Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
PSU Home | PSU Search | GUS / Logins | A-Z Index | Campus Map | Contact Info. | Comments | Help

News @ PSU

News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mini-Baja team takes First Place at Korean competition

(Pictured are the PSU team members who took First Place at the SAE Mini-Baja competition in Korea: Cody Emmert, Matthew Merz, and Pete Allen.)

Sometimes, the second time is the charm.

The PSU Mini-Baja team that swept in for a second place finish at last year’s SAE Mini-Baja event in Korea has taken the competition by storm again.

The three-man team took first place overall at the competition, held June 29-30 at Yeungnam National University in Daeug, South Korea. Cody Emmert, who captained last year’s team, returned again this year with new teammates Pete Allen, a sophomore from Augusta, Kan.; and Matthew Merz, a junior from Meriden, Kan. Both are automotive technology majors. Emmert, from Seneca, Kan., earned his bachelor’s degree in technology in May.

The team traveled to Korea on May 29 to spend four weeks at Gyeongsang National University in Jinju, South Korea, making major modifications to the last year’s vehicle. (SAE Mini-Baja rules state the same car may be used, but only if it is significantly modified.) They then traveled to Daeug for the competition.

Before the muddy, 3-1/2 hour mountain endurance race, the team competed in several smaller events, taking first place in maneuverability and scoring high in the rock crawl, acceleration, and pulling courses. Ranked sixth out of 80 teams after those events, the team then won the endurance race, earning enough points to rank first overall. Yeungnam, the host university, had taken first place the past three years.

“It wasn’t until they presented Yeungnam with the second place award that we knew we had won,” said Emmert, who will return to PSU this fall to begin work on a master’s degree. “Competing in Korea the past two years has been a priceless life experience. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

The team was presented with a First Place trophy and a flag that the winner keeps until next year’s competition.

“I thought the accomplishments in 2006 were fantastic, but I have to say taking first place overall is an awesome accomplishment on the part of Pitt State’s team,” said Dr. John Iley, who works closely with all of PSU’s Mini-Baja teams. “We are very proud of them.”

This is the second time the PSU team has competed in the Korean Mini-Baja event, which is one of seven SAE Mini-Baja events in the world. Last year’s team spent five months in the country as part of an exchange program between PSU and Gyeongsang National University. Three other PSU Mini-Baja teams, including the exchange team from Gyeongsang who studied at PSU last semester, scored competitively at two SAE competitions in the U.S. earlier this year.

For more information on the PSU Mini-Baja team, contact Dr. John Iley at
jiley@pittstate.edu or at 620-235-4373, or Matthew Keller at mkeller@pittstate.edu at 620-235-6515. To learn more about the SAE Mini-Baja competitions, go to www.sae.org.

---Pitt State---