By Alexis Sheets

March sixteenth through the eighteenth the Umatilla Robotics Club had their second regional competition of the season in Ellensburg Washington. They placed in second overall and won the Chairman’s Award, the highest honor a team can receive at competition. This is one team member’s perspective:

We left around 6:30 pm on March 16; a Thursday. We all rode on a bus, sitting by our friends. I sat in the front with Tyler Lowrance. Most of us either sang, messed around, or slept. Both Tyler and I tried to sleep but failed miserably, so instead we listened to music and sang with everyone else. Before heading to the hotel we stopped at a restaurant called Miners. Ordering burgers, fries and whatever else we could get without going over the $10 limit.

In the hotel, I room with Loreli Ortiz, Tira Wyckoff, and Gwen Wynn. Usually we just watch TV together or go out in the lobby. During this competition though, I played Magic: The Gathering with Omar Benitez, Tyler, and Tira. Tyler destroyed us all. Mr.Franks (one of our mentors) tried his best to help Omar beat the monster known as Tyler but unfortunately Omar lost.

During our first day of competition I had to scout, which means I had to mark down information of a certain team during a match. I had to do this for 10 matches, each match lasting at least 10 minutes. Once I’m done with that I either look around with my friends, or go down the stands to help the others cheer our drive team on. After competition the team would go out and eat or we would just have pizza in our hotel rooms. During this night, everyone in my room including me, were really tired and bored so we watched a Beyblade Burst marathon on tv hoping to fall asleep.

During the second day it wasn’t that different from the first day. I scouted, cheered and had fun with my friends. I believed our team did well, though it was hard sometimes to read the board on what rank we came in.  After competition we ate and went to our hotels.

The third and last day of competition was the most important because we made it to the finals, and eventually our team got 2 placed, which we were awarded with medals. After the final matches of the day, we waited patiently and nervously for the rest of the awards. The Chairman’s Award being the most important to us. Finally when the announcer began talking about the winning Chairman’s team, little hints were given off about our team – puns about being “confidential” tipped us off – which made many of us squeal with joy.

Then it happened, our team name was called and we all got up from our seats yelling, hugging, crying with joy. It was a very emotional day for all of us. We couldn’t contain our joy in as we walked among the judges, high-fiving them as they gave us our Chairman’s metals. Afterwards we went out and ate, then headed home ready to go sleep in our beds from the long emotional weekend.