Local students represented well at regional cabinet-making contest
Southern Oklahoma Technology Center students had a good showing as they hosted the regional cabinet-making contest.
In the high school division, Thomas Evans placed second. In the post-secondary division, Melissa Meyer placed first and Richard Hill placed fourth.
Both Evans and Meyer will advance to the state competition.
"I was very nervous," Evans said. "It was very rushing, but slow at the same time."
He appreciated the need to be careful after a piece of wood he was sawing in half came back and hit him.
"I was shaky after that, but I went to lunch and then got myself together," Evans said.
By the end, Evans found fault with his work, despite placing second.
"I'll be rebuilding the cabinet. It wasn't to the best standard," he said. "It wasn't wide enough because I was in a rush."
Yet, he will still be advancing to the state competition, where he will be doing it all again.
"Right now, it really hasn't hit me, but I'll probably be freaking out in a couple weeks. It'll be exciting to see what I can do," Evans said.
Melissa Meyer, who is a third-year student, has experience advancing to state contests as a high school student.
"This is my last chance at state," she said. "I enjoy going and looking at the other contests."
With one last chance, she is working extra hard to try to win and qualify for nationals. Meyer has been tutoring Evans, which has proven effective in refining her skills too.
"I get a whole different view when teaching someone else," Meyer said. "I can look back at my work and see where I messed up."
She is also in a good position, as the second place winner she beat advanced to nationals last year.
Meyer also knows the new challenges that await at the state competition.
"Going to someone else's shop, you've got new equipment you have to learn really quick, and it's stressful," she said.
Hill was competing for the first time.
"I was out there and made a few mistakes," he said. "If I had another hour I'd have been OK."
He struggled with making the cabinet door because he cut the piece too small.
"I guess I was trying to go too fast and cut it too short. I didn't have material to cut another one, so I cut a piece and glued it on," Hill said.