LAMS Hawks show well at Albuquerque tournament

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By The Staff

The internationally attended Albuquerque FIRST Technical Challenge Qualifying Tournament was held for the first time at the Next Gen Academy in Albuquerque.

The Alpha Hawks, a team comprised of mostly eighth-graders, and the Beta Hawks, a team comprised of seventh-graders, competed in a field of 16 robotics teams with older high school teams, teams from Mexico, and Colorado. 

After five seeding matches, where robots are paired together in randomly organized alliance pairs that compete against other robot alliances in this year’ challenge known as FIRST Relic Recovery, the Alphas were second ranked team and the Betas were seeded fifth.

The top four teams automatically advanced to the semifinals but were required to choose one other team to complete their final alliance.

The top team, Data Force from Highlands Ranch Colorado, impressed the participants and audience with its ability to complete all the games challenges and honored the Alpha Hawks by inviting them to join their alliance in the final matches.  

However the Alpha Hawks regretfully declined the invitation in order to be in a position to invite and compete with their sister team, the Beta Hawks. 

The Alphas graciously gave up a chance of an overall win at the tournament, to give the Beta Hawks a better chance to advance to the regional championship tournament. While both the top seeded alliance and the second seeded Hawks beat their semifinal opponents (best of two out of three matches) and advanced to the finals, the Hawks were swept in the final matches, though provided a valiant contest.

The Alpha Hawks had already won an invitation to advance to the Arizona/New Mexico FTC Regional Championship Tournament in Flagstaff in February. The Beta Hawks will begin organizing and planning for next year.

Countless hours have been invested by students, mentors, volunteers and parents who support the teams through the process of creating unique solutions to solving this year’s robotic challenge, and the Hawks’ FTC Robotics teams would like to thank their sponsors, Northern New Mexico Section of ASME, Los Alamos Public Schools, the Los Alamos Middle School, The United Church of Los Alamos and especially their parents and mentors.