Challenge brings high school students to Seward County

While Seward County Community College students whose morning classes pertaining to accounting, administration, ag, art, computer, cosmo, criminal justice, journalism or marketing had been canceled were fast asleep in their beds, scores were being tallied, murders were being solved, hair was being braided and scared high school students were looking for their next challenge—Xtreme Challenge, that is. Select students from 14 high schools flooded the halls of the college March 25 for the fourth annual Xtreme Challenge. This year’s Xtreme Challenge had a 64 percent increase in participants from 140 students last year to 230 students this year. The increase is partly due to six more schools deciding to compete and more convenient scheduling. Although many students made it to the Xtreme Challenge, Elkhart High School almost didn’t make it because of a tightened budget. Terri Houtz, an Elkhart sponsor, and an art instructor had to attend a school board meeting to ask permission to budget money to bring students to the Xtreme Challenge. Houtz’s efforts were paid off when Elkhart tied with Rolla for a win on the overall high school award. For the first time, two high schools tied for the overall high school, a score determined by individuals from that high school who place in any of the nine challenges. Rolla yearbook sponsor Traci Taylor believes students should experience the atmosphere of the college. “They see that college is attainable, and it’s not as scary as it sounds. As they eat in the cafeteria, take a campus tour, go through the contests, and navigate around campus, it makes college less scary,” Taylor said. “We’ve sent several to Seward, and they’ve gone on to four-year schools and been very successful.” Xtreme Challenge prizes were presented by SCCC/ATS instructors and featured the top three high school students in each of nine challenge areas. • Accounting: First place, Josh Ryman, Elkhart; second place, Angela Gomez, Southwestern Heights; third place, Miguel Araiza, Moscow. • Administrative Professionals: First, Lindsay Garinger, Southwestern Heights; second, Megan Taylor, Rolla; third, Logan Smith, Elkhart. • Agriculture: First, Kurtis Clawson, Satanta; second, Jade Greene, Rolla; third, Kyle Hall, Rolla. • Art: First, Mandy Switzer, Satanta; second, Karen Gallo, Turpin, Okla.; third, Jesse Lane, Rolla. • Computer Information Systems: First, Lauren Carter, Elkhart; second, Tanesha Cayton, Elkhart; third, Lorena Richards, Turpin, Okla. • Cosmetology: First, Megan Devore, Liberal; second, Tania Mengelkamp, Rolla; third, René Boaldin, Elkhart. • Criminal justice: First, Brandon Rusch, Rolla; second, Anthony Hernandez, Moscow; third, Emili Hawley, Southwestern Heights.

Crusader photo/ Morgan Allaman Alfredo Anaya of Liberal High School paints a nail during a cosmetology challenge. Although Anaya didn’t win, another LHS student Megan Devore placed first in cosmetology. This year’s Xtreme Challenge had a 64 percent increase in participants from 140 students last year to 230 students this year.
Crusader photo/ Morgan Allaman
Alfredo Anaya of Liberal High School paints a nail during a cosmetology challenge. Although Anaya didn’t win, another LHS student Megan Devore placed first in cosmetology. This year’s Xtreme Challenge had a 64 percent increase in participants from 140 students last year to 230 students this year.

• Journalism: First, Tiawna Cayton, Elkhart; second, Jayce Apsley, Satanta; third, Katie Ambrosier, Elkhart. • Marketing/management: First, Casey Barrett, Rolla; second, Javier Medrano, Satanta; third, Stephan Menges, Bucklin. 2009 Xtreme Challenge winners received such prizes as Dell Mini 9 laptops, digital cameras, iPod Shuffles or Nanos, video recorders, GPS, night goggles, Bamboo Fun, and a techie gift basket. Jesse Lane of Rolla High School, who placed third in art, enjoyed the Xtreme Challenge. “I think it’s a good opportunity for people to compete and have a good time,” Lane said. “The prizes that they have really push people to compete.”