Maui News

Maui High Students Finish Fifth In National Auto Competition

June 10, 2014, 9:40 AM HST
* Updated June 11, 5:35 AM
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2014 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition, photo courtesy AAA Hawaiʻi.

2014 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition, photo courtesy AAA Hawaiʻi.

By Wendy Osher

A team from Maui High School earned a top five finish in the national Ford AAA Student Auto Skills competition held this morning in Dearborn, Michigan.

Students Chayce Mimura and Devin Vea took about 52 minutes to repair a deliberately bugged 2014 Ford Fusion SE as part of the hands-on race against top teams from across the nation.

“We’re all honored and pleased to be here today. This is a highly competitive national final and the students did a great job of repairing their vehicle,” said Maui High Instructor Neill Nakamura in a press release statement. “I’m very proud of each student and the efforts that they put forth today.”

This is 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.  This was the second consecutive year that a team from Maui High has placed in the top five nationally.  

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The first place team of  Justin Bublitz and Colt Morris from Wisconsin earned the top award after perfectly de-bugging their vehicle to win the competition.  Other top five finishers included #2 Oklahoma, #3 Maine, and #4 Oregon.

The event is sponsored by Ford Motor Company and AAA as part of an educational effort to attract more young people to automotive professions.

AAA Hawaiʻi reports that the Hawaiʻi team received thousands of dollars in scholarships to pursue their automotive education, along with assorted prizes and trophies.

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“Once again, our students did a great job again this morning in Michigan and upheld the tradition of Maui High placing highly in this very competitive national final. This is an outstanding result for them,” said AAA Hawaiʻi General Manager Liane Sumida in a company press release.

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