Words: Ryan Shaver, North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association
Photos: Jodi Helms, North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association
Some five hundred students from across North Carolina participated in hands-on exhibits and competitions, met potential employers, and enjoyed a hotdog lunch provided by Johnson Concrete Products. It was a huge success, thanks to everyone that volunteered their time. With an adjusted count of 742 bricks laid in one hour, the team of tender Ben Bost and mason Wriston McGee of McGee Brothers Company won the October Carolina Qualifier for the upcoming 2023 Las Vegas SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 World Championship. Wriston will be making a return trip to Las Vegas having also qualified in 2021. The regional qualifier was part of the Sixth Annual Masonry Education Day at Stalite’s Ben Ketchie Park in Gold Hill.
In the qualifier, the team of Keith Helms with tender Scott Helms of Helms Masonry Inc. won “The Top Craftsman” recognition which goes to the mason with the “most sellable” wall. Second place went to the team of Grant Helms with tender Anderson Pruett of Helms Masonry Inc. (with an adjusted count of 714) followed by Cody Alward with tender Hazen Alward in third place (with an adjusted count of 549). With an adjusted count of 293, the East Rowan High School team of Mason Ridenhour with tender Braxton Smith won the Jr. SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 followed by mason Israel Burgarin and tender Leslie Maldonado of Columbus Career & College Academy in second place and the West Rowan High School team of mason O’Connor Leonard and tender Dillion Smith in third place.