FHSU team back-to-back national champs

Published 05/04/2021

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05/03/2021 dgo local, state

HAYS, Kan. – The Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association (TEECA) at Fort Hays State University reached new heights this year.

FHSU won the all-around championship at the 83rd annual International Technology and engineering Educations Association (ITEEA) conference in March.

It was FHSU’s second title in a row, recording the first back-to-back national championships since the inception of the all-around national recognition in 2017. The win helped FHSU erase the memories of barely losing national titles in 2018 (by one point) and again in 2019 (two points).

Fort Hays State scored 16 total points in the event – which was run this year as a virtual format – to edge out Purdue University by a single point for the top spot.

FHSU won two individual titles and added eight other top-three finishes. It has now won 32 individual events in its 36 years of national competition. Purdue actually placed first in more divisions (five), but FHSU recorded more top-three placings.

Finishing first for the TEECA group were its No. 1 robotics team and the graphic design team.

Tage Rothschild and Jordan Sargent teamed up to become the winningest robotics team in FHSU history. With their first-place finish in that event they became three-time national champs. Interestingly, they also finished third in that event with their second robot design.

Members of the national championship graphic design team were Jerry Hoffman, Efrain Flores, and Rodolfo Diaz-Garay.

Although the all-around national champion recognition is new to the organization, Eric Deneault, associate professor of applied technology, said “to be the first to do anything is a special feat in itself.”

Deneault praised the upperclassmen’s high standards and expectations as a key to FHSU’s continued success at the regional and national levels.

“When the expectation is to compete at the highest level with a great deal of success, it motivates the team to achieve that success by committing to the process and putting in the time and effort it takes to be a champion,” he said. “I am extremely proud of our team.”

Following are FHSU’s individual event results:

• VEX robotics

First place

Tage Rothchild, a senior majoring in manufacturing technology from Superior, Neb.

Third place

Jordan Sargent, a senior majoring in manufacturing technology from Ransom.

• Graphic design

First place

Efrain Flores, a senior majoring in construction management from Hays.

Rodolfo Diaz-Garay, a junior majoring in technology studies from Salina.

Jerry Hoffman, a senior majoring in technology studies from Hays.

• Educational display

Second place

Paige Holopirek, a freshman from La Crosse.

Third place

Luke Barber, a junior majoring in engineering design technology from Alma.

• Live manufacturing

Second place

Jordan Boone, a senior majoring in construction management from Great Bend

Matthew Freel, a senior majoring in technology and engineering education from

Minneapolis.

Jerry Hoffman, a senior majoring in industrial technology from Hays.

Micah Nuss, a senior majoring in construction management from Russell.

Dason Sweat, a senior majoring in engineering design technology from Minneapolis.

• Communications

Second place

Rodolfo Diaz-Garay, a junior majoring in technology studies from Salina.

Jerry Hoffman, a senior majoring in industrial technology from Hays.

Benjamin Windom III, a senior majoring in manufacturing technology from Aurora,

Colo.

• Problem solving

Second place

Daniel Fagan, a sophomore majoring in construction management from Kinsley.

Edgar Silvestre, a sophomore majoring in engineering design technology from Salina.

Benjamin Windom III, a senior majoring in manufacturing technology from Aurora, Colo.

• Teaching lesson

Second place

Matthew Freel, a senior majoring in technology education from Minneapolis.

Third place

Zach Peach, a junior majoring in technology education from La Crosse.