Tony Harrington, a Grade 10 student at Victoria High School, took home a silver medal for car painting at the National Skills Canada competition. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Vic High student adds national silver medal in car painting to his B.C. title

Grade 10 Tony Harrington was a finalist at Skills Canada-sponsored competition

Victoria High School student Tony Harrington has captured a silver medal in car painting at the Skills Canada National Competition in Edmonton.

The Grade 10 student competed against other high schoolers this week after winning gold at the provincials in April.

“It’s kind of like the Olympics,” said Kevin Blecic, auto collision teacher at Vic High, who attended the event with Harrington. “You walk in with Team B.C., and there was an opening and closing ceremony and everything.”

Car painting was one of many different competitions hosted by Skills Canada, others of which included public speaking, landscaping, IT networking and more.

In his category, Harrington stood out amongst the competition, Blecic said. “All of his competitors were 17 or 18, so for a Grade 10 student that’s really good.”

ALSO READ: Vic High home to car painting pro

The two-day competition had Harrington carry out several tasks: on day one he had to do a blend on a plastic bumper, and then create a mixed toner and match a supplied colour. On the second day he had to polish a hood with a chip guard and decal, and then make a small plastic repair.

“It’s from 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m., so it’s actually pretty crazy,” Blecic said.

Winners weren’t announced until the medal ceremony on Tuesday, and Blecic said his student was completely surprised. “His reaction was priceless, he was quite shocked to win, and his face just dropped. He was in awe. He did well, but you still don’t know until your name gets called.”

Harrington spent the next few days in Edmonton to celebrate, but was very happy with silver, Blecic said.

“I always tell my students that simply getting to the competition is winning,” he said. “But Tony is the first of my students to get better than bronze, so woo-hoo!”

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