They did it again! Glen Cove's Robotics Team 144, better known as The Men in Black, not only came in first place at Adelphi University’s Southern New York Regional Competition on Jan. 24, but also earned their second Excellence Award. The Men in Black ranked first all day until the last match, where they dropped in rank to second place, but not for long. Winning five out of five matches earned them the position to choose their two alliance partners (two other teams) that would compete with them in the semifinals and finals to take home the big win. Winning alongside Glen Cove in the semifinals and finals were alliance partners from Wantagh High School, the Wantagh Warrioirs, and Malverne High School’s Mechanical Mules. There were 22 high school teams and two other middle school teams at the event, which included two college-sponsored teams and previous tournament champions.
The team members responsible for designing, building, programming and driving the winning robot, named “Will Smith," are all eighth-graders from Robert M. Finley Middle School. The team would like to thank their coach and advisor, "The Lady in Red" – Lisa Pignataro, as well as their principal, Mr. Nelson Iocolano, for their dedication and support for robotics. The team is trying hard to raise money to compete in the national competition (for which they have now qualified three times), which is coming up this April in Iowa; any donations are appreciated. The key to The Men in Black's success is: "They work in secret, they exist in shadow and they dress in black!" The team members are Agent "K" – Kyle Fahey, Agent "R" – Ryan Koenig, Agent "S" – Shevon Rodrigo, Agent "L" – Lucretia Smith, Agent "A" – Andrew Woska, Agent "F" – Frank the Dog, and their coach – "The Lady in Red" – Lisa Pignataro.