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Throughout the rainy day, the freshmen and sophomore groups climbed to the top and showed they were ready for the official competition season in January. 

About 15 amateur robotics teams braved the cold and rain to participate in the "Bunny Bots" competition at Catlin Gabel School in Portland on Saturday, Dec. 18. The West Linn High School team "2BDetermined" took home first place at the last preseason match before the beginning of the official season in January.

At the Dec. 18 competition, the teams could play as many matches as they wanted. The goal was to score plastic balls into their tubs and shoot water from their canisters for extra points. If a team scored a bunny into their goal, their points were doubled.

The Bunny Bots match was also an opportunity for the teams' newcomers to get acquainted with competing. The juniors and seniors on the team, who would usually be maneuvering their robot to victory, worked behind the scenes mentoring the younger students to prepare them for the upcoming season.

As rain slapped against the outdoor field, Cardin Nguyen, a freshman and member of the software team, used a PlayStation controller to guide a robot named Steven across the wet ground. PMG PHOTO: MIA RYDER-MARKS - Cardin Nguyen, a freshman, maneuvered the team's robot across the field.

"It feels good, but also pretty stressful," he said about his first time on the field.

Nguyen said he had a bit more driving experience than some other novice players. During practices, the freshman tested the controls and configured the buttons that guide the robot.

About 30 of the 48 members are newcomers this year.

WLHS had two teams, A and B. Both competed in the 19 qualifying matches and the teams left it all on the field — literally. During the matches, their two robots lost a few limbs and pieces as they got pummeled by the opposing team's defense. But throughout the day, the team steadily climbed the scoreboard before staying at a comfortable fourth place for the last several rounds prior to alliance selection.

During the selection, the top four teams selected other squads to help them compete for the sole championship. 2BDetermined's A team was head of the fourth alliance and welcomed Beaverton School District's team, "The Flying Hedgehogs," and Catlin Gable's B team, "The Flaming Chickens," to their alliance. The WLHS B Team joined the second alliance hosted by "The Flaming Chickens" starter team. The A team was the first alliance to qualify for the finals, and the B team joined after winning the tiebreaker. PMG PHOTO: MIA RYDER-MARKS - About fifteen high school robotics teams braved the cold and rain to compete in the Bunny Bots, the last match before the official season starts in January.

In the finale, 2BDetermined won a best-two-out-of-three match with a final score of 36-31.


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