Rains takes third place at SkillsUSA national championship

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cole Rains is heading into his senior year at Eureka Springs High School with a major accomplishment under his belt.

On Friday, June 29, Rains received third place at the national SkillsUSA championship for masonry. High school teacher Jason Hill said Rains competed as a bricklayer, saying the project was to create an s-wall.

“Cole did something our district has never seen,” Hill said. “He placed third in the nation. It was a great experience. He had a lot of fun.”

Hill said Rains scored 739/1,000, with the second-place winner scoring 789/1,000 and the first place winner scoring 939/1,000.

“The first-place winner is in a high school that is more of a career and technical high school,” Hill said. “They do this day in and day out. I think [Rains] did absolutely wonderful. He’s the first person from Eureka Springs to ever make the podium at nationals.”

Rains described his experience at the event, saying he competed in a 1.2-million square foot facility. He was there for five days, Rains said, and had the opportunity to visit vendors and a facility that makes mortary and pourable cement.

“They have all the ingredients to male mortar. They had 100-ton rock trucks,” Rains said. “Their electricity bill for a month was like $60,000. That gives you a perspective on how big it was.”

After that, Rains said, he attended a luncheon and checked out what he’d be building during the competition. He woke up on competition day at 7:30 a.m., Rains said, started competing at 8:30 a.m. and finished around 3:30 p.m. He had an idea of how he’d place, Rains said.

“I could go look at all the other people’s projects and see how well they scored and how they finished,” Rains said. “I didn’t expect to get third out of 32 people. I was expecting around 10th or so, so I was very surprised.”

High school principal David Gilmore said he’s proud of Rains.

“This is a perfect example of how hard work pays off,” Gilmore said. “Any time I was up here working late, they were out there working late on their projects. Several students did very well at state and obviously at the national level.”

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