Harvey Robotics Team 6277B Earns Excellence Award & Tournament Championship
The Upper School Harvey robotics team, the RoboCavs, traveled to Kennedy High School in Bellmore on Long Island Jan. 28 for the biggest Southern New York robotics tournament of the season thus far. With three Harvey teams competing, the 6277B team of Blake Friedman '24 and Ben Zilberstein '25, stepped up to the challenge and received the highest award of the event, the Excellence Award. The Excellence Award is given to the team deemed to be the best overall in the combined categories of design, the engineering interview, skills, and performance.
After finishing first in qualifications, Ben and Blake partnered with a team from Mount Academy, and easily made it through the quarterfinals and semifinals. In the finals, they faced off against two very strong teams from the Hewitt School in New York City, a perennial powerhouse in middle and high school robotics. In a hard-fought match, the RoboCavs and Mount Academy Eagles prevailed, earning Ben and Blake their first tournament championship trophy of the season. They previously had been finalists or semifinalists in their past five events, so this was an exciting day for Ben, Blake, their fellow teammates and coaches.
"Ben and Blake have been in three finals matches this season, and it was amazing to see them finally get their big win," said Harvey robotics teacher and coach Chris Kelly. "I am always proud of our team's accomplishments, and the B-team's success today was well deserved."
Harvey team 6277C with Logan Alexander '25, Katie McCulloch '24, and Meaghan Sullivan 25 had a very strong showing, finishing second overall in the skills event and making it to the semifinals before being eliminated.
The third Harvey team, 6277D with Eli Birch '23, Julian Marin '24, and Alex Rynott '23, battled throughout the day despite the fact that it was only their second event of the year, but they did not make it out of qualifications into the elimination rounds.
Coaches John Wahlers and Kelly are proud of all three teams. "Hard work is its own reward and all three teams have put in a lot of hours in the robotics lab to prepare for these events," said Coach Wahlers. "All three teams represented Harvey with class and great sportsmanship," he said.
Coach Wahlers added, "There were some other highlights that also made my day, specifically watching our C-team helping other teams throughout the day," he said. "Being the best is always a goal, but doing your best is even more important. Our kids get this and that is our proudest achievement."
Coach Wahlers with Ben and Blake, and the Mount Academy team and coaches