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Kenton seniors claim victory at NFADA auto tech competition

Erie 1 BOCES’ three career centers sent a total of six teams to the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association’s 2018 Ron Smith Memorial Auto Tech Competition on Jan. 13. Teams from the Kenton and Potter career and technical centers placed in the top three of their corresponding competitions, with a team from Kenton taking first place in the senior competition.

Kenton seniors Alex Prims and Kyle Huttenmaier on stage with trophy
Above: Kenton seniors team Alex Prims (second from right) and Kyle Huttenmaier (second from left) pose with their trophy, held by their teacher, Gary Willis. Also pictured is Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association Chairwoman Carol Duchman (left) and President Paul Stasiak.

Automotive Diagnostics – Seniors

High school seniors in the Automotive Diagnostics portion of the competition worked in teams to uncover hidden automotive bugs planted on test vehicles. The teams went through a series of diagnostic, workstation and performance tests to measure their automotive technical skills and abilities. Ford Motor Company was the vehicle sponsor and provided vehicles for the students to compete on.

Kenton Career & Technical Center seniors Alex Prims of Tonawanda High School and Kyle Huttenmaier of Grand Island High School claimed the top spot in the competition, earning a three-day, all-expense paid trip to New York City to compete in the National Automotive Technology Competition. In addition, the team received toolboxes full of tools and equipment and $1,000 scholarships to be used toward furthering their automotive education.

Alex and Kyle are taught by Kenton Auto Tech instructor Gary Willis.

Harkness seniors Austin Minard and Vinny Gulla
Above: Harkness seniors team, Austin Minard (left) and Vinny Gulla.

Potter seniors Tyler Wolff and Garrett Henneberg
Above: Potter seniors team, Tyler Wolff (left) and Garrett Henneberg.

Tire Rodeo – Juniors

High school juniors competed in the Tire Changing Rodeo portion of the competition, which saw the students race against time in an Olympic-style format to dismount and mount tires using a tire-changing machine.

Teams from Erie 1 BOCES claimed second and third place in the Tire Rodeo. Kenton juniors Hunter Phillips of Kenmore West High School and Christopher Lorenz, also of Kenmore West, came in second place, while Potter Career & Technical Center juniors Michael Martinez of West Seneca East and Shane Devlin of Frontier High School came in third place.

Shane and Hunter both earned the highest test score, which saw a four-way tie for first place.

Hunter and Christopher are taught by Mr. Willis. Michael and Shane are taught by Potter Auto Tech instructors Charles Shevlin Jr. and Gary Carlson II.

Harkness juniors Robert Lodowski and Derrick Hope
Above: Harkness juniors team, Robert Lodowski (left) and Derrick Hope.

Kenton juniors Hunter Phillips and Chris Lorenz
Above: Kenton juniors team, Hunter Phillips (left) and Christopher Lorenz.

Potter juniors Michael Martinez and Shane Devlin
Above: Potter juniors team, Michael Martinez (left) and Shane Devlin.

About the NFADA Ron Smith Memorial Auto Tech Competition

First held in 1995, the NFADA Ron Smith Memorial Auto Tech Competition is organized by the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association (NFADA). It is hosted by the Erie Community College Vehicle Technology Training Center (ECC-VTTC) in Orchard Park and is supported by local dealerships, educational institutions and local businesses. It is open to 11th- and 12th-grade automotive students from all over Western New York.

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