Words: Dan Kamys, MCAA Editorial Director
Photos: MCAA, SPEC MIX
The biggest battles in masonry roared back into the spotlight at the 2021 World of Concrete. On Wednesday, June 9th, the industry’s toughest competitors went head-to-head in four competitions.
MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge
MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge is the national championship of masonry apprentices in first, second-and third-year skill levels. The contest consists of aspiring masons who are given three hours to showcase their skills by challenging the winning apprentices from numerous regional U.S. and foreign competitions to determine the top masonry apprentices at each level. This exciting competition spotlights the industry’s finest young masons and focuses on careers in the masonry industry.
FIRST YEAR APPRENTICES
First Place: Oscar Montano, Sun Valley Masonry, Tucson, AZ
Second Place: Grant Miller, Jess Hauer Masonry, Cincinnati, OH
Third Place: John Parker, WASCO Knox/BAC 8 Southeast, Knoxville, TN
SECOND YEAR APPRENTICES
First Place: Ryan Clark, Mosser Construction, Inc., Fremont, OH
Second Place: Kiefer White, WASCO Knox/BAC 8 Southeast, Nashville, TN
Third Place: Alex Mendoza, BAC 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship, Merrillville, IN
THIRD YEAR APPRENTICES
First Place: Grant Helms, Helms Masonry, Mt. Pleasant, NC
Second Place: Mason Lovell, Lovell’s Masonry/BAC 8 Southeast, Columbia, TN
Third Place: Jordan Back, Gostomsky Masonry, Englewood, OH
MCAA’s Fastest Trowel On The Block
The Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition, hosted by the Mason Contractors Association of America, is a showcase of industry craftsmanship and a testament of both the speed and skill of our industry’s workforce. Only those journeymen masons who have the skill, confidence and courage to face-off with the industry’s best are invited to compete in the twenty-minute heat to determine who is the best.
FIRST PLACE: Jose Soto (Mason) and Israel Mendoza (Tender), Diamond Masonry, Phoenix, AZ
SECOND PLACE: Gerardo Patlan (Mason) and Robert Patlan (Tender), NuWay Inc., Phoenix, AZ
THIRD PLACE: Roberto Cimental (Mason) and Alfredo Landin (Tender), Arizona State Masonry, Gilbert, AZ
SPEC MIX Toughest Tender
The SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER® Competition is a combination of speed and detail that requires each of the mason tenders in the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 to strategically lift, carry and place thousands of pounds of materials and tools needed to set up the bricklayer’s defined workstation.
Winner: Steve Braswell, John Smith Masonry, St. Louis, MO (14:49)
SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500®
He laid 678 in only one hour! Mason David Chavez and mason tender Guadalupe Hernandez with Ranch Masonry in Houston, TX teamed up to earn the title, “World’s Best Bricklayer.” This is the second time Chavez has earned the World Champion title, winning it all in 2018. The recognition comes after winning the most exciting contest in masonry, the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500®.
20 of the best masons and tenders in the world came together at the World of Concrete expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center to test their skill, speed and stamina by battling to determine who can build the largest and best 26-foot-long brick wall, with the least amount of errors, in one hour. The event headlined the first convention of its size to be held in Las Vegas since efforts to combat the pandemic caused a national shutdown.
Winner: David Chavez (Mason) and Guadalupe Hernandez (Tender), Ranch Masonry, Houston, TX
SPEC MIX Top Craftsman
For the third year in a row, mason Darian Douthit and mason tender Nigel Delmez won the SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN, which goes to the team with the “most sellable” wall, as determined by a panel of judges. For his precision, Douthit is taking home a new Kubota RTV-X1140, $5,000 in cash, an Essick Pro12 Mortar Mixer along with additional sponsorship prizes.
Winner: Darian Douthit (Mason) and Nigel Delmez (Tender) from Providence Masonry in Miami, OK