WCCC student qualifies for national comp.

A Warren County Career Center senior is headed to a national competition after taking first place at state level competition in Hershey for motorcycle service technology.

Warren County Career Center senior Paul York of Starbrick will travel to Kansas City, Missouri in June to compete in the SkillsUSA national competition after taking first place at the state level competition held April 9-11 at the Lebanon Valley Expo Center.

“York will be our 10th national competitor,” WCCC advisor James Mechling said about competitions under the power equipment umbrella. “There’s only three years we have not placed in states, so we’ve had a good run.”

York won first place in motorcycle service technology, an all day competition held in the Expo Center, and is certified to work on four-cycle engines. Returning to the state competition was easier after competiting last year, which he said was nerve racking.

“Last year nerves definitely played a big part in it, but this year it was mostly show up and do whatever I could,” York said. “It’s right in the center, you have people going in and out and stuff, so it’s a little bit more hectic than the other areas. You’ll be working on something and there will be somebody standing right at the table looking down at you.”

York studied with Tim Thomas, a mechanic at Harley-Davidson of Jamestown, to prepare for the competition.

“I didn’t know anything really about Harley Davidson at all until I started studying with him, so he’s been a huge help,” York said.

York had to work with adjustment and maintenance procedures on two Harleys at the state competition, specifically the fall away adjustment where the bike is lifted up and “you adjust how tight the steeting is until gravity pulls the wheel off to one side, and that’s to help with the handling characteristics of the bike.”

He worked on rear wheel alignment and belt tension on another Harley-Davidson.

“That’s all stuff I wasn’t really familiar with at all until I started studying with Tim,” York said. “Without him I wouldn’t of even been able to even compete down there. He was definitely a huge help.”

York knew he wanted to be a mechanic when he got his first “wheeler” when he was nine and races in Warren at the Mapleshade MX in Sugar Grove. In his spare time he likes to build engines and maintain four wheelers. He is enrolled in Ohio Technical College for automotive, high performace and race applications and will start school at the end of September.

After school he said he would like to run his own shop.

“I’m hoping to…mostly just build engines.”