WHS Students Excel at MATC Firestone Challenge

Twelve Whitewater High School students traveled to the Madison Area Technical College (MATC) Truax campus on May 3 for its annual Firestone Challenge.

The event drew students from schools across southern Wisconsin to compete in a series of automotive-related challenges, including strut removal, spark plug replacement, and automotive part identification. Participants demonstrated the knowledge and skills gained from their automotive classes.

Divided into four teams of two, WHS was represented by Jake Luebker and Edward Rohloff, Wyatt Nixon and Atreyu Blahnik, Gavin LaFlash and Xander Jochims, and Calli Hartzheim and Jason Villegas.

Standout performances were delivered by Nixon and Blahnik, placing in the top six out of 32 teams. The collective group’s exceptional performance highlighted their passion, skill, and the quality instruction provided by Justin Buntrock, Whitewater High School’s Automotive Education Instructor.

“The Firestone Challenge remains a platform where our students shine and demonstrate impressive automotive knowledge,” said Caroline Pate-Hefty, WUSD Superintendent. “I am incredibly proud of the automotive education program Whitewater has built. Congratulations to our head program instructor, Justin, and the talented students who represented us well at MATC.”

At last year’s 2023 Firestone challenge, a pair of WHS students ranked in the top 10 among more than 33 teams.

The continued success of WHS students at the Firestone Challenge underscores the school’s commitment to providing hands-on learning experiences and preparing students for future careers in the automotive industry.

For more information about Whitewater High School’s automotive program, please contact Justin Buntrock at jbuntrock@wwusd.org.

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