Re2 students headed to Skillsusa nationals

Re-2 welders headed to Skills USA Nationals
Garfield Re-2 welders Kaden Abernathy, Daniel Monroy, Hailie Trujillo, Caleb Gieselman and Josh Martin.

Hailie Trujillo doesn’t like to be told what to do.

“At first I was told that I could never take a welding class,” she laughed. “So then I was like, okay, I'll do it.”

Then, the Coal Ridge High School senior, and one of the few females in the welding class, discovered something.

“I felt like, I didn't know what I was doing at first, and as I continued in this class I discovered I actually like welding.” welding

Trujillo has now solidified a bond with the skill and she and four of her CMC welding classmates have earned their way into the National Skills-USA competition in June.
This year, fellow senior Titans Daniel Monroy and Josh Martin, have combined with Rifle High School senior Kaden Abernathy, and junior Caleb Gieselman to create a Skills-USA welding juggernaut.
Martin placed first in the state in the individual welding competition while Abernathy finished second.  The team of Trujillo, Monroy and Gieselman topped the state in the team fabrication competition.
Typically, the welding competitions take place in Colorado Springs and students compete together. This year, everything was virtual. Competitors received instructions regarding the tasks they would need to complete, and were given two weeks to practice those skills.  On competition day, their work was timed by CMC welding instructor Jason Shoup, and they were instructed to video or photograph specific components of their work product. 
The team received a set of blue-prints and was required to read and interpret the instructions, and fabricate a stool with adjustable feet and an adjustable seat using different types of welds. The fabrication team had three hours to complete the mission.
The individual competitors also received blueprints and they had to use a variety of materials and welds to create five distinct objects.
CMC welding instructor Jason Shoup couldn’t be prouder of his students.
“This is the first time we have ever made it to nationals,” said Shoup. “We compete against some pretty big schools from the eastern slope and we’ve been hanging in the middle of the pack. This is the first time we’ve brought home gold and a silver medals. They have some talent, and a pretty good skill set.”
After learning how their classmates had done in the competition, Hailie and Kaden began reaching out to share the great news.
“Hailie called me and asked me to guess what we placed,” said Monroy. “ To be honest, I had low hopes for how we would place, so I said fifth, sixth place. When she said first place I thought she was lying.”
Each of the Garfield Re-2/CMC welders spent more than 12 hours a week practicing before the state competition, and Martin says, that is not enough.
“The biggest lesson I learned from the State competition is not to take your practice time for granted,” he said.
The Colorado Mountain College school year has now ended, and the Skills-USA competition will be held in June. All of the competitors have already begun planning their practice time for nationals at least three nights a week.
The CMC welding class has helped solidify the career paths for each of these Garfield Re-2 students. Martin will be headed to a job with a natural gas company when he leaves high school. Monroy and Abernathy will head to trade schools to refine their skills, and Trujillo would like to go into fabrication, and will stay at CMC.
Good luck to these students in June!

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