Prairie, BGHS finish first and second in welding event


Prairie High School and Battle Ground High School competed in the 2024 SkillsUSA state welding fabrication competition at Centralia College last month, with Prairie claiming first place and Battle Ground taking second.

Teams were given a complete set of plans for a welding and cutting table and all of the required materials to construct it. Then, they had just five hours to complete it, the press release stated.

“We were given this big packet of drawing specifications,” Grayson Allen, Prairie senior said. “We had to put welds in specific spots and build it exactly to the drawings.”

The Prairie team was composed of Allen, Kent Rohner and Brody Nieto, who went to the regional event simply hoping to learn and test their skills against other high school students from around the area, the press release stated.

“These three put a lot of work in,” Rob Smith, Prairie welding and machine shop instructor, said in the press release. “All three would be here all day long if they could. Their attention to detail is phenomenal.”

Battle Ground High School’s team of Jason Lundervold, Aiden Goncalves and Avery Carlson, under the leadership of Tod Garred, claimed silver at the state event.

Prairie’s team is seeking sponsorships to help reach the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in June in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about the welding and machining program at Prairie, or sponsorship inquiries, contact Rob Smith at smith.rob@battle