Defending champs finally get to host
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
More than 30 teams will gather this weekend at Matilda Torres High School for the MadTown ThrowDown, hosted by the World Champion MadTown Robotics team. MadTown Robotics hasn’t hosted its annual event since 2019.
When the MadTown Robotics team won the World Championship in 2019, little did they know that it would take almost three years to be able to defend that championship.
This weekend, MadTown Robotics will host the annual MadTown ThrowDown at Matilda Torres High School as the defending World Champions.
“We’re excited to be the defending champs,” said RC Chahal, MadTown Robotics coach.
Schools will come in Friday to unload and get some practice in. Competition begins Saturday at 10 a.m. and matches will last until about 6 p.m. Competition resumes on Sunday at 9 a.m. and Chahal hopes to wrap everything up by 3 p.m.
“This year, we have less teams because of COVID,” he said. “A lot of the Bay Area teams can’t travel. There will be about 30 teams. Normally, we will have 45-50. It’s going to be small and make less money. It’s going to be fine because teams haven’t competed in two years. They were begging us to compete so we decided to host the event.”
This will be the first event MadTown Robotics will compete in that they can proclaim they are the defending World Champions.
Chahal says the public is allowed to watch the event, but says people must be vaccinated or have a recent negative tests.
“They will have to wear their masks. We’re hoping to put more people in the stands,” Chahal said. “It’s free to watch. Because of COVID, we’re trying to keep it limited. It’s just to make sure the teams feel comfortable.”
MadTown Robotics won the World Championship in 2019. However, their 2020 and 2021 seasons were canceled and this will be the first competition of the 2021-2022 year.
“We’re not even doing out competition robot this year,” Chahal said. “We were so mad we didn’t get to compete last year. The kids made a prototype robot to use this year. We’re three years running defending champions. We’re hoping to win it again.”
Because of the turnover and the lack of competition in the past two years, Chahal said his team is inexperienced and will be using a new robot.
“We’re not entering out competition robot from two years ago because we didn’t even finish it,” he said. “We’re going to let the new kids run a random robot.”
MadTown Robotics moved facilities from Madera High School to a brand-new building on the Matilda Torres High School campus.
“It’s a $10 million building with $2 million in tools,” Chahal said. “The district hooked us up. Everything is sized to what we’re wanted. We’re not adding into the space, we’re just growing into it.”
MadTown Robotic’s season begins in January with the World Championship in April of 2022.
“February is used to build the bots and March is competition time,” he said.