Cleveland, OH (February 25, 2013) – Two automotive tech students from Trumbull Career and Technical Center took home first place in the 21st Annual Automotive Technology Competition at the Cleveland Auto Show yesterday, besting four other two member teams from Northern Ohio who also qualified for the “hands on” portion of the competition.
The Cleveland Auto Show would like to extend congratulations to Dylan Merkel, Jake Hancock and their instructor David Gillies, winners of yesterday’s competition, who will now head to New York City courtesy of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association, to compete in the National Automotive Technology Competition to be held April 2 and 3.
“All of the students who competed here are already winners,” says Dennis Rose, Floor Manager of the Cleveland Auto Show. “They came from a slate of 88 students who took the written portion of the competition. From those 88, we narrowed it down to five, two-member teams. Now we’re down to just two.”
“It feels great to win,” says David Gillies, who has been an automotive technology instructor at Trumbull Career and Technical Center for 28 years. “I am especially proud of these students. We didn’t have as much time to prepare as we would normally have because of the days off in January due to bad weather. I can’t wait to get to New York. I’ve been there before and I think with this team, we have a very good chance.”
In addition to a trip to New York City to compete in the Nationals, the two first place winners will each receive a scholarship worth $4,000 to either Cuyahoga Community College or Stark State College. Merkel also received a plaque in recognition for scoring the highest on the written portion of the competition, which was held in January.
The Cleveland Auto Show also extends congratulations to second place winners Mark Salerno, Matt Miller and their instructor Gary Mitchhart of Valley Forge High School, and third place winners Nicholas Falcon, William Cimino and their instructor Joseph Lamatrice of Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. The second place winners will receive a scholarship for $750 to either Cuyahoga Community College or Stark State College, while the third place finishers will receive a scholarship of $600.
The Cleveland Auto Show would also like to extend congratulations to all finalists of the 21st Annual Automotive Technology Competition. They truly represent the best of the best of Northern Ohio.
“The five teams that competed in yesterday’s event represent the best and the brightest of the automotive technology students in our area,” says Dan Sanders, chairman of the Cleveland Auto Show. “We have had several of our teams do quite well at the national level. With the scores we have already seen on the written portion of the examination, and the level of expertise each team brought to the Competition at the Cleveland Auto Show, this year should be no different.”
“All the students here are starting their careers in the right fashion,” adds Rose. “They are all going to be very successful in this business.”