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Blackfoot High students seek Skills USA championship

May 5, 2011

The Morning News — Leslie Mielke Morgan Gasca (left) and Dakota Cervenak, seniors at Blackfoot High School, are competing today in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition in Boise.

BLACKFOOT – Blackfoot High School auto tech students Morgan Gasca and Dakota Cervenak are competing today at the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition. Both Gasca and Cervenak are seniors.
The 90-minute competition begins at 9:30 a.m. today at the College of Western Idaho. The automotive facility is on the campus of Boise State University. The public is invited.
The top 10 teams in the state qualified for this “hands on” contest based on their scores in a written qualifying exam conducted in February.
Each two-student team will race the clock to correctly identify and correctly fix intentionally installed "bugs" on identical 2012 Ford Mustangs. In addition to a nice trophy, students at the state and national competitions will by vying for nearly $12 million in scholarships and to represent their state at the National Finals at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., June 12-14.
Students are “only allowed to [compete in this contest] once,” Gasca said.
In the Ford/AAA competition, Gasca will cover problems in the motor and engine. Cervenak will cover problems in the chassis.
Each has knowledge of all the systems on the car and will help the other person to help him finish.
To prepare for this competition, shop teacher Dallen Worthington put “bugs” in the car. “20th Century Ford loaned the students a 2012 Ford Mustang in preparation for this competition. We thank 20th Century Ford for their support.”
This is the sixth competition in which Gasca has competed this year.
Worthington said to qualify students for these competitions requires “students who are engaged and willing, a good curriculum and exerting a lot of energy.”
Gasca plans to attend Weber State University, majoring in auto technology.
Cervenak has joined the U.S. Marines and will become an aviation mechanic. He leaves for basic training in July.
AAA Idaho is affiliated with AAA Oregon/Idaho.

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