VEX Cancels Worlds Championships Amid Beckman’s Victory in State Championships

Beckman’s VEX teams won and qualified for the World Championship, but will be unable to attend

March 13, 2020


Photo Courtesy of Siu-Kong Sit

All Beckman teams were elated about their success at the San Diego State Competition.

SAN DIEGO – On Saturday, March 7, 2020, Arnold O. Beckman High School’s VEX robotics teams competed at the California State Championships at Montgomery High School, where four of the six participating Beckman teams qualified for the World Championships.


All six of Beckman’s teams participated: 2496J, 2496N, 2496R, 2496W, 2496X and 2496Y. Teams 2496J and 2496Y won the competition, while team 2496W made it to the semifinals round and team 2496R received the Design Award. These teams’ achievements were considered qualifiers for the World Championships in Kentucky and were all looking forward to attending.


The robotics students dedicated countless hours to practice and hone in on their skills prior to the event. “I stayed at robotics six days a week for at least 3 hours everyday since the start of second semester. The week before states was hectic. We had to get multiple last minute things together and do all our final preparations,” commented senior 2496R mechanical lead Alan Onuma.


Their hard work most definitely paid off as many teams were more than satisfied with their results. “I had [poured] my heart into this robot and my goals were higher than even qualifying for worlds. […] When we entered the state finals, my hands and legs were uncontrollably shaking. I was thinking of how much had to go right for my team to come out on top and at the end of the match it was clear we had won. But none of us saw the scores so I held my [breath] for what felt like a year. When the scoreboard turned on with the final score, I immediately broke down into tears and collapsed. 5 years of dedicating my life to a program had paid off and manifested itself in the form of making me a State Champion,” stated senior 2496Y lead mechanical designer Alex Porter.


It was a long season for the Beckman robotics program and teams spent hours after school to practice for the competition.


Teams 2496J (photograph) and 2496Y proudly hold the California State Championship title. (Photo Courtesy of Siu-Kong Sit)

The qualified teams were looking forward to competing at the world level, but VEX released an official statement on Thursday, March 12, 2020 that they would be canceling the World Championship due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This came as a disappointment to many students, but they are all grateful for the memorable season they had with one another.


“I had multiple qualms that VEX worlds would be negated, therefore, I was rather slightly depressed that our team would not be able to attend the amazing experience that we had the opportunity to take part in. The canceling of the event just goes to show for me that not everything will be set the way we want it to be. There will always be downfalls and setbacks that life has, but it is more important to keep our heads up and maintain a positive attitude,” explained sophomore 2496J builder and programmer Ethan Yee.


The underclassmen are looking forward to the 2020-2021 season while seniors are thankful for the wild and memorable last season they shared with their peers.


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