West Wilkes High School’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Team dominated the 2015 EV Challenge, at the N.C. Center for Automotive Research in Garysburg this past Thursday through Sunday.
The team, consisting of West Wilkes students Harley Herman, Issac Ritenour, Caleb Vickers and Justus Church, won first place in autocross, acceleration, range, vehicle design and overall. It also took second place in troubleshooting and jeopardy portions of the national competition.
“It was like a 1A team winning a state championship while going against 4A teams,” said Chris Tolbert, the team’s coach and technology, engineering and design teacher at West Wilkes.
Tolbert said he was referring to the fact that the four-member West team faced teams with as many as 20 members from much larger high schools in several different states. The West team actually has more members, but he said only Herman, Ritenour, Vickers and Church were able to go.
The West team competed with its fully battery-powered 2000 Mazda Miata. Vickers, who is team captain, drove the car and the other three worked like a pit crew in driving portions of the competition. All four participated in other portions of the competition, which included student presentations.
West Wilkes electric vehicle teams have fared well with the Miata in annual EV competitions, but this past weekend was the best yet.
Other West team members this year include Andrew Cheek, Robert Dancy, Cody Bowlin, Brandon Hutchens, Justin Barlowe, Michael Foster and Jack Terrell.