A group of about 20 Pitt State students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, had been working on the Baja vehicle for the competition since October 2008. The vehicle was judged based on an endurance race, overall design, cost analysis and dynamic testing.
"I think they did very well overall," said Trent Lindbloom, instructor in automotive technology. "We were hoping for a top 10 finish, but being in the upper half is outstanding considering we're competing with schools from all over the country that specialize in engineering."
This year's 14th place finish is an improvement over last year's 19th place result, but Lindbloom says Pitt State's teams are "typically somewhere in the upper part of the pack," thanks to the work of the students and the assistance of multiple supporters of the PSU program.
The Alabama competition is just one of three competitions that Pitt State Baja teams attend. The next one will be held in June in Milwaukee, where an entirely different crew and vehicle will be tested.
Students who competed in Alabama include the following:
Pete Allen, Augusta, Kan.; Kevin Szkil, Ellicot City, Md.; Matt Porter, Kennesaw, Ga.; Jason Gibson, Lancing, Kan.; Casey Perry, Overland Park, Kan.; Kyle Cohoon, Derby, Kan.; Jerrod Bohannon, Derby, Kan.; and Jake Lampe, Osceola, Iowa.
The second PSU Baja team, currently preparing for the Milwaukee competition, includes Jon Cunningham, Overland Park, Kan.; Daniel Clugston, Columbus, Kan.; Josh Zecha, Maize, Kan.; Bryce Curl, Mount Vernon, Mo.; Sara Graber, Newton, Kan.; Kevin Hunninghake, Seneca, Mo.; Jeff Vondemkamp, Seneca, Mo.; and Seth VanWinkle, San Antonio, Texas.
For more information, call the Department of Automotive Technology at (620) 235-6189.
©2009 Pittsburg State University