Top high school, college welders announced in national SkillsUSA competition

2022-07-30 03:22:22 By : Mr. John Zhao

Students from across the country competed in dozens of trade, technical, and leadership competitions at this summer's SkillsUSA Championships, including three welding categories. Images: Rafael Guerrero

Dozens of high school and college students from around the country showcased their outstanding welding and fabrication skills at the 2022 SkillsUSA Championships in Atlanta.

The June competition is the centerpiece of SkillsUSA’s annual National Leadership & Skills Conference (NLSC), which returned in person following its cancellation in 2020 and a hybrid format in 2021. More than 6,500 high school and college students competed in 108 different trade, technical, and leadership competitions, including three welding categories: welding, welding fabrication, and welding sculpture.

In the end, 30 high school and college competitors went home with gold, silver, or bronze medals—some as individuals and others in teams. Below are the medalists in the welding categories:

In this category, students tested their skills and knowledge in multiple stations that included measuring weld replicas, using weld measuring gauges, laying out a plate, using oxyacetylene equipment for cutting, gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), making welds in various positions, and using a combination machine capable of providing the correct welding current for shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW).

Gold: Matthew Woolcock, Venango Technology Center, Oil City, Pa.

Silver: Trey Lazauskas, Chariho Career Tech Center, Wood River Junction, R.I.

Bronze: Jesse Taggett, Presque Isle Regional CTC, Presque Isle, Maine

Gold: Michael Shoemaker, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, Pa.

One of the categories included welding sculpture, where projects like this waterfall were displayed.

Silver: Hunter Howard, Northeast Community College, Norfolk, Neb.

Bronze: Armando Urias, Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque, N.M.

In this category, contestants had to construct something based on prints provided to them by the competition committee, all while demonstrating their knowledge and skills in multiple welding and cutting processes.

Unlike the other two categories, this was a team competition consisting of teams of three.

Gold: Team K (Camden Elmo, Alaina Myers, Beauen Garman), New Oxford High School, New Oxford, Pa.

Silver: Team V (Bryan Fischli, Connor Kurtz, Andrew Rimes), The Mount Academy, Esopus, N.Y.

Bronze: Team R (Elijah Bothwell, Ty Coshow, Jack Doyle), Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Neb.

Gold: Team E (Walter Armijo, Christopher Rodriguez, Zane Horton), Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque, N.M.

Welding machines and welding booths lined up at SkillsUSA.

Silver: Team U (Colton Bradford, Edgar Galicia, Noland Vahle), North Central Kansas Technical College, Beloit, Kan.

Bronze: Team M (Alex Cahoone, Matthew Mykut, Tanner Sidella), Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster, Pa.

In this category contestants designed, produced, and displayed a welded sculpture; no live welding was actually done in Atlanta. The students were interviewed and required to describe all aspects of their creation. The contestants also brought in a notebook displaying evidence of them creating their original piece.

Gold: Damon R. Aitken, Albert Lowry High School, Winnemucca, Nev.

Silver: Sofia Ramirez-Granick, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough, Mass.

Bronze: Jocelyn Jarnigan, Unaka High School, Elizabethton, Tenn.

Gold: Clinton Kizarr, Red River Technology Center, Duncan, Okla.

Silver: Jonathan Thoma, Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Crossville, Crossville, Tenn.

Bronze: Alexander Baker, State Technical College of Missouri, Linn, Mo.

There were more than 50 metal art sculptures were on display at SkillsUSA.

The WELDER, formerly known as Practical Welding Today, is a showcase of the real people who make the products we use and work with every day. This magazine has served the welding community in North America well for more than 20 years.

See More by Rafael Guerrero

Rafael Guerrero. was named editor of The WELDER in April 2022. He spent nine years as a journalist in newspapers in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest, covering topics and communities in central Illinois, Washington, and the Chicago area.

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