Four Southwestern Illinois College
students demonstrated their talent in welding at a recent skill competition.
Students Brian Hall of Collinsville
and DeAndre LePrade of Shiloh tied for first place while Zack Burdynski of
Grantie City took second place and Nick Hiatt of Collinsville came in fourth at
the American Welding Society Mini Welding Show Virtual Welding Contest held
recently at Cee Kay Supply in St. Louis, Mo. Hall won a new welding helmet for
his efforts, after a weld-off with LePrade.
The competitive field was not slim,
either: about 17 other students competed.
“They showed-up everybody,” said
SWIC Welding Technology Instructor Kevin Bonham. “They held their top positions
even as more students competed, even though a few of them hadn’t been welding
more than a few weeks.”
One of those students was LePrade.
“I was only two weeks into welding
school,” he said. “Winning was a real eye-opener.”
He said he plans to pursue an
Associate in Applied Science degree. He has the skills, after all.
“This has been a great life
Teammate Hall agreed.
“I was thrilled to win the helmet,”
Hall said. “It’s been 12 years since I was in high school. But I decided to
better myself and go to college. I enjoy going to class every night.”
For more information on the SWIC
Welding Technology program, call 618-931-0600, ext. 7475.