Robotics team headed for nationals

CARMEL VALLEY — Amid much cheering and applause, Canyon Crest Academy’s Robotics Competition team, the Aluminum Narwhals, captured the Rookie All-Star Award at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, San Diego Regional Competition on March 6.
The All-Star award is the top award given at the regional competition, based upon the performance of its robot, an essay and video and interviews with 21 judges from California’s top engineering companies over a two-day period of the competition.
The award includes an invitation to compete at the FIRST national championships April 15 through April 17 in Atlanta.
CCA faced off against 49 high school robotics teams from around the country and seven other rookie teams in the three-day tournament. CCA’s robotics team earned its place in the FIRST San Diego competition by designing, building, and programming a sophisticated robot in just six weeks that could play this year’s game, Breakaway, a fast-paced variation of soccer.
Team President Logan Mercer, a junior at CCA, acted as spokesperson for the team in the interviews, and answered questions on the robot. The team’s video may be viewed at
The team’s robot was remotely operated by a drive team of junior Michael Wahl and sophomores Garrison Price, James Quintana and Jared Schrok. The team’s pit crew at the competition was senior Dominic Dufour, sophomore James Dial and freshmen Pia Elbe and Brian Sandler. In addition, freshmen Nic Stone and Nick Van Campen acted as scouts for the team, junior Tyler Carter was the team’s ambassador to the VIPs at the event, and senior Ben Brust and sophomore Aryan Sanikhatam shared duties as the team’s Aluminum Narwhal mascot.
“Winning this award was an enormous team effort,” Mercer said. “We have a lot of talented students on our team and a great relationship with our mentors and teachers. The All-Star award is very motivating and we feel confident taking our team to Nationals. We are proud to be representing our high school and the city of San Diego.”
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