Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
The MadTown Robotics bot (1323) tries to fill up the third level of its rocket ship during qualification rounds at the annual MadTown Throwdown, hosted by MadTown Robotics. MadTown Robotics won the event, along with alliance members Citrius Circuits and Spartan Robotics.
Fresh off its World Championship earlier this year, MadTown Robotics defended its home turf with the MadTown Throwdown championship in Joe Flores Gym on Sunday.
MadTown Robotics, along with Citrus Circuits and Spartan Robotics, advanced to the championship match with the top seeded alliance. Madtown won the best of three battle to claim the championship.
“You have to know how good you are and do what you have to do,” said MadTown Robotics coach R.C. Chahal. “In the second match, we didn’t play very well. We played well, but we had trouble putting panels on. We said we’ll just put discs on, then.”
MadTown won the MadTown Throwdown last year and, after finishing fourth in the 2018 World Championship, went into this weekend’s competition as the World Champions.
With the title, Chahal said he had to turn a number of teams down in one of the premier offseason robotics competitions.
“We have a lot of teams normally,” he said. “This year, we had 10 or 15 more teams wanting to get in. We were completely filled at 50 teams. We had no room to put them anywhere. I felt bad telling teams they couldn’t come this year.”
Although MadTown was one of the favorites coming into the Throwdown, Chahal said his World Championship driver graduated and he had to break in a new one in one of the top competitions.
“We’ve been training new drivers for years,” Chahal said. “The driver that won the world championship has been here for four years and he’s done. We broke in a new driver and a new kid. It sucks because when you’re the winner, they come after you every match. My new kid is figuring that out the hard way. Every match, he got defended, while other teams didn’t.”
The Throwdown victory allows Chahal to reinforce to his team that they cannot just rest because they already won a championship.
“It’s good to get the win,” he said. “Now, I can tell the kids that you have to put the work in. Some of the kids didn’t believe me because they are so young. They don’t understand that they need to come to the shop everyday. It’s so important. It’s good to get the win for the kids because it says if you work this hard, we can get this.”
Over the past few years, MadTown has become known as one of the top teams in the world, which was reinforced with a World Championship earlier this year.
“I didn’t come to the shop the last couple of months and I told the kids they haven’t been working hard enough,” Chahal said. “If you think next year, we can come out and get the W, you’re mistaken. You have to put the hard work in. We are all about winning. Nobody has fun losing.”