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St. Dominic robotics program has strong finish to 10th year

In its 10th season of competition, the St. Dominic Robotics program continues to flourish.

Recently, as part of the annual MO/KS For Inspiration Recognition Science/Technology (FIRST) Challenge State Championship, St. Dominic Team Fluffy 5560 took second out of 30 teams in terms of the Control Award for actual guidance of the robot during competition. Additionally, Fluffy earned sixth place out of the 30 teams competing in terms of overall scoring – coding, strategy and running the robot – at the competition.

Maddie Troesser ’24, said that seeing the team do so well really put a fine finish to the season. Not only that, with so many underclassmen on the team, there is plenty for which to shoot in terms of goals in the coming years.

“It’s really rewarding because we’ve spent so much time working on it, putting it all together,” Troesser said. “I’m pretty excited. I hope we make it to worlds, eventually, because we’re just freshmen. Hopefully, we can make it to worlds in the next three years. It’s great because we have our group and we can be together, getting stronger, the whole time.”

While the final 30 teams made MO/KS out of 144 teams between the states, Robotics coach Jennifer Martin said that sixth place put the team into an upper echelon of competitors.

“Fourth, fifth and sixth were tight,” Martin said. “It could have been anybody’s game. First has instilled what they call gracious professionalism. That means we want to compete with each other at our best. If we’re at a competition and you need a part and I have it, I’m coming over and giving it to you. As Catholics, that piece for me is a huge fundamental piece.”

A distinct advantage for Team Fluffy heading forward is that the group, which is chock full of underclassmen, could well be together for a long time.

Mya Roberson ’24, Team Fluffy business lead, said she really likes what the team has done this year.

“Since we’re a smaller team, it’s easier to communicate with one another, it’s a lot of fun,” Roberson said. “I think we’re all proud of all the work that we’ve done. We feel like the entire year has paid off. We were that close to getting to worlds.”

St. Dominic’s other robotics team, Team Cerberus, had plenty of success in its own right.

In addition to making it to regionals, Cerberus had a pair of students – Xavier Zimmerman ’23 and Aaron Youngman ’23 – earn the honor of making the MO/KS Championships Dean’s List as semifinalists.

“This is nice because this is something I am passionate about and I enjoy,” Zimmerman said. “Other people enjoy it along with me. Everything that we did here this season gives us a sense of pride. We always want to try and aim as high as possible and that’s something we’ll keep doing.”

Members of Team Fluffy this year included: Alexander Troesser '24, Maddie Troesser, Mya Roberson, Lauren Roberson '24, Jacob Lemanski '24.

Team Cerberus consisted of: Emily Bross '21, Christian Radke '21, Brian Wolf '21, Kira Findley '22, Nathan Monday '22, Zimmerman, and Youngman.

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