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Arcadio Armenta, 2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block winner
Arcadio Armenta, 2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block winner
February 15, 2013 8:00 AM CST

Armenta named 2013 Fastest Trowel

Arcadio Armenta is the 2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block champion

By Tim O’Toole

Masons and their tenders were highlighted during the 2013 MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas on February 6, 2013. The annual Fastest Trowel on the Block competition drew a big audience to catch the action and see who would win the $6,000 grand prize.

The Fastest Trowel on the Block showcases the skill of masons and how important teamwork is in accomplishing a final product. The competition pitted masons from around the world against one another in a show of both speed and craftsmanship. Each contestant's goal was to complete as much of an 18-block-long wall as possible. With the 20-minute time limit that was placed on the contestants, they had to make split-second decisions based on the judging criteria.

Each mason worked quickly to build a quality wall while the crowd cheered them on through the twenty minute competition. After the judges completed their scoring, the results were announced.

The top-placing contestants in this year’s competition were:

2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block, First Place - Arcadio Armenta
2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block, First Place - Arcadio Armenta

First Place

Arcadio Armenta

Sutter Masonry, Inc.
El Mirage, Ariz.

Tenders: Guadalupe Aragon, Carlos Chacaj

Arcadio Armenta received his first job in the masonry industry eighteen years ago as a tender and worked his way up. This is the first time he has won the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competition.

2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block, Second Place - Alfredo Cardenas
2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block, Second Place - Alfredo Cardenas

Second Place

Alfredo Cardenas

Pioneer Masonry, Inc.
Glendale, Ariz.

Tenders: Humberto Cardenas, Gaciel Flores

Alfredo Cardenas began his career in the masonry industry as a mason tender in Phoenix thirteen years ago. 2013 is the first time he placed in the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competition.

2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block, Third Place - Raul Reyes
2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block, Third Place - Raul Reyes

Third Place

Raul Reyes

Sutter Masonry, Inc.
El Mirage, Ariz.

Tenders: Luis F. Pacheco, Gerardo Patlan

Raul Reyes began working as a tender at Sutter Masonry, Inc. ten years ago and worked his way up to become a mason. This is the first time he competed in the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competition.

Winners were presented with trophies, plus first place took home $6,000 and a special trophy from Marshalltown, second place received $2,500, and $1,500 was awarded to third place. All winners received a level from Johnson Level, a Marshalltown tool bag and tools, a gift certificate from STIHL, and additional prizes.

The Mason Contractors Association of America would like to thank the judges from across the country for donating their time and expertise:
  • Moroni Mejia, Rhino Masonry, Inc.; Mesa, Ariz.
  • Don McCauley, Hunt Country Masonry Inc.; Leesburg, Va.
  • Larry Vacala, Restore Masonry, LLC; Chicago
  • Andy Brinkmeier, Amerimix; Charlotte, N.C.
  • Heath Holdaway, IMS Masonry, Inc.; Lindon, Utah
  • Steve Borman, Keystone Masonry, Inc.; Yelm, Wash.
  • Robert Collins, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworker Local #4; Irwindale, Calif.
  • Bob Thomas, National Concrete Masonry Association; Herndon, Va.
  • Chris Wilson, IMS Masonry, Inc.; Lindon, Utah
  • Rick Crane, Crane's Masonry; Vinita, Okla.
  • Anthony Wilson, Garrett Academy of Technology; North Charleston, S.C.
The MCAA would also like to thank the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) for sponsoring the 2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block, and give a special thank you to the sponsors and service/material donors for their contributions including:

Competition Sponsor

  • National Concrete Masonry Association

Contributors

  • AZ Best Block
  • GATORBACK, Inc.
  • QUIKRETE
  • SPEC MIX, Inc.

Prize Donations

  • Johnson Level
  • Marshalltown Company
  • STIHL

MCAA Strategic Partners

  • Big River Industries, Inc.
  • Dow Building Solutions
  • EZ Grout Corporation
  • Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
  • Mortar Net USA, Ltd.
  • Non-Stop Scaffolding
  • Oldcastle Building Products
  • QUIKRETE
  • SPEC MIX, Inc.
  • Trademen’s Software, Inc.
The Fastest Trowel on the Block is hosted annually by the MCAA during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas. The competition is a showcase of industry craftsmanship and a testament of both the speed and skill of our industry’s workforce.

The 2014 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block will be held Wednesday, January 22, 2014 during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas.

For more information about the competition, please visit www.fastesttrowel.com.


About the Author

Tim O’Toole is the Director of Marketing, Education, and Information Technology for the MCAA. He has a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University and has worked in the masonry industry since 2003.

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