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West Valley City Journal

Hunter High students win automotive competition fourth year in a row

May 03, 2019 11:10AM ● By Jess Nielsen Beach

The students of Team Edelbrock at Hunter High School hold up their hard-earned trophy at the SEMA competition. (Photo courtesy

By Jess Nielsen Beach | [email protected] 

Being driven to win has become a good habit of the automotive program students at Hunter High School.

On Feb. 28, SkillsUSA, a career and technical student organization, hosted their annual competition at Granger High School. Two students from each high school in the Granite School District, picked for their achievements in the Advanced Auto classroom, spent a full day competing for the top spots. 

“The students take what they’ve learned all year and we tell them, in a month, you’ll be taking part of that competition,” said Tyler Perkins, the automotive technology teacher at Hunter. 

The contenders are required to use their practical as well as academic skills. In addition to a written test, the students must show their expertise in eight different stations including automotive, brakes, alignment and electrical. Ken Garff Auto was on hand to help set up and manage the stations.

There was also a job interview station for student to brush up on their skills so they can be successful searching for work after graduation.

Judges from the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) awarded scores and decided which students came out on top. The honor was given to seniors Hayden Peterson and Ismael Torres, both of Hunter High. The two students joined a growing legacy, making this the fourth consecutive victory for their school.

“We do other competitions as well,” Perkins said. “They’re part of my after school club, the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow.” The Hunter High Hot Rodders are made up of 10 students, ranging from freshmen to seniors.

Back in December, Hunter’s Team Edelbrock participated in the 2018 Hot Rodders of Tomorrow National Championship. This was their second time making it into the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).

“This year, we took third in the nation,” Perkins said. “It was a pretty big deal. Each student got a $9,000 scholarship to either Universal Technical Institute, Sam’s School of Automotive Machines or Ohio Technical College.”

Hunter High’s Automotive Program isn’t pumping the brakes just yet. 

“Our club is taking two teams for a qualifying event at UVU on May 18,” Perkins said.