MONTICELLO - Students from Monticello placed 12th in the nation during the 2018 Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge Dual National Championship at Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) in Las Vegas.
Monticello High School students Cole Nash, Dylan Mann, and Shane McLean formed a team with Drew Central High School students Jamie Martin, Charlie Lytle, and Bo Lum through the Auto Service Technology classes they attend at the Occupational Education Center, a Secondary Technical Center in Monticello. The team, led by their instructor Shawn Poindexter, qualified for the national championship by disassembling and reassembling a small block Chevrolet engine in under 33 minutes during the qualifying event in Atlanta. This made their team only the third rookie team in the history of the competition to qualify for nationals.
The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge started in 2008 with five high school teams and 35 students competing at a single event at the Race and Performance Expo in St. Charles, IL. In 2018, there were 14 qualifying events in 11 states with 51 teams competing in the Dual Nationals held at SEMA in Las Vegas and PRI Show in Indianapolis. Three college partners offered over $4.2 million in scholarship money to the students participating in the 2018 Dual National Championship.
As well as placing 12th in the nation, the students received $5,000 each in scholarships for competing in the nationals.
Secondary Technical Centers is a program under the Office of Skills Development Division of the Department of Career Education.