Vermillion students place tenth in Ford/AAA Auto Repair contest

Vermillion students place tenth in Ford/AAA Auto Repair contest Brad Goeden and Brad Reich from Vermillion High School combined detailed knowledge of high-tech automotive repair and fast-paced teamwork to place 10th in the South Dakota finals of the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills contest, held May 6 in Sioux Falls. Their instructor is Mark Pier.

Jeff Sampson and Logan Bouchie of Riggs Senior High School in Pierre earned first place in the contest and now advance to the national finals, June 21 in Washington, D.C. The Pierre students also earned spots in the Ford Motor CO ASSET (Automotive Student Service Educational Training) program, as well as scholarships to other associate degree automotive technology programs. They also won a Ford vehicle for use by their school's automotive technology program. The team's instructor is Joel Hieb.

The state championship was determined by the combination of a written qualifying exam and the team's performance in a hands-on competition to quickly and accurately repair a deliberately disabled Ford vehicle.

The Ford/AAA contest calls attention to the need for automotive technicians to develop the high-tech skills required to service increasingly advanced automobiles. Currently, more than 85 percent of the functions on a new vehicle are computer – controlled and cars are becoming more complex with each passing year.

The South Dakota contest was one of 50 state competitions being held this month. The Student Auto Skills program will award approximately $10 million in scholarships and prizes nationwide and is held to encourage students to pursue rewarding career opportunities in automotive service.

Sam Becher and Justin Benthin from East Central Multi-District in Brookings took second-place honors. Their instructor is Mitch Magnus. Dustin Schrank and Jeremy McNary from Mitchell High School in Mitchell placed third. Their instructor is Allen Loecker.

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