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Auto students shine in OHS brake contest

WELCOME TO THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE – (From left) Taking first place in the annual Oxford High School Brake Competition were sophomores Tommy Churchill and Michael Sovis. Second place winners were senior Robert Katchuba and junior Andrew Davis. Finishing in third place were sophomores Mike Smith and Jason Petty. Congratulations to all these budding young mechanics! Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
March 21, 2012 - Oxford Community Schools is constantly publicizing its emphasis on the three A's – academics, arts and athletics.

But there's one 'A' that's overlooked in that mantra – Auto.

Tuesday was a day for Oxford High School's auto students to shine as 24 of them took part in the annual brake competition.

Two-person teams vied against each other to see who could completely disassemble and reassemble a drum brake assembly on two different vehicles in the least amount of time.

"All of the work must be done as quickly and accurately as possible," said Auto Teacher Dan Balsley. "Any errors in craftsmanship disqualify their time and they can be timed as many times as they want during the competition."

Taking first place in this year's competition were sophomores Tommy Churchill and Michael Sovis. They claimed the mantle of victory with a combined time of 4 minutes, 32 seconds. They tackled a Ford Ranger in 2 minutes, 20 seconds and a Plymouth Belvedere in 2 minutes, 11 seconds.

Churchill and Sovis – along with second-place finishers Robert Katchuba and Andrew Davis and third-place winners Mike Smith and Jason Petty – received a whole array of prizes donated by the competition's sponsors.

Sponsors included Steve's Oxford Automotive, Oxford Bank, Rotary Club of Oxford, Oxford McDonald's and Wright Tool.

"It's a nice thing for the community because it brings us all together," Balsley. "We're all working toward the kids' education. It really makes me proud to be in this community."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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