YSU’s Off-Road Racing, Rocketry Teams Fly High at Competitions

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –Youngstown State University’s Baja off-road racing team and rocketry team both had strong showings at recent competitions.

The off-road racing team kicked off the 2023 Baja SAE competition season with two top 20 overall finishes and multiple top 10 event finishes.

The Baja SAE competition season comprises three events that take place from May to September. During the first two events in Oshkosh, Oregon, and Washougal, Washington, the YSU team competed against 164 teams and finished ninth and 19th overall. The ninth-place finish is YSU’s second top 10 overall finish in program history.

In individual events, the YSU team took second place in the engineering design event at both competitions and a best-ever eighth-place finish in the four-hour endurance race at the Oregon competition. The second place finish in engineering design is the best to date for YSU and ranks them as the top Baja design team in the United States, and behind only a Canadian team.

Baja SAE challenges engineering students from colleges and universities around the world to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the punishment of rough terrain and, in some competitions, water. Students work together as a team to discover and resolve technical challenges in design, test and manufacturing, as well as business issues. Each team is expected to design and build a prototype of an all-weather, rugged, single-seat, off-road recreational vehicle intended for sale to the nonprofessional, weekend off-road enthusiast.

Graduating seniors on the team include Katie Chludzinski, Reece Wilson, John Gula, Ahmed Mousa, Jesse Irons, Joshua Entrikin, Colin Heinrich, Landon Morucci, Jared Bryarly and Dante Flak.

YSU’s rocketry team recently placed 19th at the Spaceport America Cup competition, an international competition hosted by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association that invites almost 1,700 students from 119 teams around the world to participate in a series of rocketry events.

During the competition, which took place June 19-24 in New Mexico, the team was one of the first to present its design to a panel of judges and was awarded bonus points for its time management and preparation.

In addition to finishing 19th overall, the team captured a 12th place finish in the 10,000 Feet Commercial category.

The rocketry team was the highest-scoring team in Ohio.

Members of the team are Brandon Thomas, Matthew Kinkela and Wade Richards.

Pictured at top: Graduating seniors on YSU’s Bajaoff-road racing team include, in front, Katie Chludzinski, Reece Wilson, John Gula and Ahmed Mousa. In back, Jesse Irons, Joshua Entrikin, Colin Heinrich, Landon Morucci, Jared Bryarly and Dante Flak.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.