Bloomington students win Victoria College’s Welding Rodeo
Calhoun High School student Luis Fernandez works on his team’s winning project during Friday’s Victoria College Welding Rodeo.

Bloomington High School student Alex Lopez was worried he and his three teammates were in trouble in Friday’s Victoria College Welding Rodeo.

“There were so many pieces to get out and so many we had left to grind,” Lopez said. “We had a bunch of pieces left to do with only an hour to go, but we got it done.”

Lopez, Brian Wilpitz, Joseph Thompson and Aaron Posada teamed to win the third annual event organized by VC Welding Curriculum Coordinator Wade Vrana and VC’s Pre-College Programs and Recruitment.

Students from seven high schools gathered at the VC campus for the competition, which began at 9 a.m. and concluded at 2 p.m.

“We had a lot of good sculptures,” Vrana said. “Each year, they keep getting better and better, and that was true for this year.”

Vrana said the event gives the welders a chance to break out of the normal work they do and use their imaginations.

“It’s an opportunity for them to come here and be creative,” Vrana said. “Most of the time, we’re wanting them to do a job efficiently, but this is a chance for students to be creative with their sculptures, which is something they’re not able to do all the time.”

Bloomington’s sculpture, titled “Alive,” included two weathervanes and other moving parts.

“We planned it out a week before,” Lopez said. “But we made a lot of changes to it. It came out pretty good.”

The Waelder duo of Carlos Mindieta and Tracy Moore finished second. Calhoun’s Luis Fernandez, Kerstian Garcia, Dalton Sontag and Ronald Bonner captured third place.

The Bloomington team was awarded a Victor torch kit, welding hoods and belt buckles. The Waelder and Calhoun teams also received welding equipment as prizes. Air Gas Inc. donated the prizes for the event.

All participants received a Victoria College Welding Rodeo T-shirt.

Victoria College offers welding training, including a Welding Occupational Skills Award, a Basic Welding Certificate, an Advanced Welding Certificate and three levels of Workforce and Continuing Education training.

For more information visit or call (361) 582-2528.

Bloomington High School students, from left, Alex Lopez, Brian Wilpitz, Joseph Thompson and Aaron Posada stand next to their winning project at Friday’s Third Annual Victoria College Welding Rodeo.
Published: Wednesday, 09 November 2016

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