Five Maui Teams to Compete in State Student Auto Skills Event
By Wendy Osher
Five Maui teams will be competing for the state title at the 2015 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition to be held on Oʻahu this weekend.
Event organizers say the hands-on competition “tests high-school automotive technology students and their ability to diagnose uniformly “bugged” vehicles and quickly make repairs without sacrificing workmanship.”
The winning two-member team will receive an expense paid trip to the national competition in Dearborn, Michigan in June.
Maui competitors include two teams each from Maui High and King Kekaulike, and one team from Lahainaluna High School. The only non-Maui team in the state competition is from Mililani High, which is competing for their first time in the event.
During last year’s event, a team from Maui High school advanced to the national event where they earned a top five finish. The Hawaiʻi team of Chayce Mimura and Devin Vea received thousands of dollars in scholarships to pursue their automotive education, along with assorted prizes and trophies during the 2014 national competition.
It was at least the 18th time Maui High has sent a team to the national event. Teams from Maui High have also placed in the top 10 for the past decade and won national titles in 1995 and 2000, according to AAA data. 2014 was the second consecutive year that a team from Maui High placed in the top five nationally.
Teams competing in this weekend’s state event include: Matt Doty Shane Fernandez and Justin Jose from King Kekaulike; Petar Kovacic Noah Borling and Troy Evans from King Kekaulike; Jay Ramos Josiah Miguel and Ravin Ah Puck from Lahainaluna; Julio Bayez Joey Lee and Edgar Pollante from Maui HS; Shannon Rowe Joseph Burger and David Casayuran from Maui HS; and Curtiss Hinden Dylan Kawada and Brandon Kobayashi from Mililani.
The state competition will be held on Saturday, April 25, starting at 10:30 a.m. at Honolulu Community College.