Mt. Hope's LadyBots advance to Super-Regional tourney

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All four teams of the Mt. Hope High School robotics club exceeded expectations in the First Tech Challenge last weekend.

Thirty-two teams from high schools throughout Rhode Island competed in the event, which was held at the New England Tech Automotive Campus in Warwick Feb. 8.

The First Tech Challenge is a robotics competition for high school students based on a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to compete as alliances against other teams.Teams advance from local qualifying tournaments to state championship tournaments, before advancing to the World Championship Tournament, held each year in St. Louis, Mo.

The LadyBots, a team of four girls — Daisy Alves, Jenna Longo, Amanda Crawley, and Annelise Boylan, was awarded second for the Inspire Award. The award is given to a team that "truly embodied the challenge of the program…an inspiration to other teams, acting with Gracious Professionalism, both on and off the playing field."

Their award will advance them to one of four Super-Regional Championship Tournaments in York, Penn., in April, before advancing to the World Championship.

The LadyBots will have to fund-raise in order to get to the Pennsylvania event, said coach Ryan Garrity.

Mt. Hope's Underdogs won the Motivate Award, which celebrates the team that exemplifies the essence of the competition through team building, team spirit and enthusiasm.

The TaterBots and the Looney Tunes Robotics teams also did well, said Mr. Garrity. Those teams, along with the Underdogs, will have one more chance to qualify for the Super-Regional Championship, as they attend another state championship within the next few weeks.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.