P O W E L L, W y o. - High school welders from Douglas, Miles City and Big Piney claimed top team honors at the Northwest College 2007 Rod Burners Welding Contest April 19 and 20 in Powell.
The contest included a written test, vertical and overhead oxy-acetylene welds, plus vertical and horizontal arc welds. Winners were determined by aggregate scores from all areas.
Douglas claimed the top team trophy and three individual awards to boot. Casey Dickau was named the top individual welder and took home a large haul of welding equipment with the honor. His teammates Jesse Lang and Charles Delyea finished second and fourth, respectively.
Miles City grabbed the second place team award and placed Jake Foulger and Dan Bird third and fifth, respectively, in the individual contest. Foulger also won the award for the high score on the written test portion of the contest.
The Big Piney team finished third and team member Grant DeGraw took the top individual cutting award.
In addition to serious business, the welding students also got to try their hand at a tape measure race to see whose tape retracts the fastest. The winner this year was Mike Rasmussen of Burlington, who received a large gold tape measure trophy for his speedy tape measure. Foulger and Russel Murphy, both of Miles City, took the silver award and bronze awards, respectively. In keeping with tradition, NWC welding instructor Harold Elton challenged the winner to a tape measure grudge match. Elton triumphed, holding on to his four-year record of owning the "fastest tape measure in the West."
In addition to Burlington, Big Piney, Miles City and Douglas, other participating teams traveled from Byron, Gillette, Greybull and Rawlins in Wyoming; and from Laurel and Red Lodge, Mont.
Prizes for the competition were donated by Gases Plus, Revco, Miller Manufacturing, Victor Welding Equipment and by Devin Self, an NWC welding student from Pocatello, Idaho.
The NWC Rod Burners Welding Contest is sponsored annually by the Northwest College Welding Department and coordinated by welding instructors Harold Elton, Bill Johnson, Lee Elton and Charlie Davis.
Northwest College, located 70 miles from Yellowstone National Park, is a two-year, residential college offering transfer and technical programs of study that blend traditional arts and sciences with emerging technologies.