Jarret Bainbridge (left) this year’s winner of the Freshmen contest

Jarret Bainbridge (left) this year’s winner of the Freshmen contest

Freshman winner revealed

Jarret Bainbridge beat 19 other competitors to take title and win $5,000.

At the beginning, 20 young contestants were vying for the title. At the end, only Jarret Bainbridge was left.

The finale of the Freshman competition took place on Monday night at Finnegan’s Pub in Abbotsford. Twenty University of the Fraser Valley students have been battling it out for weeks.

The students were placed into teams of two and matched with a local company. The contestants helped create marketing plans, strategies and even raised money for charity as part of the contest.

The public voted online and narrowed the competition down to the final six competitors, plus two wild card entries who raised the most money for charity.

No longer in teams, the eight competitors faced the judges and answered questions about their experience.

As the judges weeded out the competition, it came down to two finalists – Bainbridge, who was sponsored by Northwestern Air, and Taylor Johnson, who was representing Columbia Kitchen Cabinets.

“They battled it out and faced some tough questions. It was an extremely close race,” said Andrew Franklin, publisher of the Abbotsford News.

In the end Bainbridge rose to the top of the pack.

Judges in the competition included Franklin, Katherine Jeffcoatt from the City of Abbotsford, Mike Noetzel of the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, Tanya Curtis from the Highstreet shopping centre, Jody Gordon of the University of the Fraser Valley and the winner of the 2011 contest Laura Ullock.

Close to 200 people attended the final event which drew a record number of online votes.

“More than 31,000 votes were received in five weeks,” added Franklin, calling it a new record for contest response.

Votes came in from the U.S., Brazil, India and England as well as from B.C.

For winning the event, Bainbridge receives $5,000 and will start an internship with the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. He will be working in the marketing department.

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