Pictured are: (back row): Trevor Zuehlke, Jesus Duran, Colton Belfeuil and Anastasia Dillenberg; (front row): Olivia Arreola, Wautoma High School graduate and former SkillsUSA participant; and Jessie Lloyd, SkillsUSA

Wautoma students return for more welding success

The Wautoma SkillsUSA Club is off to another impressive start this school year. In honor of Manufacturing Month, the students traveled to two Welding Challenges in the past two weeks and, as expected, the club made notable finishes at both.

Returning senior, Jesus Duran won the gold medal at Fox Valley Technical College’s Welding Challenge on Oct. 4 at Fox Valley Technical College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center in Oshkosh. He was followed by a newcomer to the club, Anastasia Dillenberg, who took third place in the Job Interview portion of the competition. Returning club member, Colton Belfeuil also finished third place in Welding.

Not to be outdone by his team mate, Belfeuil came back to win overall in the next Welding Challenge, held at the Advanced Welding Institute in Eagle River on Oct. 14. Duran finished close behind him, taking second place in Job Interview and the second place overall award. The victory was sweet for Belfeuil, who humbly congratulated teammates last year at the same competition, where he finished fourth to his team mates, putting him just out of the awards.

Duran and Belfeuil had remarkable successes in competition last year, often only placing behind their teammates in competition. The students attribute their ongoing achievements to a couple of critical factors. Both students have been working as welders for Mayville Engineering Company (MEC) for almost a year under the Youth Apprenticeship Program, and they hold a Fox Valley Technical College Welding Fundamentals Certificate.

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