WNC hosts state welding event in Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

WNC hosts state welding event in Carson City

Judge Timothy Hinkle watches over Spanish Springs student Jacob Elsberry during the SkillsUSA auto competition Thursday at WNC.
Brad Coman/Nevada Appeal |

Students from all over Nevada met at Western Nevada College to compete in the state welding competition Thursday.

Twenty-eight students from high schools and colleges around the state, including Carson and Douglas, competed for the chance to move onto the national welding competition for their work. The students spent several hours going through six rounds to test their welding skills. They had to complete four pieces using different techniques and metals such as shielded metal, and gas-tungsten metal and there was also an interview process and written test. The students were judged on categories such as appearance, instruction following, and cut quality.

“It’s exciting (to be here),” said Fernley senior Jake Ramer. “It is different, I have never done this before and it is a really competitive competition.”

WNC has been hosting this event for more than 20 years to help introduce students to the welding program and facilities at WNC, said welding professor Randy Naylor.

Before getting to the state competition, the students have to place in one of the three regional competitions earlier in the year. This year, three girls competed in the state competition, which is rare in the welding field.

Senior Abby Panlaqui from Beatty is one of the girls competing Thursday, and she said though her gender makes things harder for her in the field, she uses it as a motivator.

“It is a lot of pressure (to be here), especially because I am a girl and there just aren’t a lot of us here,” Panlaqui said. “It is definitely different (to be a female in the field), when I first started in the welding program, the guys didn’t take me seriously so I had to assert my dominance and show them (I could do it).”

Panlaqui said the MIG welding is her favorite station in the competition because it’s one of her strong suits.

“I just hope to be happy with my work,” Panlaqui said. “I don’t care if I win, I just want to be proud of what I did.”

An awards ceremony for the winners is scheduled for today.