Lovell SkillsUSA tops 3A competition

By Ryan Fitmaurice

The Lovell High School SkillsUSA Chapter was awarded best in the 3A division in the state competition.

The group’s success was built on the foundation of a strong performance in the quiz bowl event, where the group took down chapters from several larger schools to earn first place.

The event was held from April 11-14 in Casper.

Trey Wambeke, Jordan Allen, Rurik Olsen, Keaton Mollett and Bethany O’Tremba all participated in the quiz bowl, earning a gold medal.

“Quiz bowl was Monday evening, and we beat Star Valley,” advisor Bret George said. “They were the only school that was even close.”

George said a gold medal recognition is significant.

“There’s only one gold medal in the state of Wyoming,” George said. “They only issue one medal for each contest. You are the independent winner between all four classes, 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A.”

The chapter also earned gold in restaurant service, and earned silver in photography and job interview.

“I’m going to give (Bethany and) Collette Sanders credit for job interview,” George said. “Every school sends students into job interview, so it’s a huge competition.”

Isabell McKay medaled in photography despite only picking up photography last year.

“I’m disappointed that she’s unable to compete at nationals because I think she definitely can,” George said.

Danika Crumrine was the silver-winning student in restaurant service.

Students in restaurant service had to make their own guacamole, alongside demonstrating waitress and waiter skills to judges pretending to dine. 

The quiz bowl team will represent Wyoming June 20-24 in Atlanta at the national SkillsUSA contest. The chapter has attended the national competition multiple times in its history.

“These guys are going to see how big it is,” George said. “The building is three stories high. There are 25 to 30 semis brought in for the diesel technology service. Toyota brings in 40 to 50 brand new cars for automotive service technology. There’s somewhere around $15 million in industry brought in.”

George praised this year’s chapter for continuing the chapter’s tradition of success.

“I think we very much represented Lovell in a very positive way when you come down and compete against larger schools,” he said. “We’re kind of the underdog but I expected it. We do it year in and year out. These students are the cream of the crop.”