Category Archives: Ventura Regional

3/25/16 and 3/26/16 – Friday and Saturday – Final Countdown and Goodbyes

The day was Friday. The air felt ripe. Team 696 entered the stadium for the last days of qualifications. Setting up in the stands and pit came naturally, much like muscle reflex. Before many of the other teams even entered the stands, Team 696 was ready.

The last of the qualification rounds flew right by, with Team 696 ranked top 8. Feeling good as they left the building, The Circuit Breakers ate a hearty dinner and headed to bed early. They knew a good-night’s sleep was key to being fully prepared for what was yet to come.

The air was chilly with a faint sea-breeze wafting up to the hotel. Team 696 had gathered all their belongings and packed it onto the bus as it was their last day, Saturday, in Ventura.

After a final breakfast meal at Denny’s, Team 696 headed to finish what they started. The time where the top ranking teams chose who to form an alliance with had finally begun.

Team 696 was chosen, but gratefully declined. The team which Circuit Breakers were going to ask to join their alliance was also chosen but declined, meaning they could not be on the same alliance anymore.

Nevertheless, Team 696 chose two other teams from the group of highly potential and hard-workers that is FIRST Robotics teams, making a full alliance.

The matches were close, but Team 696 ended up getting eliminated before the Final round. Staying till the end, Team 696 gave encouragement to the remaining teams.

Following the Final’s Match, it was time to announce the winners of various awards. Team 696 was flattered to receive their first ever Gracious Professionalism Award.

After the awards’ ceremony, Circuit Breakers packed up and were headed for home. While they had lost, spirits stayed positive on the ride home, congratulating each other and speaking praise about the other teams.

Once back at Clark, Team 696 members were given a short speech that warmed everyone’s hearts. Then they all went their separate ways to get a good night’s sleep.

3/24/16 – Thursday – Ventura Practice

The drive to where the competition was being held in Ventura was fairly short, perhaps a little over five minutes. Team 696 walked first to Denny’s Diner from their hotel for a hearty breakfast. By the end of breakfast everyone was fully awake and excited for the day ahead of them.

There was a beautiful and tear-jerking opening ceremony to start off the competition, and wonderful music to follow it. Quickly after the start of the whole event were Team 696 scouts setting up in the stands and the drive team down in the pits readying Banshee.

Being able to participate in many of the practice rounds, Banshee and its drivers showed much improvement. The automatic portion of the rounds ran smoothly, and during operational Banshee scored many low goals.

There was one minor mistake throughout the day, and that was a premature extension of the arms before an attempt to lift itself. Besides this one issue the day ran smoothly for Team 696.

For dinner, Team 696 had the honor of sharing it with Kathy Looman from Haas. Together they went to eat at a nearby Mexican restaurant. Spending over an hour eating and talking with one-another, they eventually parted ways by the end of the night.

3/23/16 – Wednesday – Beach Fun

Early Wednesday day Team 696 was stationed outside of Clark with their bags. As they would be staying in Ventura over nights for the competition, the team brought along bags full of clothing and their personal belongings. After being loaded onto the bus, their journey began.

The first stop would be at the Haas Automation factory. It was here that Team 696 was led on a wonderful tour of the place, being informed of the history and inner-workings along the way.

Afterwards the team headed to Lazy Dog Cafe for some food as they were hungry from the long drive. Dressed in their team’s shirts, the pink train of students filed into the restaurant and filled a row of tables. Even with this many people Team 696 were respectful and remained quiet for the benefit of other customers.

As the actual competition didn’t start until the next day, Team 696 were able to have some fun. After getting checked into their hotel and rooms, they split off into two groups. The smaller group was tasked with pit-setup, and would join the larger group soon. The larger group headed to the beach, a few minutes away via walking. Dressed for the beach, Team 696 members happily made the journey to the beach for some volleyball and relaxation.

Being careful so as to not injure oneself before competition, four separate volleyball teams were created for the two courts at the beach. It remained friendly and not too serious throughout the day, and everyone had a blast. Mr. Hoard was even able to show off his amazing volleyball skills to the team, who stood in awe as they were utterly beaten to smithereens on the courts.

All too soon was it time to return to the hotel and eat dinner. For this night it was In-n-Out, right next to the hotel. Members ordered food and brought it back to their rooms to eat before bed.

Members were ready for bed before 10, and Mr. Black made the rounds to make sure everyone was comfortable in their rooms. Exhausted from getting beaten on the volleyball fields by Mr. Hoard, Team 696 fell into a deep slumber the first night at Ventura – ready for competition the next day.