Western Texas College welding students earn first-place awards at competition

Seated, front row: First-place winners Patricia Araya and Samuel Hernandez. The welding team and instructors back row, from left to right: Rowdy Atkins, Kayden Kelly, Alejandro Ruiz, Jeff Stewart, and Jeffrey Stewart. (Not Pictured: Brody Nelson). (Courtesy Photo)

ALVIN Two Western Texas College welding students took home first-place honors from the Gulf Coast Community College Welding Showdown held in Alvin on Saturday, November 4.

Samuel Hernandez and Patricio Araya earned first-place honors for their categories. Hernandez won the 12” STD Pipe- 5G Downhill (6010/8010) stick category. Araya, a second-year welding student, beat his competitors in the 4G Open Root Plate (Mig) – (flux core) category.

“Samuel had a leg up on the other competitors since his category is more of the type of welding work done in West Texas,” Jeff Stewart, Western Texas College welding instructor, said in a news release.

“Patricio also had an edge over the other entrants as a sophomore student,” added Stewart. “His experience and knowledge really paid off.

“But I am really proud of all the WTC students who competed.”

The other talented welding students from WTC who competed included Rowdy Atkins, Brody Nelson, Alejandro Ruiz, and Kayden Kelley. B&J Welding Supply provided the team shirts they wore.

Stewart gave the students great advice before they started: have fun.

“This was a great experience for all the students from all the schools who competed. They had welding professionals judge their work, not just instructors in the classroom. They’re learning the expectations that future employers will require.”

A total of forty-two students from seven colleges from across the state of Texas competed, including Alvin Community College, Houston Community College, Wharton Junior College, College of the Mainland, Western Texas College, Texas State Technical College, and Brazosport College.

Hernandez and Araya also walked away with prizes: they each received a welding hood and a cash prize.

“We really appreciate all the hard work Leroy Brigman (Welding Technology Instructor) and his team at Alvin Community College did putting this event together. The community and vendor support were amazing, especially Pipeliner Clouds.”

“It was a great day for everyone.”