Robotics continues to dominate


(From left to right) Advisor Rodger Dohm, junior Antonio Pantaleon, senior Isabel Vargas, senior Avery Donaldson, and sophomore Brendan Aeria pose proudly with their Chairman’s Award at the 2022 San Diego Regional Robotics Competition.

 In hopes of qualifying for the World Championship in Houston in April Poway High’s Team Spyder Robotics Team set foot onto Del Mar Fairgrounds on Fri., March 18 and Sat., March 19 to compete at FRC San Diego Regional robotics competition. The tensions rose as they competed throughout the long tiring weekend, since January 8th the team has been spending tremendous amounts of time and effort into their projects, so obtaining an award was a great desire. 

“We were able to make it up to the semifinals of the competition as the 6th seed alliance. And we won the Chairman’s Award which is the most prestigious award that’s more business-related instead of robot,” Vice President of Public Relations, senior Isabel Vargas said.

Winning the Chairman’s Award,put them on track to attend the championship in Houston. They will also compete in Idaho the last week of March. 

“It was the first San Diego competition since the pandemic, so it was wonderful to finally compete and socialize with the other robotics teams from San Diego, and winning the Chairman’s Award was a great way to celebrate our team’s success over the pandemic,” Team Spyder President, sophomore Brendan Aeria, said.

Throughout the tournament not only did the team obtain a great accomplishment but they as well learned new ways to improve their models and cultivated everlasting memories. 

“I loved cheering and celebrating with the team after we were awarded medals and banners,” Vice President of Business, senior Avery Donaldson said.

Members were ecstatic to be able to experience the victory altogether as a team after all their hard work. Receiving the Chairman’s award was such an honor because it is the most prestigious FIRST Robotics Competition award. 

“The award recognizes a team that reflects sustained excellence and impact within the FIRST community, in its own community, and beyond” stated on the FIRST website.

This successful weekend created many amazing memories within the team. 

“My favorite memory would definitely be once they announced the Chairman’s Award because both Avery and I had a big impact on that award and it was amazing to be able to win it with her,” Vargas said.

The team is excited to attend the next regional competition, however, they have some minor details they want to perfect before the event. 

“This season we hope to improve the programming of our robot so that we can automate more tasks and have the drive team have more practice with driving the robot, so they are more comfortable with it,” Aeria said. 

Team Spyder will be competing against 400 to 500 teams in Houston April 20th through April 23rd so be sure to wish them good luck.