Two brothers bring Baja full circle

  PSU
  Thursday, May 17, 2018 1:00 PM
  News, People and Society, Science and Technology

Pittsburg, KS

Baja team

 

The Kansas SAE Baja Competition follows roughly the same schedule each year: teams arrive, prepare their cars, present to judges, and compete in endurance and technical events in front of cheering spectators. 

But this year's Baja is unique: two of the lead students on the PSU Baja team, brothers Austin and Camden Mylott, are second generation PSU Baja team members. Their dad, Matthew Mylott, and Trent Lindbloom — now the organizer of the SAE Baja event held at PSU — were students who put together the first PSU student team in 1991-92. 

"It's pretty neat that PSU has been competing in this long enough now, we're on the second generation," Lindbloom said. 

In fact, it was PSU's participation in SAE Baja, coupled with its Automotive Technology program, that sold the Mylott brothers on attending Pittsburg State. 

"Growing up, we heard stories from our dad and Trent all the time," said Austin Mylott. 

The brothers grew up in Peoria, Illinois, where their dad worked for Caterpillar. 

"We definitely got the story as far as how awesome Pitt State's automotive program is, and then Dad pulled up videos on the computer to show us the Baja, and that was it," Austin said. 'It was a no-brainer." 

The family moved from Peoria to the Branson-Reeds Spring area and the brothers enrolled. This year, Austin, who graduated Friday, is president of the PSU chapter of SAE and Camden, a sophomore, is a team member. 

"To be able to continue the legacy is pretty special to both me and Camden," Austin said. "Baja trains people, gives leadership opportunities, trains students so they're better prepared for the workforce. We each get to take on one aspect of the car and make it our own." 

"You meet so many people from so many places, and it grows your network," he said. "You make industry contacts – Polaris, Volvo, all the big-name companies in the program – and it's just phenomenal to have that experience while in college. It's a huge advantage." 

The brothers plan to leverage that experience into their business: an automotive shop called Mac Craft Automotive Design they're opening in the Branson-Reed Springs area. 

"We'll do a little bit of everything," Austin said. "We'll offer body work, collision repair, vehicle sales, power sport sales, classic car recreational activities — a mix." 

But for the immediate future, they're focused on the Baja and scoring a win for Pittsburg State. 

"This year, hands-down by far, we have the best team we've ever had, one of the best cars we've ever had," Austin said. "Right now we're just excited to show everyone what we can do as a team."

Learn more about Automotive Technology at https://automotive.pittstate.edu/

Learn more about PSU Baja at https://automotive.pittstate.edu/baja-team.html