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Area woman falls short in national competition

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A Columbus woman who was the first female to win a category in the Indiana Motor Truck Association Truck Driver and Technician Championships did not win

in the national competition this month.

Verna Gillen, representing Indiana in the Twin Trailers category, said she was sad to say she didn’t win but said the experience was great.

Gillen won the state title in June in Indianapolis.

The nine-year trucker, who drives professionally for Old Dominion Freight Lines Inc. out of Indianapolis, also received the state’s rookie of the year award.

During the event, competitors complete a written examination, a “pre-trip” evaluation of the truck and a driving course. The driving course evaluated skills including stopping and turns.

Gillen said she had a great time competing with 460 drivers at the nationals in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, whom she described as the “best of the best.”

“The accident-free year, the safe driving skill, the skill it takes just to get here is an accomplishment in itself,” she said after the competition.

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