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posted: 2/26/2014 3:16 PM

Dist. 214 among best in SkillsUSA Qualifying Exams

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  • Pictured are District 214 students qualified to compete in the 2014 SkillsUSA Championships for Skill and Leadership.

      Pictured are District 214 students qualified to compete in the 2014 SkillsUSA Championships for Skill and Leadership.
    Courtesy of District 214

 
Submitted by District 214

Township High School District 214 has had one of the best performances ever on the SkillsUSA Qualifying Exams.

Not only are the state's top qualifiers in Automotive Service, Carpentry and Plumbing from Elk Grove and Prospect high schools, but also more than 15 District 214 students qualified to compete in the 2014 SkillsUSA Championships for Skill and Leadership. The event is on Friday, April 4, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.

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Nearly 220 students throughout the state took the Automotive Service test, and the top 45 were invited to compete in a hands-on, diagnostic, and troubleshooting competition. Eight Elk Grove High School students qualified to compete at state, and senior Michael Comelli took the No. 1 spot in Illinois. Daniel Niekrasz (junior) placed 15th, Brandon Perfect (junior) 18th, Dimitar Gachev (senior) 19th, Frank Bruno (junior) 27th, Kishan Patel (senior) 31st, Michael Bailey (junior) 43rd and Melissa Cristofaro (senior) 45th.

In Carpentry, eight students qualified for the state competition, and the No. 1 qualifier is Prospect High School's Nick Fowler (junior). The other state-bound students are John Hersey High School seniors Eric Labahn, Evan Huff, and Kevin Flasch; Buffalo Grove High School senior Dayton Davis; Rolling Meadows High School senior Matthew Brannstrom and junior Felipe Ramirez; and Elk Grove High School senior Kyle Itzenthaler. Over an eight-hour span at the state competition, these students will build a small structure from a set of plans that they will be handed.

Three new competitions were added this year, and District 214 students qualified in all three events. In Plumbing, Elk Grove High School senior Cody Albergo took first in state. In CNC Turning, Elk Grove High School senior Raul Hurtado placed third in the state, and in Electrical Construction Wiring, Wheeling High School senior Matthew Brockway took 11th in state.

These students are competing to become state champions and potentially win thousands of dollars in scholarships and prizes. Contest winners will have the opportunity to represent the state of Illinois in their respective events at the SkillsUSA National Championships in Kansas City this June.

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