Winners of the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 - Arizona Regional
David Puga Arce to compete in national competition
By Brian Carney
Although Arizona is a construction market where the vast majority of masonry units installed are concrete block, the 2012 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 regional qualifier competition proved the state is deeply stocked with skilled masons that are excellent bricklayers. With 16 competitors filling the field, all with the hopes of winning first place and securing a spot in the National SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 scheduled for February 6th, 2013 in Las Vegas, it was David Puga Arce of G&G Enterprises that won the event and will be packing his tools for the journey to Sin City.
Puga Arce will not only be representing G&G Enterprises to compete in the what is widely considered the World Series of bricklaying, he will be representing the southwestern region of the United States, which has failed to produce a National Champion in the event's 11 year history.
According to SPEC MIX Regional Manager Tom Peterson who was the lead judge of the Arizona competition, "There's a lot of great masons in this part of the country, but if you ask any of the 16 competitors how often they have the opportunity to lay brick, they'll quickly admit it's not quite often, but after this competition, it looks like they are on a brick wall everyday". As a matter of fact, only 100 yards from where Puga Arce was crowned Arizona's 2012 Best Bricklayer, sits the Phoenix Brick Yard manufacturing plant, recently retired and now a key brick distributor in the Southwest and host of the event. "There's no question after today that this state is home to many incredible bricklayers," said Peterson. "it's fantastic to have 16 teams in a regional contest, it's even better to have so many great looking walls to judge. This contest had many bricklayers that have the skills to compete at nationals-David has a very strong chance at winning the Championship in Vegas!"
On Saturday, December 8th, at the SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 regional where hundreds of spectators gathered to cheer on the state's finest bricklayers. Champion, David Puga Arce finished with a net brick count of 503 brick, which was only 26 brick ahead of 2nd place bricklayer, Johnnie Yazzie from Ruiz Masonry. 3rd place was awarded to Uriel Medrano, again of G&G Enterprises. Not only does Puga Arce get a trip to Las Vegas and a crack at the World Title and a 2013 Ford F-250 pickup truck and thousands in cash and prizes, he won $600 cash and many sponsor prizes, including a Johnson Level and Marshalltown tools.
Reigning Arizona Champion, Art Canez, also fared well. Although the skilled bricklayer himself did not win the championship, he was awarded the craftsmanship prize voted subjectively by the panel of judges as the highest quality wall.
Many national sponsors were on hand on the beautiful December Arizona afternoon: Sanderson Ford, Multiquip, SPEC MIX, QUIKRETE and iQ Power Tools. The Regional event was heavily supported by local sponsors as well.
Phoenix Brick Yard hosted the event in their yard off of 7th Avenue. Summit Brick along with Phoenix Brick Yard donated over 10,000 brick that were used in the competition.
AZ Best Block supplied the CMU's necessary for the setup. With the help of the Arizona Masonry Contractors Association and the Arizona Masonry Guild, tables, chairs and bleachers were donated for the comfort of the patrons.
Cash prizes and other material contributions were made by the following:
- Drake Cement
- EZ Spred
- Action Scaffolding
- Phoenix Scaffolding
- Gatorback Mortar Boards
- A to Z Equipment Rentals & Sales
- G&G Enterprises
- Rhino Masonry
- Arizona Stone & Architectural Products
- National Construction Materials
- Apache Stone
- iQ Power Tools
- Sanderson Ford
- Macalite Equipment
About the Author
Brian Carney is the Vice President and General Manager of SPEC MIX, Inc. He has served as the Marketing Committee Chairman for the Mason Contractors Association of America.