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FHSU team back-to-back national champs
COURTESY PHOTO Pictured is a portion of Fort Hays State University’s 2021 TEECA national championship team.

HAYS – The Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association (TEECA) at Fort Hays State University reached new heights this year. 

FHSU won the all-around championship at the 83rd annual International Technology and engineering Educations Association (ITEEA) conference in March. 

It was FHSU’s second title in a row, recording the first back-to-back national championships since the inception of the all-around national recognition in 2017. The win helped FHSU erase the memories of barely losing national titles in 2018 (by one point) and again in 2019 (two points). 

Fort Hays State scored 16 total points in the event – which was run this year as a virtual format – to edge out Purdue University by a single point for the top spot. 

FHSU won two individual titles and added eight other top-three finishes. It has now won 32 indi-vidual events in its 36 years of national competition. Purdue actually placed first in more divi-sions (five), but FHSU recorded more top-three placings.  

Finishing first for the TEECA group were its No. 1 robotics team and the graphic design team.

Tage Rothschild and Jordan Sargent teamed up to become the winningest robotics team in FHSU history. With their first-place finish in that event they became three-time national champs. Interestingly, they also finished third in that event with their second robot design.  

Members of the national championship graphic design team were Jerry Hoffman, Efrain Flores, and Rodolfo Diaz-Garay. 

Although the all-around national champion recognition is new to the organization, Eric Deneault, associate professor of applied technology, said “to be the first to do anything is a special feat in itself.” 

Deneault praised the upperclassmen’s high standards and expectations as a key to FHSU’s continued success at the regional and national levels. 

“When the expectation is to compete at the highest level with a great deal of success, it motivates the team to achieve that success by committing to the process and putting in the time and effort it takes to be a champion,” he said. “I am extremely proud of our team.” 

Following are FHSU’s area individual event results:

• VEX robotics

Third place: Jordan Sargent, senior majoring in manufacturing technology from Ransom.  

• Educational display

Second place: Paige Holopirek, freshman from LaCrosse. 

• Live manufacturing

Second place: Jordan Boone, senior majoring in construction management from Great Bend; and Micah Nuss, senior majoring in construction management from Russell.

• Teaching lesson

Third place: Zach Peach, junior majoring in technology education from La Crosse