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Local students go for the gold at Occupational Olympics
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Turlock High School senior Michaela Rantz examines flowers during the Occupational Olympics. She finished third in the floriculture event (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

The 34th Annual Occupational Olympics and Career Exposition took place at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock on Thursday, giving area students the opportunity to explore future careers and compete against other schools to see who has best mastered Career Technical Education skills like repairing small engines, identifying different flowers and even building robots.

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THS EnTech class members Christopher Baerheim, Javier Lemus, Michael Ramirez and Noel Nazarpour show off their robots before participating in the Robotics Technology event. Ramirez and Nazarpour finished second (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

Sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education, The Gallo Foundation, Modesto Junior College and the Education Foundation of Stanislaus County, the event first began in the 1980s and this year saw 770 students participate in 19 competitive events.

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PHS senior Sherly Yaghoubi races to beat the clock and finish her project during an event (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

Students from both Pitman and Turlock high schools put their best foot forward in the competition this year, with a total of 21 individual students or teams placing in events. THS brought home six first place awards: Jared Hack, Ag Engineering/Construction Trades; Jace Jantz, Agricultural Equipment Technology; Maria Cervantez, Floriculture; Robert Engenio, Pitsco Drag Racing Light Weight; Roberto Ramirez, Pitsco Drag Racing Heavy Weight; Dominic Manriquez, Welding, as well as seven second place awards and five third place awards. PHS finished first in two events: Ramika Govergezy, Criminal Justice; Sophia Anderson, Salad Preparation and Display, and came in second in another. 

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Pitman High School senior David Hernandez participates in the Ag Engineering/Construction Trades competition (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).