Rio Vista junior Noah Holt competes at state three times

May 23—For high school students, going to state UIL competition is a huge achievement.

For one Rio Vista High School student it was a triple achievement this year. Junior Noah Holt competed at state three times — two academic competitions and one athletic competition. He also placed in every competition he attempted.

"I think it's pretty awesome," Holt said. "I just feel really blessed to have these opportunities."

At the UIL Track and Field State Championships, Holt participated in powerlifting and tied for 13th place. He was only the second RVHS athlete to compete at state in powerlifting since the early 1990s.

In addition to powerlifting, Holt plays football and was a captain on the Rio Vista Eagles team this year.

"As a senior next year I hope we go far in football and I place better at state powerlifting," he said.

He said his favorite thing about powerlifting is the environment.

"It's just awesome," he said. "And my teammates — they always pick you up whenever you feel like you did bad."

At SkillsUSA, Holt placed third in audio/video production. He and his partner Samantha Carillo were two of the 10 RVHS students who competed at state.

For that competition, he had four hours to record and produce a commercial. He got to visit the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi — where the state competition is held — and create a commercial about it.

At district contest, he and Carrillo placed second to qualify for state.

"The easiest [part of the competition] is probably just getting like the natural shots," Holt said. "I feel like the hardest is definitely the editing, because you're on a timeframe and you've got to match everything up."

Holt's audio video production teacher and coach Jenny Hobbs sang Holt's praises.

"He's just an amazing student," Hobbs said. "Whatever he sets his mind to he accomplishes and seeing where he came in last year and how much his passion has grown over the past two years is incredible.

"He has become such a leader in the AV program and a mentor for so many of the other students that look up to him."

Hobbs said Holt has even been hired to film and record weddings.

"If you give him the room to grow like he's he just soars with it," she said. "Any time I get new equipment, he's the one to tinker with it and that's awesome. Any time we have a technique or something we're wanting to try, he's the one who figures it out."

At the UIL Academic State Meet, he placed eighth in computer applications.

For that competition he was given 30 minutes to create a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

Much like Hobbs, Holt's computer science teacher and coach had nothing but praises for the student.

"Noah is a really good student," Audrey Fipps said. "He's naturally gifted with computers in general. When I asked him to do computer applications, it's not something we work on in class. He likes the challenge. He's never backed down from hard work and he's never afraid to just give it his best shot. He always gives 100% in everything that he does."

Only one student was allowed to compete at district, and they all chose Holt for the honor.

"He surprised us all and got second place," she said. "Then when we went to regionals, it's really competitive in our region. So we've never had anyone advanced to state because the schools that were competing against there's a lot of career tech schools and things where their main focus is computer applications. Then he ended up placing there and then got into state."

Fipps said what made the achievement even more impressive was that RVHS doesn't even have a class for computer applications.

"Everything he learned was of his own ambition and what he wanted to do," she said. "He's very self-driven."

Holt plans to study engineering in college but said it's too early for him to know where he'll attend yet.