San Luis Obispo and Righetti High Schools Earn Top Prizes During Allan Hancock College's High School Welding Contest

Nearly 100 high school students from seven area schools participated in the competition

WeldingContestMAY 15, 2017--Three students from both San Luis Obispo and Righetti high schools won first prize during the 20th annual Allan Hancock College High School Welding Contest on Saturday, May 13. Nearly 100 high school students from seven area schools participated in the day-long competition. The event featured more than $7,000 in prizes that included welding equipment and gear donated by major manufacturers and local businesses.

Santa Maria, Righetti, Pioneer Valley, Santa Ynez, Nipomo, San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande high school students participated in four different types of welding contests, each in advanced and beginning categories and one cutting contest.

The competition took place in the welding labs of the new $17.5 million Industrial Technology Complex on the Santa Maria campus.

Categories and award winners included:

MIG Welding – Beginning

  • First:          Xavier Escobedo, Righetti High School
  • Second:     Niko DeMario, Arroyo Grande High School
  • Third:         Spencer Sylvester, Arroyo Grande High School

MIG Welding – Advanced

  • First:          Wyatt Judge, San Luis Obispo High School 
  • Second:     Brandon Wiley, Righetti High School
  • Third:         Joe Headrick, San Luis Obispo High School

OXY Fuel Welding – Beginning

  • First:          Alonso Portillo, Santa Maria High School      
  • Second:     Adrian Zamudio, Pioneer Valley High School           
  • Third:         Luca Zovich , San Luis Obispo High School 

OXY Fuel Welding – Advanced

  • First:          Noah Montey, Righetti High School  
  • Second:     Quinn Trahan, San Luis Obispo High School
  • Third:         Samantha O’Neal, Nipomo High School       

STICK Welding - Beginning

  • First:          Nathan Cranall, Santa Ynez High School                 
  • Second:     Call McCart, Santa Ynez High School
  • Third:         Justin Delgado, Righetti High School

STICK Welding – Advanced

  • First:          Thomas Phelan, San Luis Obispo High School        
  • Second:     Jonny Righetti, San Luis Obispo High School
  • Third:         Dalen Righetti, San Luis Obispo High School

     TIG Welding – Beginning:

  • First:          Kyler Jecker, San Luis Obispo High School 
  • Second:     Tyler Dant, Righetti High School       
  • Third:         Alex Sandoval, Santa Maria High School

    TIG Welding – Advanced:

  • First:          Jesus Espindola, Righetti High School
  • Second:     Marco Specchierla, Arroyo Grande High School
  • Third:         Andrew Mehlschau, Nipomo High School

In addition, a timed cutting contest was held, during which contestants used oxy fuel to cut a piece of steel measuring one-inch thick by two inches. The winner for this contest was Wyatt Judge from San Luis Obispo High School with a winning time of 9.84 seconds.

Prior to the start of competition, each student took a scored safety test before entering the lab and throughout the morning were able to talk to industry professionals about welding careers and tour the Industrial Technology Labs to learn more about AHC programs. 

Gabriel Marquez, a Hancock welding instructor, along with Stan Luis, Jr. of American Welding Society Section 190, organized the contest. Local sponsors included Praxair, B & B Steel, the local American Welding Society chapter, Lahr Industrial Welding, Inc., Melfred Borzall, the Allan Hancock College Industrial Technology program and members of their Welding Advisory Committee. Community members from the welding industry judged the competition. Andrew Mehlschau of Lahr Industrial Welding served as the lead judge.

Awards were handed out following a Santa Maria tri-tip BBQ lunch grilled by Stan Luis, Sr. and his volunteer crew. Event hospitality was supported by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office through the regional Deputy Sector Navigator grant for Agriculture, Water, and Environmental Technologies.

Allan Hancock College offers both an associate of science degree and certificate in welding technology. Specialized certificates are also available in Metal Fabrication and Pipe Welding. For more information about the welding technology program, call 922-6966 or toll free 1-866 DIAL AHC (342-5242) ext. 3335.

- AHC -

Caption: Stan Luis, Jr. of American Welding Society Section 190 announced the winners and awarded prizes during the 20th annual Allan Hancock College High School Welding Contest.

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Last Modified May 18, 2017