Provo High team wins Ford/AAA vehicle repair competition

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Two Provo High School students on Thursday won an automobile diagnosis and repair contest, and will move on to a national competition in Michigan in June.

Parker Thomas and Jimmy Hicken defeated two-person student teams from nine other Utah high schools to take first place in the annual Ford/AAA Auto Skills Contest, which offers millions of dollars in scholarships nationwide. Thomas and Hicken, and instructor Seth Mcvea, will travel to Ford Motor Co.'s headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., to compete against students from 49 other states June 9-11.

To qualify for the Utah competition, 397 students took a written examination earlier this year. Thomas and Hicken placed in the top 20.

The Utah competition was held at Salt Lake Community College's Miller campus in Sandy. Teams diagnosed and repaired deliberately bugged identical Ford vehicles. Thomas and Hicken's time and accuracy in diagnosing and repairing their vehicle, as well as their written test scores, put them in first place.

Other schools that fielded teams were Clearfield High School, Davis High School, Timpview High School, College of Eastern Utah Carbon High, Fremont High School, Northridge High School, Riverton High School, and Woods Cross High School.