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Published: Tuesday, 5/14/2013

Student skills revved up at Owens auto competition

Penta team finished second at Owens Auto Skills Competition.

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Matt Miller of Valley Forge High School in Parma Heights searches for tools during the Auto Skills Competition at Owens. Matt Miller of Valley Forge High School in Parma Heights searches for tools during the Auto Skills Competition at Owens.
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Brad Teigland and Trevor Fehlhaber finished fixing problems with a 2013 Ford Focus SE and nervously waited to see what the Ford technicians and judges found during the annual Auto Skills Competition at Owens Community College.

"You fixed all the problems, but you broke something," said Nick Shultz, the competition manager for Owens in Perrysburg Township. "That could cost you the competition."

Penta Career Center instructor on the left, and students Trevor Fehlhaber and Brad Teigland hear from a Ford technician about how they did during the Owens auto skills competition. Penta Career Center instructor on the left, and students Trevor Fehlhaber and Brad Teigland hear from a Ford technician about how they did during the Owens auto skills competition.
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Other than chipping a taillight, the two Penta Career Center seniors fixed the 10 bugs in the vehicle during the event on Friday. But Mr. Shultz was correct that it cost them. The team from Penta Career Center  finished second.

Coshocton County Career Center students Matthew Krasky and Kane Wilkie finished first, and Dylan Merkel and Jake Hancock placed third from the Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Warren. Penta, finishing second, is in Perrysburg Township.

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Ford and AAA sponsored the event which had 10 high school teams of two students. Students were selected after 4,300 written tests were filed in. 

The first place team members get $3,000 in scholarship money, second place received $1,500, and third place got $1,000.

Mr. Shultz said the primary goal is to get the students to conduct a thorough diagnostics test.

We did the diagnostics test and troubleshooted through busted components and customer complaints that they may get," the young Teigland said. He is from Swanton. "It took us 61 minutes to fix the problems; we had a hour and a half."

His partner, the young Fehlhaber, is from Oak Habor. Their instructor at Penta, Bob Anderson, said they have been working on and off for three weeks preparing for the event with a 2013 Ford Focus on loan from Mathew's Ford in Oregon. Mr. Anderson, the students, and Ford representatives could not talk about specific problems with the cars because the same competition is under way in every state.

"You can get points for time, demerit points if you miss safety features and don't keep the car clean for customers," Steve Stratton said, technical service operations manager for Ford. "It doesn't get more real than this. These are new Ford vehicles and bugs that dealers tell us are tough things to find."

Mr. Stratton said the cars they used are brand new and Hertz donated them to use, but they will be used by Hertz customers. "They have already been rented out," he said.

Coshocton County Career Center will represent Ohio in the Auto Skills Competition National Championship June 9-11 in Dearborn, Mich.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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