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Riverside students win awards

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By Daniel Segraves

Katie Morson and Jessie Cool work on their mural for the Art Club’s Chalk Walk event, they won first place. (Courtesy of Ted Hewitt)

By Daniel Segraves

Awards were spread far and wide for Riverside City College students in the past weeks. From a prestigious local contest, to a karate tournament in Las Vegas, to our traditional Chalk Walk contest, RCC has been showing its resolve.

Students attended the all inclusive contest SkillsUSA April 19-22 at the request of Rich Finner, the advisor for the RCC chapter.

Finner described the event as a totally voluntary chance to compete on a national level in whatever skill a student possesses.

“(SkillsUSA) hosts over 80 categories involved,” he said. “There is nursing, fire-fighting, cosmetology, graphic communications…”

According to Finner, students can conveniently participate in the contest “right in their back yard”.

“Most of the competitions are at the convention center downtown with assistance from the Marriot,” Finner said. “Graphics is usually taken care of at RCC because we have the printing press. Firefighting is done at the Ben Clark Training Center.”

RCC students claimed seven gold medals in various categories, including Daniel Landen for Culinary Arts, Khai Le for Photography and Matt Roberts for TV Production. Among the winners from RCC were four members of Viewpoints. All gold medal winners will proceed to the national competition in Kansas City June 26 to the 29.

Overall, RCC students won 16 medals consisting of a variety of different categories, much to the delight of Finner.

“I’m always impressed with RCC students,” Finner said. “They always seem to succeed in everything they sign up for and usually place in the top ten in the nation. It really shows that students are trained well here.”

Participants in SkillsUSA were not the only students to win big. In a tournament at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, RCC’s Karate Club had several members score highly in a myriad of categories. Joanne Hua won first place in sparring at the advanced level. At the intermediate level, Karate Club President and ASRCC President Michael Gonzalez also won first place in form.

“About 25 members attended,” Gonzalez said. “It’s always good to have a strong showing. There were a few different styles, and competitors came from France, Brazil, India… all over the world.”

As far as Gonzalez’s own performance went, as well as his peers, he was very proud of the team.

“I believe I did very well thanks to the instructors,” Gonzalez said. “Everyone did really well. It takes a lot of confidence to train like we did, and especially to give up the first weekend of Spring Break to travel.”

Other top winners included Britanny Ami, receiving second place for form and third place for sparring at the beginner level, and Joey Abadilla, who received third for team form at the black belt level.

Along with the awards at SkillsUSA and the Karate Club’s victory, another award can be credited to RCC students. The RCC Chalk Walk celebrated Earth Week as students drew large murals dedicated to nature. The event took place over a three-day span, April 25 to the 27.

The RCC Art Club sponsored the event, supplying artists with supplies and handing out cash prizes to the top productions.

Walking away with first place was Katie Morson and Jessie Cook, who were coincidentally also members of the RCC Karate Club.

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