The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Robotics secures second place finish in tournament to end successful season

Members of Team 1148 pose for a photo at a tournament.

The school’s robotics team, Team 1148, placed second in the Aerospace Valley Regional tournament in Lancaster from April 3-6, marking the end of their season. After placing first in qualification matches, Team 1148 became captain of the first seed in playoffs, where they picked three teams from other schools to form an alliance in a three versus three bracket-style tournament. Team 1148 made it to the finals but fell short of first place and a qualification for the world championship.

Prior to the tournament, the team placed eighth in the Los Angeles Regional and 25th in the Hueneme Port Regional. Team captain Milo Messinger ’25 said the team’s adjustment to competition-style robotics was crucial to their success late in the season.

“This type of robotics, we’re pretty new at, so we started off the year really rough,” Messenger said. “Other teams were just better prepared at the start of the season. But over the course of the season, we were able to claw our way back to a more competitive position to be able to compete at a high level by our final tournament.”

Team 1148’s competition robot.

Robotics Program Head Tripp Reed said he was able to establish foundational values for the team with the leadership of mature upperclassmen.

“Great teams are not just designing cool robots, they build a brand and a culture,” Reed said.” “I knew that bringing high-achieving students together who had strong opinions and different perspectives would be a challenge. Early on we created a team leadership structure, set lofty goals and laid out expectations so everyone knew that when they came to practice, it was time to work. Our seniors and juniors accepted a ton of responsibility, teaching younger students valuable skills like [computer-assisted design], soldering, position tracking, scouting and so much more. They lead by example and really set the tone for what it would take for us to achieve our goals.”

Tripp Reed is also the father of team captain Dru Reed ’24, who is one of the seniors on Team 1148. Tripp Reed said being able to share and strengthen a bond with his son over robotics has left a lasting and meaningful impact on his own life.

“My favorite part of the season for me personally was that I got to share this journey with my son Dru during his senior year,” Tripp Reed said. ” Seven years ago, Dru’s passion for robotics changed my life and led me to become a teacher. I am so grateful for the time we spent together solving problems, imagining about robot designs and devising game strategies. My time collaborating with Dru has been a gift I will always cherish.”

Team captain Riyan Kadribegović ’25, who applies for grants and funding as the team’s outreach captain, said she hopes the team is in a position to compete for a championship once again next year.

“I’m looking forward to having a more flexible team budget so that our robot can be at its peak performance,” Kadribegovič said. “I really want to win a tournament or award that will qualify us to go to the World Championships in Houston in April.”

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