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March 12, 2024

Lincoln Academy Robotics Team 8030A at the State Championships: in the arena at the State Championships while Mr. Burroughs looks on, and receiving their awards, from left: senior Mica Houghton, senior Connor Parson, and junior Joseph Levesque.

By Connor Parson ’24
Special from the Lincoln Academy Eagle’s Talon

On Saturday, March 9th, Lincoln Academy’s Robotics Team 8030A won the Maine State Robotics Championship, becoming the first Lincoln Academy team in history to do so. In addition to being crowned state champions, the team, composed of Mica Houghton, Connor Parson, and Joseph Levesque, also won the competition’s Think Award which recognizes the most effective and consistent use of coding techniques and programming design solutions, and was runner-up in the Skills portion of the competition.

The LA Robotics team qualified all three of their robots, 8030A, 8030B, and 8030C for the State tournament during the regular robotics competition season. The 8030A team picked up two qualifier wins at the Leavitt and Monmouth tournaments. The 8030C team qualified by earning a second place finish at the Monmouth tournament. The 8030B team qualified based on their score in the skills portion of the competition.

Forty-eight robots from across the state competed at the State Championship on March 9. At the tournament, each robot had eight matches during the qualifying round to determine their ranking. Each qualifying match had four robots randomly assigned to two-team alliances, who then faced off in the match. The ranking coming out of the qualifying round led to alliance selection for the elimination round. During alliance selection, teams pick their alliances for the elimination round through a schoolyard-style pick. The elimination round is structured as a single-elimination bracket of sixteen alliances, with a best of three match in the final round.

The three Lincoln Academy robots each had different levels of success during the qualifying rounds of the tournament. Team 8030A had a successful showing, with seven wins and one loss, ranking them in second place overall. They went on to compete in the elimination round. They made it to the finals, securing a qualification spot at the World Championships. The team went on to win the finals round against Yarmouth. “It was great to see our hard work pay off,” said Mica Houghton ’24.

The rookie team 8030C, with members Keiran Roopchand, Noah Garnett, Trevor Hall, Shayla Pheng, and Tillmann Seibel was burdened with unlucky alliance partners. They finished with four wins and four losses, ranking them at 24th place overall. The team also went on to compete in the elimination round, but they unfortunately lost in the round of sixteen. “I think we did very well for a rookie team,” commented Shayla Pheng ‘27, “I believe we can go farther next year.”

Zane Adams, Ben Gilbert, Amelia Starbird, and Alex Shaw made up team 8030B. They had a particularly rough time, finishing with a 1-7 record and 45th place overall. The team did not move on to the elimination round, and instead watched the rest of the tournament play out. “It was super suspenseful,” said Amelia Starbird ‘26.

Zane Adams ‘26 called the entire tournament “somewhat overwhelming.”

With a state championship in hand, the 8030A team now moves on to the World Championships in Dallas. The tournament will be held from April 25th to 27th. The team now has one month left to make any changes to their robot before their final competition of the season. This is LA’s second trip to Dallas. The team qualified in 2022 after a second place finish at States. Joseph Levesque was part of that team. “I am pumped to go back to Worlds a second time.”

Connor Parson is a member of the 8030A State Champion Robotics team and a staff writer for the Lincoln Academy Eagle’s Talon.

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