Xtreme Challenge attracts potential peers with prizes

More than 250 students from 12 high schools competed in the fifth annual Xtreme Challenge contests at Seward on March 24. The event offered 12 categories of competition, which seemed to be popular for first-time students as well veterans of the Xtreme Challenge, open to high school students from freshmen to seniors. “The Xtreme Challenge was an overall great experience for me,” Liberal High School sophomore Austin Applebee said. “It opened my eyes to what Seward has to offer me, I am definitely looking forward to next year.” High schools new to the competition this year included Garden City and Booker, Texas. They joined Elkhart, Rolla, Liberal, Turpin, Tyrone, Forgan, Satanta, Sublette, Moscow and Bucklin. The technical school offered challenges for the first time this year for students interested in trade and industrial education. Category winner Travis Perkins of Elkhart felt motivated by the contests. “The challenge gave me a chance to show people what I can do in automotive mechanics,” Perkins said. “I also was able to see the different programs the college has to offer.” The top three winners in each of the 12 categories were announced at an awards assembly where the winners were presented prizes such as digital cameras, iPod Shuffles and Flip camcorders. The college also presented three scholarships from a drawing to Rene Boaldin of Elkhart High School, Beth Glave of Rolla High School and Amy Mikles of Turpin High School. Elkhart High School earned the Overall Award by having the most contest points in the overall placings. Elkhart sponsor Terri Houtz expressed her appreciation to the college for having Xtreme Challenge. “We were very pleased with the categories,” Houtz said. Those categories included three new areas, adding English, health information management, and trade and industrial education to the existing nine categories of accounting, business administrative technology, agriculture, art, computer information systems, cosmetology, criminal justice, journalism and marketing/ management. SCCC/ATS English instructor Janice Northerns experienced her first year as a category coordinator. “It went very well, and I was excited to see the quality of writing,” Northerns said. “We got some excellent stories and essays.” More than 18 enrolled in each of the first year English competitions, while art instructor Susan Copas saw her fourth year contests grow to more than 30 for each competition. “I am very pleased with the participation,” Copas said. March weather presented a mix of wind, rain, sleet and snow. Copas was afraid that would put a damper on the digital photography contest, which usually counts on outdoor photos. However, she said that she and the judges were pleasantly surprised with the creativeness