Willoughby named 2014 Fastest Trowel
Irvin Willoughby is the 2014 Fastest Trowel on the Block champion
By Tim O’Toole
The annual Fastest Trowel on the Block competition, held January 22, 2014 during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas, drew a big audience to catch the fastest twenty minutes in masonry and see who would win the $8,000 grand prize.
The contest pit journeyman masons, accompanied by their favorite tender, against one another in a show of speed. Each contestant's goal was to complete as much of a 30-foot long wall as possible, using 8"x8"x16" CMU and the provided mortar in a twenty minute heat. But speed alone won’t net the $8,000 check for first place. Contestants were also judged on craftsmanship, and use of normal masonry practices and hand tools.
Each mason worked quickly to build a quality wall, while the crowd cheered them on throughout the twenty minute competition. After the judges completed their scoring, the results were announced.
The top-placing contestants in this year’s competition were:
Irvin WilloughbyPascal Robertson Masonry, Inc.
Tender: Lawrence Singleton
Block Count: 126
This is the first time Irvin Willoughby has won the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competition.
Kris BelinteNative American Bricklayers
Tender: Fernando Jones
Block Count: 115
Kris Belinte has worked in the masonry industry for over twelve years. He placed third in the 2009 and 2012 Fastest Trowel on the Block competitions, second in 2014, and won the 2010 and 2011 competitions.
Pascal RobertsonPascal Robertson Masonry, Inc.
Tender: Tyler Robertson
Block Count: 118
Pascal Robertson is a two-time Fastest Trowel on the Block champion, winning back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. He placed second in 2003, 2004 and 2006, and third in 2014.
Winners were presented with trophies, plus first place took home $8,000 and a special trophy from Marshalltown, second place received $2,500, and $1,500 was awarded to third place. Cash prizes were provided by SPEC MIX, Inc. All winners received a grout scoop from GROUT GRUNT, 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, Trenwyth; Phoenix
- Greg Althammer, Airplaco Equipment Company; Cincinnati
- Joe Bonifate, Arch Masonry, Inc.; Pittsburgh
- Garen Graves, Oldcastle/Amerimix; Euless, Texas
- Heath Holdaway, IMS Masonry, Inc.; Lindon, Utah
- Dewy Holm, IMS Masonry, Inc.; Lindon, Utah
- Dave Jaykins, AZ Best Block; Phoenix
- Alan Johnson, IMS Masonry; Lindon, Utah
- Jack Ross, AZ Best Block; Phoenix
- Roland Stallknecht, Gracom Masonry; Edmonton, Alberta
- Joey Tolboe, IMS Masonry, Inc.; Lindon, Utah
- Larry Vacala, Restore Masonry, LLC; Chicago
- National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA)
- AZ Best Block
- GATORBACK, Inc.
- SPEC MIX, Inc.
- GROUT GRUNT
- Marshalltown Company
- SPEC MIX, Inc.
MCAA Strategic Partners
- Airplaco Equipment Company
- Big River Industries, Inc.
- Dow Building Solutions
- EZ Grout Corporation
- iQ Power Tools
- Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
- Mortar Net Solutions
- Non-Stop Scaffolding
- Oldcastle Building Products
- SPEC MIX, Inc.
- Trademen’s Software, Inc.
About the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the BlockThe Fastest Trowel on the Block is hosted annually by the MCAA as part of Masonry Madness 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 2015 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block will be held Wednesday, February 4, 2015 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.