Historical appearance made by robotics team at Nationals.

After competing in three competitions, all three robotics teams qualified for the 2023 JROTC National Championship in Dallas, Texas from April 26-30. The robotics teams travelled and bonded over 11 hours together to get to their destination. 

One of the oldest on the team, senior Kevin Ruiz-Gallardo started Bryan’s first ever robotics team named 1043A. Teams are assigned a specific team number from the REC Foundation according to Robotics Coach Alexander Muessigmann. The letter following the number indicates the different teams from the school. Ruiz-Gallardo jump started the whole robotics program his freshman year and was an active recruiter which allowed the team to gain members. Before attending Nationals, Junior Carina Ford joined the team to help compete at a tournament and then at nationals.

“I was able to end my robotics career at the penultimate stage of robotics competition, the Vex World stage,” Ruiz-Gallardo said, “Even though it was JROTC nationals, I was still able to see the best of the best in the entire world for VEX robotics.”

The second team, 1043B, made its debut in 2021-2022, winning a tournament which qualified them for state robotics last year. This year, the team’s first member sophomore Mark Sanchez and new member junior Anthony Estrada qualified and competed at nationals. Before going to Dallas, they decided they wanted to make a whole new robot with only a week’s worth of time. The robot they hastily built made it to finals but was defeated during their first round. 

“It was stressful during the tournament,” Sanchez said, “In the end, it ended up being very fun learning from our mistakes.” 

The third and final team, 1043C, which did great for its first year had sophomore Danny Kevin Pablo Juarez and returning robotics member sophomore Devin Henk. The team ended up scoring well during qualifications but ended up losing during their first finals match. The matches they lost were close, only being held back from being undefeated by 7 total points. 

“My most memorable moment on the trip was competing and losing.” Juarez said, “It made me feel excited because it was my first time experiencing a defeat in Texas.” 

Robotics Coach Alexander Muessigmann wanted to create another “first” for all team members, including Coach Dario Gudino-Garcia, and took the team to explore the city. One memorable moment for the team was going to “In ’n Out” where the majority of team members (regretfully according to Muessigmann) said that “the burgers were mid’”. For context, Muessigmann thinks “In ‘N Out” is one of the best fast food burger chains that exists. 

Overall, Robotics was able to give these students a memorable time, visiting places they have never been to and exploring a new environment. They were able to take home mechanical knowledge and experience that will help them throughout their robotics journey. 

I fully believe that for next year, our returning engineers will take this experience and let it be the driving force for their season next year,” Muessigmann said, “I don’t think that it is too far-fetched to say that we have the talent, drive, and dedication to not only qualify for this event again, but to make a run at finals and win it all.”