Auto Tech Students Tops in State

Congratulations to seniors Griffith Gates and Grayson Poe for taking an impressive fourth place at the annual Northern California section's AAA/Ford Student Auto Skills Competition held May 3 at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville.

"I'm proud of Grayson and Griff," instructor Ed Woodworth said. "They were so close to winning this competition. They did great work."

Griffith and Grayson, Tri-Valley ROP auto specialist students, competed against nearly 630 students from across Northern California. They qualified for the event by scoring in the top 10 on a test given by the AAA and the California Department of Education. Ten two-student teams were chosen based on the best individual test scores from each school or program.

The finalists took part in a head-to-head, hands-on competition. Griffith and Grayson, along with the other teams, worked on a brand-new 2013 Ford Focus to repair 10 different bugs that were rigged identically in each of the cars. The goal was to repair each problem, without any demerits, faster than the rest of the competitors.

Although Team Tri-Valley ROP identified and cleared eight out of the 10 problems with just one demerit, they ran out of time trying for perfection in the tight 90-minute time limit. The winning team, Alhambra High School, cleared seven bugs with two demerits, but they drove to the final inspection area within the allotted time.

As a consolation prize, Griffith and Grayson each won $3,000 in automotive technician school scholarships, some tools and a great experience.

Congratulations to Griffith and Grayson -- the Ford-Fixing Falcons!

Griffith Gates (left) and Grayson Poe
Grayson Poe, teacher Ed Woodworth & Griffith Gates (from left)

Posted Friday, May 10, 2013