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MoCo teens share magic of robotics competition

  • Published in Local

Wizards.exe team members Rohan Dewan, Ishaan Oberoi, Devasena Sitaram, and Arjun Oberoi show their winning robot and the trophies they earned in recent international competition. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKWizards.exe team members Rohan Dewan, Ishaan Oberoi, Devasena Sitaram, and Arjun Oberoi show their winning robot and the trophies they earned in recent international competition. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  There was no magic involved when the Wizards.exe came home from Detroit with the First Tech Challenge World Championship Inspire Award in hand, along with their robot, which took 10th out of 6,000 teams from around the globe.

Eleven Montgomery County teenagers have been working diligently since the start of the school year to build a robot that could differentiate colors, sense distances, and pick up cardboard blocks and then assemble them into a pattern – all within two-and-a-half minutes.

Ishaan Oberoi, a 10th-grader at Richard Montgomery High School, and his younger brother, Arjun Oberoi, an eighth-grader at Takoma Park Middle School, were in the car several years ago when they spotted a billboard for a robotics competition.

It sounded interesting, and “there was nothing much like this in school,” so the boys joined, said Ishaan. Their father, Pankaj Oberoi, agreed to be their coach, and they have been going strong ever since.

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75-year-old local swimmer goes national

  • Published in Sports

75 year old swimmer 1Kate Fisken practices her freestyle as she prepares for competition.                               PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH Neither a stress fracture in her back or treatment for uterine cancer has kept Kate Fisken from the pool. In fact, all those hours swimming helped her avoid back surgery and keep a positive attitude.

The 75-year-old Bethesda resident is in Birmingham, Ala., successfully competed in five swimming races over three days in the 2017 National Senior Games, which ran from June 2 to June 15. The games cover a wide variety of sports and are open to seniors ages 50 and above.

Fisken was in the 75- to 79-year-old division. She placed in eighth place or above in each of her races, despite her bad back and recent surgery.

Her best race was the 200-yard freestyle, where she placed fourth with a time of 3 minutes, 56.410 seconds.

She came in fifth in the 50-yard backstroke, sixth in the 500-yard freestyle, sixth in the 100-yard individual medley and eighth in the 50-yard freestyle. 

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Whitman’s cheerleading coach believes in family values

  • Published in Sports

What makes a coach special?

Alexa Ciesinski, second-year head coach of the back-to-back Division Three champion Whitman Vikings Poms, believes it is not so much about winning or losing but seeing her team being “inspired” and “growing.”

Kristi McAleese, the equally successful two-time champion Whitman Vikings Cheerleading head coach, believes instilling a “family atmosphere” and “fostering friendship” among teammates are the keys to a successful program.

As for Ciesinski's Poms squad, the journey over the past two years has been gratifying.

“I really love seeing other people grow and learn”, says Ciesinski.

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Dueling restaurants and zoning

Competition among restaurants can be fierce, and it is not unusual to see a restaurant owner use legal arguments to try to keep a competitor out of what the first owner believes is its territory. This is illustrated in one of my favorite names for a case this year came that came down recently from Maryland’s Court of Appeals, called A Guy Named Moe, LLC v. Chipotle Mexican Grill of Colorado, LLC.

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