Greely grad scores tech skill win at national level

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NORTH YARMOUTH — With wins at two major technical skills competitions under his belt, Mark Baston is on a role.

The recent Greely High School graduate in March won the SkillsUSA Maine diesel equipment technology competition, where he faced a gauntlet of work stations that tested his abilities in a variety of ways.

That allowed him to compete last month in the 53rd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Representing Maine, Baston once again finished first in the diesel technology competition.

It was “more intense, but expectedly so, because it was the national competition,” Baston said in an interview July 19.

The prizes include a bit of cash, too. Baston’s Maine win earned him a $10,000 scholarship to the University of Northwestern Ohio. Since tuition for the two-year program is about $26,000, the scholarship goes a long way toward paying the bills.

Now the bills won’t be an issue at all. Because he won the national SkillsUSA competition, the school will fund Baston’s entire tuition, he said.

Baston said he hadn’t expected to win. Efficiency and accuracy at the various testing stations were part of what decided the winners.

He was sitting on the 80th-level stairs in the auditorium when his victory was announced.

“I almost fell down the stairs,” he said.”That would have been a long way down.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Mark Baston of North Yarmouth, who graduated last month from Greely High School, recently finished first in the diesel technology competition at the 53rd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, held in Louisville, Kentucky.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.