VALDOSTA -- Two teams of Lowndes High School automotive students recently entered the 2004 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition in Braselton, placing sixth and eighth.
The competition began in February with a written test. Two teams of eight LHS students, lead by instructors Russell Herring and Brian Spray, took the test. The two highest scoring students from each team had their scores added together to serve as the team score.
Only the top 10 scoring teams in the state are allowed to enter the hands-on portion of the competition. Both LHS teams moved on to the next level of competition. Lowndes was the only school in the state to have two teams in this portion of the competition.
Herring's team consisted of Thomas Keen and Drew Arnwine. Spray's team included Robert Burkhalter and Trey Wright.
The hands-on competition consisted of 10 2004 Ford Crown Victorias. Each car had been "bugged" identically so that each had the same problems and symptoms. The students were required to diagnose the problem, replace any defective parts, test drive the vehicle, and have their workmanship judged. The competitors raced the clock for 90 minutes and had to drive their vehicle before the time was up in order to have it judged.
Spray's team placed eighth in the competition. Herring's team brought home the sixth-place prize.
All of the students who competed are working toward careers in automotive related fields. Burkhalter plans to enroll in the automotive program at Valdosta Technical College and then possibly enter the military. Keen is enrolled in both LHS and Valdosta Tech through the Post Secondary Option Program. He is studying Automotives and plans to finish that program and then enter the Collision Repair Program.
Wright has enrolled in the Motorcycle and Marine Institute in Orlando, Fla., and will study motorcycle repair beginning in September. Arnwine has enrolled in the Universal Technical Institute in Orlando and will continue studying automotive repair.
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