valley Regional competition in Madera was watching the robots climb the rope in the second final match just as our alliance won the game.”

Presentation Invasion’s alliance finished in first, securing them a spot at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship in Houston during Easter break. “I have to admit, I did get emotional because the team has put in so much hard work, dedication and effort throughout build season,” Ungerer said.  “This win means everything to me.”

Sinha agrees, “Winning the regional was a great experience especially because we put hundreds of hours into building this robot.  The members on our team have invested hundreds of hours in designing, manufacturing, assembling, and coding the robot, and getting the opportunity to compete and emerge victorious was a nod to all of the dedication and spirit that our team has.”