Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Trevor Calton Makes The News!

This article was sent from Kim McNeil, Randy's wife, about Backbone's own DH racer Trevor Calton......

RHS team scores in New York City

Ramona High School seniors and automotive students Troy Thompson, left, and Trevor Calton competed with the best of the best in the nation in National Automotive Technology Competition held during the International Show in New York City.
Suzanne Corey 23.APR.08
In the world of high school auto competitions, The National Automotive Technology Competition in New York City is the place to be. The competition brings together the nation’s best automotive education students to showcase their skills in hopes of winning a piece of the more than $3 million in scholarships and prizes.

Ramona High School’s auto program has qualified for the past 13 years and has placed in the top 10 consecutively since 1997. This year, Team Lexus with RHS seniors Troy Thompson and Trevor Calton continued the trend and placed fourth overall.

According to the NATC Web site, the nationally recognized competition, developed by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, is the top competition of its kind. It was created to help curb the shortage of qualified automotive technicians and to raise the level of vocational education standards in the public school system.

“It’s the coolest contest,” said RHS auto instructor Robert Grace. “The prizes are huge and the quality of kids is amazing.

“It’s the only competition where we are sponsored. Our hotel, airfare, and spending money are all paid for by the New Car Dealers Association. You feel like you are being treated like royalty.”

Grace, who accompanied Thompson and Calton, put them to the test long before the event by administering written assessments as well as similar auto scenarios. They were also trained with the help of their supporting auto dealer, Bob Baker Lexus of El Cajon.

Their first step was winning the coveted spot amongst their fellow classmates. Next, the power duo went on to win a regional and state contest. This enabled them to travel to New York for the event, which took place on March 25 and 26 at the New York International Automobile Show.

Thompson and Calton competed against 35 other teams, three of which were from California. The first day, the team had to complete 10 work stations in just six hours. Their stations included brakes, electrical, tire service, precision measurement, safety procedures, and service information look up.

At each station, the boys had to diagnose and repair the problems. Points were then assigned for each problem they correctly repaired, depending on its level of difficulty.

The next day they had to diagnose and repair a 2008 Lexus ES 350. In addition, students were tested on their overall knowledge through a series of written tests.

“As a teacher, you always hope you prepared them well,” said Grace. “We put in a lot of effort and it’s great to step back and watch them in action, on their own. They were confident, had good technique, and finished on time. They walked away and felt they achieved their personal best and that made me very proud.”

By winning fourth place, Thompson and Calton earned tools, tool bags, shirts, hats, and nearly $30,000 in scholarships to automotive training schools.

Thompson plans to use his scholarship when he attends Cuyamaca College’s Ford Factory Training School. Calton plans to join the Navy after graduation and will use his skills in that arena.

After the competition, they toured New York City.

“It’s always a bit intimidating at first,” Grace said. “But, we had a good time. We walked about 20 miles a day, touched the Atlantic Ocean, and were able to relax and just be tourists.”

More competitions are to follow as the school year wraps up and Grace and his crew likely will bring home additional awards. - Copyright Ramona Sentinel


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