Students compete in regional SkillsUSA

March 06, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

Despite the scratching of sandpaper against metal, the banging of a hammer against a car panel and the loud "zzzzz" from a grinder, the collision repair room at Washington County Technical High School was rather quiet Saturday morning.

There was no workplace banter or chatting while the five young men worked. This was a competition - one with a time limit.

The youths, including Washington County Technical High School students Ben Vatavuk of Williamsport and Ryan Joy of Little Orleans, Md., had four hours to repair two dents in a metal panel and patch a hole in a plastic car panel so the panels would be ready for refinishing, teachers said.


The pair were among approximately 72 students competing in the regional SkillsUSA competition at the technical school, said Marjorie Kellman, regional chairwoman.

First-, second- and third-place finishers in each of the 14 technical and service categories may compete in the Maryland SkillsUSA tournament in the Catonsville, Md., area on April 29-30, Kellman said.

They will include Joy and Vatavuk, who finished second and third, respectively, according to competition results.

"I don't know if it's competition or not, but normally they're faster than this," collision repair instructor Harold Smith said.

Vatavuk, 17, said he thought his first SkillsUSA competition was "pretty good," although he and Joy were nervous.

"We didn't know what to expect," he said.

The two have had their own competitions to see who can do a better job or finish faster, but hadn't competed with other schools and with so many people watching them, Vatavuk said.

Besides several spectators sitting beyond a line of yellow caution tape, judges kept a close eye on the competitors and their work.

One student was not wearing safety glasses, Smith said.

"That's going to hurt him bad," he said.

The competition included students from Washington, Frederick and Allegany counties, Kellman said. Ten students from Garrett County, Md., were to compete, but they were not able to make it because of snow, she said. Those students will go straight to the state competition, she said.

SkillsUSA is a voluntary competition that tests students on skills and theory, Kellman said.

The other technical and service categories on Saturday were architectural design, auto service tech, carpentry, computer maintenance tech, cosmetology, culinary arts, masonry, nail care, nurse assisting, residential wiring, technical drafting, TV/video production and Web design, according to Kellman and a school system news release.

In the carpentry competition, Scott Olden of Hagerstown was leading the pack early on and ended up in first place.

Carpentry students had to build a small project with a floor and a rough opening for a window and cut out a set of rafters and stairs, said Richard Kaufman, an adviser from the Frederick County Career and Technology Center.

And the winners are...

Here are the Washington County students who were top finishers in Saturday's regional SkillsUSA competition at Washington County Technical High School.

· Architectural drafting

Third - Theresa Barrett, Hagerstown

· Carpentry

First - Scott Olden, Hagerstown

· Collision repair

Second - Ryan Joy, Little Orleans, Md.

Third - Ben Vatavuk, Williamsport

· Computer maintenance technician

First - David Cross, Hancock

· Cosmetology

First - Katherine Trevey, Keedysville

Second - Kristin Trail, Hancock

· Culinary arts

First - Brandon Carratozzola, Williamsport

Second - Justin Gouff, Smithsburg

· Nail care

First - Che'Rie Champ, Hagerstown

· Nursing assisting

First - Erin Lessner, Clear Spring

Second - Lisha Brining, Williamsport

· Web design

First - The team of Andrew Butler of Clear Spring and Aaron Morningstar of Hagerstown

Third - The team of Heather Andrews of Hagerstown and Brandi Bove of Boonsboro

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