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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Dec. 7, 2012

Northwest students test networking skills during annual competition

Seven Northwest Missouri State University students competed this fall in the Midwestern USA Post-Secondary NetRiders Competition with five of them advancing to the second round and one qualifying for the final round Nov. 30.

NetRiders is an interactive student skills competition that tests students' Networking/IT skills through a series of online exams and simulation activities. Sponsored by Cisco Systems Inc., the competition draws students from throughout the world and creates a fun, educational challenge for them to compete with their peers in a real-time environment.

The students showcase their information technology and networking skills while gaining visibility among talent recruiters in the growing IT and networking fields.

All rounds are virtual, meaning students compete at their institution with instructor supervision online. Dr. Carolyn Hardy, assistant professor in the Department of Math, Computer Science and Information Systems, worked with the Northwest students.

Round one consisted of a 60-minute exam and qualifiers must have earned a minimum score of 60 percent. Northwest students Will Trout, Caleb Bredlow, Benjamin Snead, Matt Draper and Cody Livingston advanced from the first round Oct. 25. Evan Heuer and Jacob Shuster also represented Northwest in the initial round.

From the second round, a state contest on Nov. 15, Snead advanced by earning a qualifying score on two 60-minute exams. The finale consisted of one 60-minute exam and one 90-minute exam.

Nine hundred forty-four students representing 41 states and eight Canadian provinces competed in round one, with 387 advancing to round two. Ninety-four students, representing 39 states and eight provinces qualified for the final round.

Snead, who ranked 41st in the final standings, was one of only three competitors representing Missouri in the finale. Snead is a senior computer science major from Maryville.

The top three United States finishers and the top Canadian finisher receive a prize package that includes a trip to California to tour the Cisco campus and meet with Cisco engineers and executives, as well as excursions to Stanford University, Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

For more information about the NetRiders competition, visit

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468