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Automotive Tech Winners Named

Automotive Tech Winners Named photo 2/8/2009 2:42:05 a.m. - Hobbs, NM. After a morning of testing their written and hands-on mastery of general automotive knowledge, ten winners were announced for the 2009 New Mexico Junior College Automotive Service Technology Invitational Competition, held Thursday, February 5, in the Don Whitaker Automotive Center.

Ivan Lundsford of Carlsbad, NM, received first place for his efforts. Gilberto Calderon of Denver City, TX, took second place, with Daniel Serrato, also of Denver City, placing third. All three top winners received a scholarship from the NMJC Foundation, which can be used for any program at NMJC, and the top ten winners receive prizes.

Other winners included Clayton Blakeway of Levelland, TX, fourth place; Jon Richards of Frenship, TX, fifth place; Matt Batista of Dexter, NM, sixth place; Chandler Peacock of Castle Dale, UT, seventh place; Rhyker Allred of Castle Dale, UT, eighth place; Cy Nelson of Castle Dale, UT, ninth place; and Tate Whiteman of Moriarty, NM, tenth place.

Top schools were as follows: first place: Denver City High School, Denver City, TX; second place: Emory High School, Castle Dale, UT; third place: Frenship, TX; and fourth place, Carlsbad, NM. Each of the top three schools received plaques.

Sixty-four students participated in the three-hour event, which included competitors from high school automotive or SkillsUSA chapters in Artesia, Carlsbad, Dexter, Estancia, Farmington, Hobbs, Jal, Lovington, and Moriarty, New Mexico; Brownfield, Denver City, El Paso, Frenship, Levelland, and Seminole, Texas; and Castle Dale, Utah.

The competition required students to perform 16 hands-on auto skills, such as electronic diagnosis, brake service, and automatic transmission repair. Students also took a 100-question written exam on auto skills.

According to Dr. Randy Whicker, professor of Automotive Technology and director of the Ford-ASSET program at NMJC, the event serves several purposes. "This competition not only gives students the chance to exhibit their current skills and knowledge, but also gives them incentive to enhance their learning." Whicker also explained that student members of NMJC's Automotive Program, NMJC faculty, and sponsoring dealership personnel from throughout New Mexico and Texas made up the 20-member panel of judges. In fairness to the other teams, Hobbs competes but is not placed.

Approximately 48-non contestants accompanied the competitors from their respective high schools and were treated to campus tours by Recruiting Office. In addition to lunch, competitors and non-competitors enjoyed an airbag deployment demonstration and car bash.

Sponsors for this year's competition include Borman AutoPlex of Las Cruces, Ford Motor Co., Monette Ford of Socorro, NAPA; New Mexico Junior College; NMJC Foundation; Permian Ford of Hobbs; Sears, Sewell Automotive of Odessa; Snap-On Tool Corporation; and Watson's Chevrolet, Buick, and Pontiac of Hobbs.

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