“I am pleased to announce the national champions in the open division… I would like to welcome back to the stage North Hollywood High School Team Togo!”
This year, three teams from North Hollywood were among the 12 finalist teams in the Open Division of Cyberpatriots IX. One of the teams from North Hollywood, Team Togo, clenched the national championship, the second time North Hollywood has ever won the competition. But this is the fourth time that North Hollywood sent at least one team to the National Finals.
The competition started late fall. Before the National Finals, the three teams participated in 4 rounds along with 4,400 more teams. “During the initial four rounds, we had to remove malwares from computers, configure Cisco products to make sure a network was running smoothly, and secure servers to make sure all services were running,” said Richard Shuai, a National Finalist. Outcompeting the rest of the teams, they earned the right to participate in the National Finals with 9 other teams. “But the stuff we had to do at Nationals was much harder,” Richard said. Tasks increased in difficulty and also included going through logs to find when and where a security breach occurred. “Nationals was also much harder because we had to work with physical Cisco equipment,” said Alex Ke. “The cisco in previous rounds were done on a program called Packet Tracer. This is the first time we’ve had to work with physical devices.”
Two of the three teams that North Hollywood sent was formed in 9th grade. Eugene Woo, a team member of Team Balto, said that getting to “Nationals had always been our dream goal when North Hollywood won first place back in 2014, and finally after three years of hard work, we finally arrived at our destination.” With this years achievement, North Hollywood has now sent 8 teams to the National Finals over the past 4 years.
Cyberpatriot is a program sponsored by the Air Force Association. Registration for CyberPatriot X is currently open and lasts until October 4 on their website “uscyberpatriot.org”.