July 13, 2024

Automotive students prepare for state competition

The College of Eastern Utah’s automotive department is overflowing with energy and anticipation this week as they prepare to compete at the State Automotive Skills Competition March 26th-27th .

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This archived article was written by: Kris Kohler

The College of Eastern Utah’s automotive department is overflowing with energy and anticipation this week as they prepare to compete at the State Automotive Skills Competition March 26th-27th .
In addition to competetions to boost morale, the automotive department recently received a 1964 Pink Cadillac donated by Dodd Wilstead. Over the course of the next few semesters students in the automotive department will completely resotre this classic car. They will replace the engine, repair the body, and make any other mechanical fixes to return the Cadillac to its orginal state. When the automotive department is finished with the mechanics of the car, it will be sent to a classic car restoration shop to have it painted the original 1964 pink. When the car is totally restored to its old 1964 self, it will be used in parades all throughtout Utah to publicize CEU.
Before they restore the car, however, several students have earned the right to compete this year in categories ranging from customer service, action skills, automotive technology, power equipment and job skills demonstration.
According to Stan Martineau, head of the automotive program, this years’ lineup of student competitors are ,in his experience, among the best in the nation and the state championship is where they will be put to the ultimate test.
“I feel that the competition is a proving ground for my students but can also be used as a tool to reflect the quality of our program,” Martineau said. “If our students do not preform to the best of their abilities, we recognize the problem as a weak point in our instruction, not the individual.”
The automotive team is competing with hopes of winning their fifth state championship and once again hold the crown of automotive excellence amongst Utah higher education institutions.
There will be two students that took first place last year in their individual disciplines returning to defend their titles as number one in the state. Spanky, aka, Denise Harris will again compete in customer service and Myka Potter, who also won last year in the field of automotive technician, will be competing this year in power equipment.
The lineup of first timers will be Tyler Peterson who will compete in job skill demonstration, Anthony Kouris and Ben McCarty in automotive technology, Quinn Holiday in action skills and Holly Holt competing in the field of job skill demonstration.
Carbon High School student Jerrod Clark will accompany the college to the state competition and compete in the high school division of automotive technician.
The winners of state will move on to the national level of competition and if successful could win up to $40,000 worth of top quality tools and other great prizes, according to Martineau.
“We definitely take the state competition very seriously,” said Martineau, “when other schools see CEU walk in, they definitely know that they have their work cut out for them. We are serious about winning and have definitely built a reputation for being fierce competitors. We have high hopes for this year’s group of students and have no doubt that they will do their best on the proving ground.”
The state finals will be held at the Salt Lake Community College and the Larry H Miller Skills Center on March 27-28.