The weekend of April 7-9 was quite possibly one of the most exciting weekends in the history of George Mason’s robotics Team 1418 “Vae Victis.”
Against 57 other top teams from all over Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC,
The Mustangs achieved a major victory at the Chesapeake District Championship. With the win, Team 1418 qualified for the FIRST World Championships April 27-30 in St. Louis.
Said junior Rachel Baek: “To be honest, I didn’t expect to win. It was the best surprise ever because for the past few years we have been so close to winning, but were never quite able to make it to worlds. When the final scores and rankings were released, I was so incredibly happy. I’m thrilled that we’ve finally accomplished our dreams of making it to the world competition. I’m so proud of my team.”
Junior Camille Borja echoed those sentiments, adding, “It was an amazing experience to work with all these different teams from around our region. I was amazed at how every robot’s design was so distinct, even though we were playing the same game. I am looking forward to seeing new game strategies and working with more teams in our final competition.”
In the initial qualifying rounds, 1418 shot up to first place and remained there for most of the qualifying rounds, up until match 60, which was against three other high-scoring teams: team 1413 “Skrappy’s Zoo” from Skipwith, VA, team 836 “The RoboBees” from Hollywood, MD, and team 1086 “Blue Cheese” from Glenn Allen, VA.
1418 and the rest of the alliance lost that round and the next one, 68. The combined losses were enough to remove George Mason’s team from its comfortable position in first, and the team spent the remaining matches struggling for first place.