Ramona High School High’s automotive students were clearly in the driver’s seat at Saturday’s High School Automotive Skills Day Competition at Cuyamaca College, nearly sweeping this year’s event with first, second and third-place finishes in the basic division, and first and second place in the advanced division.
Winning the individual competition in the advanced division was Justin Sebenius of Ramona High School. Finishing second was fellow Bulldog Tyler Pavlick, and taking third-place honors was Kurtis Wragg from San Dieguito Academy.
In the basic division, finishing first to third, respectively, were the two-member teams of Martin Calvillo and Jose Garcia; Arthur Brandon and Laureen Teets; and Jesse Reiling and Ryan Hall. Accompanying the Ramona students were automotive instructors Mike Saavedra and Robert Grade.
The 33rd annual competition co-sponsored by Cuyamaca College’s Automotive Technology program and the local chapter of the Automotive Service Council of California also drew students from Clairemont, El Capitan, Monte Vista, Poway, Grossmont and Madison high schools.
The roughly 70 students benefitted from the thousands of dollars awarded in cash and prizes for top finishers in the categories of engine repair, transmission, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical, AC and engine performance.
This year’s event was ostensibly the last for perennial organizer and soon-to-be retiree Jim Custeau, the coordinator of Cuyamaca College’s auto tech program.
“My fellow faculty members promise to carry on the competition,” Custeau said about the event, the longest running in the college’s history, with the exception of commencement. “I’m sure I’ll be back to help out in some way.”