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Turlock students excel at Occupational Olympics
Occupational Olympics 1
Turlock freshman Michael Rowan competes in the Woodworking event at Wednesday’s Occupational Olympics held the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds (KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal).

Hundreds of local high school students put their career skills to the test on Wednesday during the 36th annual Stanislaus County Occupational Olympics.

After a day full of arranging flowers, demonstrating life-saving skills and designing drag racing cars, Turlock High School left the fairgrounds with the Large School Overall Award and Hughson High School claimed the Small School Overall Award.

Occupational Olympics 2
Hughson High School students who participated in the ag mechanics competition at Thursday’s Occupational Olympics were (left to right), Matt Lovejoy, David Perez, Daniel Olivas, Cole West, Isaac Payan and Gary Coldicutt (JEFF BENZIGER/The Journal).

Approximately 530 students from Stanislaus County high schools participated in 15 competitive events at the Stanislaus County Fairgounds.

This was the first year for Pitman student Mikayla Kroeker to participate in the Occupational Olympics.

“It feels like it gives me leadership skills,” she said of the event.

Pitman junior Tianna Karr competed in the Criminal Justice event where she had to interview a “victim” and “witness” to a “crime” and then write a police report on the incident.

“It's a really fun experience because it's not real, but they take it very seriously. It’s a really good experience to have if this is going to be something I want to pursue in the future…I want to study criminology in college and to be a criminal justice lawyer,” said Karr.

Occupational olympics 3
Turlock junior Celeste Rangel earned 2nd place in the Floriculture event (KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal).

Local winners include:

·         Agricultural Equipment Technology: Matt LoveJoy, 1st place, Hughson High; Daniel Olivas, 2nd place, Hughson High; Gary Coldicutt, 3rd place, Hughson High.

·         Basic Life Support CPR/First Aid: Jessica Guzman, 1st place, Turlock High; Genesis Garcia and Fatima Solorio, 2nd place, Turlock High; Ruby Jimenez and Jasmeen Takhar, 3rd place, Pitman High.

·         Criminal Justice: Emily Lopez, 1st place, Pitman High.

·         Floriculture: Celeste Rangel, 2nd place, Turlock High; Alexia Ruiz, 3rd place, Hughson High.

·         Job Seeking Contest: Amelia Bettencourt, 1st place, Turlock High.

·         Portfolio Review: Hadynn McCormick, 1st place, Turlock High.

·         Pitsco Drag Racing Light Weight: Angel Zamora, 1st place, Turlock High; Rafael Sanchez, 3rd place, Turlock High.

·         Pitsco Drag Racing Heavy Weight: Aaron Moijica Espinoza, 1st place, Turlock High; Abigail Villalba, 2nd place, Turlock High.

·         Pitsco Drag Racing Design: Heidi Judson, 1st place, Turlock High; Paola Angel, 3rd place, Turlock High.

·         Welding: Logan Ladd, 1st place, Turlock High; Anthony Gutierrez, 2nd place, Turlock High.

In addition to the competitive events, 38 business and industry representatives exhibited and spoke to students during the Career Expo.