Competition ratchets up

Two Sentinel Career and Technology Students returned home this week with a state title in an automotive technologies competition at the Cleveland Auto Dealers Show.

The senior teammates, Daniel DeJean of Upper Sandusky High School and Seth Hill of Columbian High School, each received a $5,000 scholarship for the school of their choice. Also, the two received $6,000 towards tuition for University of Northwestern Ohio if they would attend there.

During the competition, the team had to work five bench stations, take two written tests and fix five problems on a 2014 Toyota Corolla within 90 minutes. The two said they worked and practiced on a similar car that had been donated from LaRiche Toyota of Findlay.

“We worked during and after school, practicing and preparing for the competition,” Hill said.

Sentinel’s Automotive Technologies Instructor Jody Keegan assisted in helping the boys by bugging the car, he said.

“The mechanics at LaRiche also helped by letting the team come and see them work and help them work with their scan tools to help diagnose the problems,” Keegan said.

“Over the years, I have gone to many of the competition and know along the lines of what they might do to the cars,” Keegan said. “(The team) placing first is the greatest. They are a very good team.”

The team is to head to the National Auto Dealers Show in New York City at the end of April. There, they are to work 10 bench stations and have three hours to fix 10 issues on the similar vehicle.

If the team wins the national competition, they would receive $20,000 toward tuition at UNOH and a tool box filled with tools, among other possible prizes, Keegan said.

DeJean and Hill said they enjoy spending their time working on cars.

“I enjoy having someone come in with their car and don’t know the problem and for me to be able to diagnose and fix it,” DeJean said.

Hill said, “It is something that not everyone can do.”