Cleveland wins SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® Chicago Regional Qualifier
Chicago gunning for another top finish at the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® Finals!
August 16th 2013 brought not only a perfect day for fun in the sun to the Chicago Metropolitan area but also 10 of the most eager bricklayers and tenders to compete for the opportunity to represent their home town in the 2013 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® Illinois Regional competition. The field of competitors was dominated with repeat event participants and title holders, who have honed their skills as Illinois/Indiana’s top masons. Chicago’s masonry prowess has been proven with an astonishing record of two National Champions and three National Craftsmanship winners over the regional event’s 10 year history.
This year’s competition was held at Illinois Brick Company’s (IBC) Bridgeview facility, a long time SPEC MIX® distributor. Acting as co-host for the day, IBC demonstrated support for event with mass promotion via Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to reach audiences of all types. Several other local and national sponsors made their way to the event to witness the excitement and action.
The world’s most impressive BBQ grill, “Prairie Cooker”, run by the local Bridgeview Lions club kept attendees and competitors well-nourished at the competition. Audience members were called upon to compete for their own chance at dozens of door prizes and to demonstrate their skill at the “SPEC MIX Bean Bag Toss”. Mario Ybarra, supporting tender for one of the competitors, sunk bag after bag in the Bag Toss game winning him a top of the line 37” flat screen TV. A bag throwing expert, Mario demonstrated a true act of generosity as he happily donated that prize to a friend’s daughter moving off to college.
The games, doors prizes, sponsor booths, food and all other side events could not draw away from the excitement of the competition as the bricklayers battled feverously to get every Glen-Gery unit into the wall in the short 60 minute allotted time. As the crowd counted down the final seconds and the music silenced, the sweat of every participant could be seen but only a select few would walk to the podium. An elite crew of judges from the local masonry training center and legendary SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 winners Mike and Tim Boll to gage the fate of the winners added tremendous credibility to the event.
Mason Steve Cleveland with Midwest Masonry, Mundelein, IL and his mason tender Willie Hill edged out the team of mason Brad Riordan, Adam’s Masonry, Dyer, IN and mason tender Rob Waite Jr. with a total brick count of 569 to 535 respectively. However, Steve is the 2013 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 National Craftsmanship Champion and as such has an automatic place in the 2014 National event to defend his title, opening the trip to Las Vegas to Brad Riordan. Both will be representing Chicago next year in Las Vegas. Brad Riordan also won the coveted Craftsmanship title for the Illinois/Indiana Regional, making him a force to be reckoned with in the finals. The team of mason Brian Podest, Brickman Masonry and his mason tender William Buccelato rounded out the top three places and shared in the generous cash and prizes for the day.
An impressive display of speed, accuracy and judgment was used to take top honors this year and we thank all of those who worked hard to make the day a success. All remaining materials from this year’s local event have been proudly donated to the Illinois District Council Training Center for the development of future masons and SMBL500 competitors. Good luck to the Steve and Brad on their quest for excellence and to all who gave their best!
Special thanks to the following local and national sponsors who came together to make this event a huge success: SPEC MIX Inc., The QUIKRETE Companies, Ford Motor Company, Hydro Mobile, Multi-Quip, Prism Pigments, Marshalltown, IQ Power Tools, Glen-Gery Brick, Illinois Brick Company, Elston Materials, Solomon Colors, St. Mary’s Cement Group, Illinois Cement, Henry Frerk & Sons, Ameriglobe, Prairie Stone – Next Generation, District Council Training Center, Graymont Lime, Holcim Cement, Jerry Castle & Sons Hi-Lift, Lehigh Cement and Bracing Systems.
For more information on the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER Regional Program call 888-SPECMIX or go to: www.specmixbricklayer500.com
About the Author
Jeff Farmakes is the Marketing Communications Manager for SPEC MIX®, Inc.