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Robotic Mustangs headed for regional championships

Murray Middle School Robotics Michelle Brouchoud– The two Murray Middle School robotics teams qualified for Regional Championships on Sunday, March 5, in San Luis Obispo.

Although Murray has historically been a high-performing program, this year’s accomplishments are noteworthy since eighth-grade science and technology teacher Michelle Brouchoud revived it after a years-long hiatus.

“These students learned a tremendous amount about robotics and the engineering process throughout the year and demonstrated admirable self-drive, creativity, and robot design to meet the challenges of the competition,” said Brouchoud.

This means that, including the three teams at Burroughs High School, Sierra Sands Unified School District will be represented by an unprecedented five teams at the top level of competition in California and face other teams for a chance to compete in the VEX World Robotics Championships.

Similar to their high school counterparts, the Robotic Mustangs were tasked with designing, building, and coding robots that could play a version of disc golf under driver-controlled and autonomous scenarios.

Members of 7422Z include Talen Houck, Colin McElwain, Zach Duchow, Liam Wadley, Liam Staheli and Tyler Beitness. Members of 7422M include Everett Dickey, Micah Stanely, James Baker, Josh Barney and Anthony Saavedra. (Members not listed in order). Both teams were assisted by Caleb Hardy.


7422M and 7422Z completed a high enough “Skills” score to qualify for the regional competition. While many teams earn their spot through tournament play, the skills challenge offers teams a chance to demonstrate driver-controlled and autonomous performance in the field of play.

At the season’s last tournament, 7422M placed 5th in the qualifying rounds and made it to the semi-final match during brackets.

The judges chose 7422Z to receive the “Build Award” for robot design.

“These students are dedicated and motivated self-learners whose achievements in their first year of robotics are awe-inspiring,” said Brouchoud. “Congrats to both teams on an amazing season.”