Alden-Conger team gets 2nd in nation

Published 6:21 am Thursday, April 28, 2011

The students who went to Houston for the supermileage contest pose for a photo with their car that won second place. Back row from left are Tyler Adix, Parker Hemmingsen, Michael Reyerson, Tommy Geesman, Jacob Sorensen, Jacob Wallin, Tyler Johannsen and mentor David Bosma. Front row from left are Lucas Vanengelenburg, Isaac Sorenson and Drew Folie. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

ALDEN — The Supermileage team at Alden-Conger recently did well in a national competition — the Shell Eco-marathon in Houston. The challenge was to build the most fuel-efficient cars.

Team adviser David Bosma said the team won second place with a car that runs on pure ethanol and got 322 mpg and placed 10th and 12th in regular gas and diesel classes. Two of the team’s captains, Tyler Adix and Michael Reyerson, both seniors, said they started working on the cars in October.

“Everyone worked on both cars with whatever their ability was,” Bosma said.

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One thing the team struggled with was the car running purely on ethanol, because they’re used to racing E-85 cars in the yearly Minnesota Technology Education Association’s state Supermileage event.

“It’s a little harder to do,” Adix said.

Reyerson agreed that E-100 cars are more difficult because they take more coaxing to start and run in cold weather. He said the warm weather in Houston helped the car run better. Both said they liked talking with other teams at the event, and said other teams didn’t expect them to do as well as they did.

“When they saw how well we did they were questioning how we did stuff,” Adix said.

Reyerson said one of the main comments was that the team was using a large motor. He also said driving the cars in downtown Houston was different for the team because the drivers had to dodge potholes.

Team member Jacob Sorensen, a sophomore, also went to Houston and helped wherever he was needed. He said it was a good learning experience because there are some young team members who will have to take over when the seniors graduate.

This was the first time the team had gone to a national event, and now their cars are mostly finished for the MTEA event in Brainerd they compete in each year.

“It’ll be nice to have the cars done,” Reyerson said.

For that event they’ll convert the E-100 car back to an E-85 car, as well as a few other tweaks. The event in Brainerd is scheduled for May 16-17. The school had a rally on April 19 for the team, and Bosma said the team would like to thank all the businesses who helped them raise funds for general expenses and the trip. He said he liked seeing the team do well against universities and other high schools in Houston.

“They did quite well against universities,” Bosma said.

Team members include seniors Reyerson and Adix, sophomores Tommy Geesman, Tyler Johannsen and Sorensen, freshman Parker Hemmingsen, eighth-grader Drew Folie and seventh-graders Lucas Vanengelenburg, Isaac Soreson and Jacob Wallin.