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Blackfoot High School students won gold medals (first place) in cabinet making and welding at the Idaho SkilllsUSA competition last week.
Jake Lauritsen, a junior, won first place and a gold medal in cabinet making. Zackary Hall, a senior, won first place a gold medal in welding and a bronze medal in technology- related math.
Both Lauritsen and Hall will compete in the SkillsUSA National Championships June 24-28 in Kansas City, Mo. Lauritsen will compete in cabinet making. Hall will compete in welding.
Jared Evans, a sophomore, placed second in cabinet making. He was two points behind Lauritsen.
Tyler Morgan, a junior, place third in job interview.
Both Lautirsen and Evans beat the student cabinet maker from Gooding who won state last year and placed third in the nation, said cabinet maker instructor Pete Golinveaux.
Asked how they became interested in their craft, Evans said, "In 2011, my brother was fourth in the nation in cabinet making. I guess I'm following in his footsteps."
Lauritsen said, "My brother did this and so did my grandpa. My dad placed fourth in the nation when SkillsUSA was called VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).
"I almost didn't get into welding class as a freshman," said Hall. "The day before classes started, one person transferred out so I got in."
Golinveaux and welding instructor Cleon Chapman are traveling with their students to the competition in June.
"We'll be there to support them," said Golinveaux. "It's a great experience for the kids."
The national competition is a showcase for career and technical education students.
It's hands-on competition for the state winners in more than 94 different trade, technical and leadership fields.