The Pigmice take second at national competition

The robotics team, in its 10th year at Cleveland, traveled to Texas with 17 team members to wrap up a successful year


Clarion photo Photo provided by coach Cindi Carrell

The Pigmice robotics team competed in Houston at the FIRST robotics national championships April 17-20. After joining an alliance, the team lost in the finals, taking second place in their division.

By Alex Hart, Business Manager

The Pigmice, Cleveland’s robotics team, took second place at the FIRST Robotics Championships, also known as “Worlds,” an international competition featuring 403 teams from nine different countries in Houston April 17-20.

The team qualified for the event after a busy spring saw them competing at district events and then a regional event in Tacoma, Washington, where they finished 26th out of 64 teams, said Cindi Carrell, the team’s coach. Based on these results, the team took a waitlist position to gain entrance to the championships.

To defray costs, the team raised $7,000 in a short amount of time so that 17 team members and three chaperones could go to the tournament, Carrell said.

Teams, including the Pigmice, had six weeks to build a robot with the theme “Destination: Deep Space.” The robot had to pick up as many polycarbonate disks or “hatch covers” and orange rubber balls or “cargo” on rockets and cargo ships as possible before returning to their end of the field in two minutes and 30 seconds.

The Pigmice went 5-5-0 in their qualification matches, finishing 21st out of 66 teams in their division. They were then selected by the sixth-ranked “alliance,” a group of four teams, and together they won all four of their quarter and semi-finals matches to get to finals, where they would face the top ranked alliance. They were unable to defeat them and they walked away with second place.

Co-captain Dexter Carpenter, a senior, described their outlook as, “I think that the non-graduating team members have been given the chance to learn from our success and be able to carry that on. I think there will be a learning curve, but I believe they have the capacity to do just as well next season.”

In its 10th season at Cleveland, the Pigmice hope to continue to grow the program. They mentor middle school robotics teams as well as compete at district and regional events.