October 30, 2020

USU Eastern welding team places first at Skills USA

Winning state, national and international competitions seems second nature to USU Eastern’s welding students. This year, like many in the past, the local welders added another first place finish to its trophy case which records the incredible talent the students take to each competition year after year after year.
Under the direction of instructors Mike Tryon and Lon Youngberg, four students spent the year preparing for the state competition where they placed first, which qualified them for national competition on June 23-28 in Kansas City, Mo.

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Winning state, national and international competitions seems second nature to USU Eastern’s welding students. This year, like many in the past, the local welders added another first place finish to its trophy case which records the incredible talent the students take to each competition year after year after year.
Under the direction of instructors Mike Tryon and Lon Youngberg, four students spent the year preparing for the state competition where they placed first, which qualified them for national competition on June 23-28 in Kansas City, Mo.
The welding fabrication team competed in the college/post secondary category where the team of Austin Welch, from Price, Dexter Thayn from Wellington and Chad Malnar from Neola, Utah, brought home a gold metal for the second year in a row.
Welch has been a team member and won three national titles in the welding fabrication contest (once as a high school student and twice on the college level).
The three worked together having to use materials to build a fire pit from scratch. They had a limited amount of time available for the team to build the fire pit, with little room for error, Tryon said.
The fourth student representing USU Eastern at nationals was Remington Grace from Ferron. He competed in individual welding and finished in fifth place overall out of 38 welders in the competition.
Students spend many additional hours in the welding lab honing their skills for competitions.
“I always remind them that hard work pays off, if you put forth the long hours of practice it will eventually pay off, Austin is proof of that, he spent in excess of 120 hours on the drawings plus each team member spent countless hours fine tuning their welding and fabricating skills.   
 “At the national level, every team has top quality prints, exceptional welding and fabrication skills… there is no room for mistakes.  Our team performed flawless, no mistakes, their design was simple, and built exactly the way the blue prints were drawn plus we utilized over 99 percent of the material allowed which gave us the edge we needed to win the gold.
“Remington put forth more time and effort in the shop than the fabrication team, but made a couple of minor mistakes on his pipe welding project and aluminum project which cost him a spot on the podium.  Experience is everything… especially at the national level, but for a freshman in college, he did a fantastic job, fifth in the nation is respectable.  We are looking forward for Remington to improve his skills over the next year and work towards a gold medal next year,” Tryon added.

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