USU Eastern Students Earn Gold at SkillsUSA Competition

Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah students performed exquisitely at this year’s SkillsUSA competition held last weekend in Salt Lake City with several qualifying for the national tournament. Students from radio, welding, automotive, diesel equipment technology and cosmetology departments competed in the statewide contest.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled-service occupations.

In the audio/radio production division, Sheraya Barajas (Orem) and Kelton Wells (Price) successfully defended their state championship. Troy Hunt, radio adviser, stated, “Once again our two sophomore radio students defeated seniors for this prestigious award. They will defend their national championship in June.”

Welding students earned gold and silver at the state skills championships this year. Jake Clement (Huntington) won the individual welding contest. Austin Welch (Carbonville), Joseph Fournier (Moab) and Mike Montoya (Helper) won as a team for the welding fabrication team contest. Corbin Cartwright (Price) from Carbon high school competed against 32 other Utah high school welders in the individual contest and took silver. He tied for first but lost the tie-breaker. Conner Rowley (Price), Erik Peterson (Wellington) and Layne Robertson (Price) won the high school fabrication team contest. There are a total of four-welding related contests and students from USU Eastern won three and took second in the fourth. Students have won the Utah individual contest every year since 2002 and won the team fabrication contest every year since its introduction in 2008.

Mandy Jessen (Price) from the cosmetology department placed second in the post secondary competition and Katie Brinkerhoff (Lehi) placed third.

In the diesel equipment technology secondary competition, Kale Cotner (Price) brought home second and Coltin Fryer (Wellington) took third. Colten Miller (Huntington), Royce Campbell and Joshua Call (Helper) placed in the post secondary category.

Jacob Martin (Price) placed second in the related technical math post secondary competition.

Automotive student Richard Stevenson (Layton) placed third in customer service.

Jacob Allred (Price) placed third in the job skill demonstration A secondary contest and was voted to be a state officer. Anthony Procarione (Price) and Lukas Hurst placed in the top 10 of the post secondary contest.

Tash Zmuda (Price) placed in the top 10 of the job skill demonstration open secondary competition.

Tanner Cave (Wellington) placed in the automotive service technology secondary competition while Michael Bontoft (Salt Lake City) and Hayden Barney (Orangeville) placed in post secondary.

“These awards mean a lot to these students and as an instructor, I am very proud of each one who competed,” said Rodney Stevenson, automotive instructor.

The national competition will be June 20-24 in Kansas City, Mo.

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