Jefferson freshmen win State VEX Robotics Tournament


From left to right: Freshmen Christopher Arraya, Joshua Lim, and Terrel Tan. The team won both both the Excellence Award and the Robot Skills Champion award at the VEX Robotics State competition, on March 1. Photo courtesy of Joshua Lim.

Vikram Achuthan, Staff Writer

The Exobytes earned the Excellence Award and the Robot Skills Champion at the VEX Robotics State tournament on March 1, in Doswell, Va. The team, comprised of freshmen Christopher Arraya, Terrel Tan and Joshua Lim, placed over 59 other teams from across the state.

In order to qualify for the state tournament, the team first had to compete in a series of qualifying rounds that took place last Fall. Their superior performance at these events allowed them to compete against the other top teams in Va.

While both Arraya and Lim had participated in the competition in previous years, it was the first year competing for Tan.

“At first, it was hard to adjust to the environment, but after I caught up, it started to become easier, and it was a smooth process from there,” Tan said.

In the beginning of the season, the team did not meet as often, limiting their practice schedule to only one day a week. As the season progressed, however, the team met for longer periods of time to prepare for the state competition.

“Since we are advancing into higher and higher levels of competition, we try to practice 2 to 3 times a week, for much longer periods of time” Arraya said.

The team was pleased that their hard work paid off in the state competition, and the fact that they were representing Jefferson made the experience even more memorable.

“Winning felt very fulfilling because we put a lot of work into making and programming our robot, and we were able to pull it off at the competition. And it made us proud that we were able to represent TJ this way in the VEX community,” Lim said.

The team now set their sights on the World VEX Championship, which will occur in late April in Louisville, Ky.

“We are looking forward to competing in the world championship, and furthering our success together as a team,” Arraya said.