Lakeland student going for gold at Skills Canada Competition

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May 22, 2015
Hunter Weatherly is going into the Skills Canada National Competition with the same mindset he had at the Provincial Skills Canada Competition
He’s going for gold.

Weatherly qualified for the steamfitter/pipefitter event at nationals in Saskatoon May 27-30 by placing first in the category at the provincial competition in Edmonton May 13 and 14.

The 20-year-old apprentice entered the provincial competition because he wanted to see how his skills measured up against competitors from other colleges throughout Alberta. During the two-day competition, competitors had 12 hours to fabricate a piping system. They were judged on the quality, workmanship and accuracy of their work.

“I thought I’d done pretty well but you never know. It was great to win gold and earn a spot at nationals,” says Weatherly. The Hardisty, Alta., resident completed his first period of steamfitter-pipefitter apprenticeship technical training at Lakeland College last fall. 

Darryl Magas, an instructor in the steamfitter-pipefitter program, helped Weatherly prepare for provincials and wasn’t surprised that the apprentice won gold. He believes Weatherly has a great shot at winning another medal at the national competition. “I really think that Hunter has the skills to pull it off,” says Magas. 

Weatherly would love to win gold at nationals. “It would be cool to be able to say I’m the best steamfitter-pipefitter in Canada,” he says. 

If not gold, he hopes to at least make the podium not only for himself, but also his instructors. “Darryl, Graham (Hammel), and Joe (Laurence) are awesome. They deserve to have the program and the college well-represented at nationals,” says Weatherly, who will take his second period of technical training at Lakeland College this fall.

Weatherly was one of five Lakeland College students in the Provincial Skills Canada Competition. For the second consecutive year, Jeremy Blanchette of St. Paul won silver in the auto service event. Blake Robley of Metiskow won the bronze medal for carpentry.

About 700 high school and post-secondary students from more than 80 communities throughout Alberta competed in the Provincial Skills Canada Competition. There were 45 trade and technology events. 

Photo: On May 22 Hunter Weatherly returned to the college to demonstrate his steamfitter/pipefitter skills, above. Below, Weatherly not only made the podium at the Provincial Skills Canada Competition, he took home the gold medal. He placed fifth at the Skills Canada National Competition.

Originally posted May 22, 2015. Updated June 29, 2015.