SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® Wisconsin Regional results
Cory Firkus advances to Las Vegas
By Dan Neuens
The 12th annual Wisconsin SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® Regional Competition on September 18, 2014 in New Berlin, Wisconsin marked the first time the event was held indoors. Moving the competition inside at the IMI/BAC Training Center did not stop this year’s bumper crop of competitors, blowing the roof off the place. Once again we had a full house of 8 competitors. They were all vying to win a trip to Las Vegas and a spot competing in the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Championship at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry on Wednesday February, 4 2015.
This year’s field was filled with 1 past national qualifier, 5 returning competitors, and 2 new rookies trying to show the veterans they have what it takes. The competitors came from all parts of the state of Wisconsin. Our hosts at the IMI/BAC Training Center in New Berlin were very accommodating and helped pull off another great event.
We had a lot of great local and national support to pull off this event and were represented very well with our vendors showing up to display all of their great products. Everyone in attendance was treated to a great Wisconsin cook out with brats, hot dogs, Italian sausage, and SPEC MIX Regional Salesman, Richard Steven’s homemade chili. While the judging was taking place our audience members were able to compete in the second annual “SPEC MIX Bean Bag Toss”. Last year’s winner Chris Mauel Jr. was back to defend his title, while also competing as the tender for Tim Balthazor in the main event. Many took their best shot at knocking Chris off the top spot, but to no avail as Chris once again is Wisconsin’s best bean bag tosser, taking home a $50 gift card.
During the main event, the music was jamming and the mason’s were working feverishly to lay as many Belden brick as they could in 60 minutes. After the horn sounded to signal the end of the competition we had 8 nice walls, with brick counts very close to each other. In his 3rd appearance in Wisconsin’s SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Regional, Dave Pryes with Boldt Construction came home with a 3rd place finish. Bob Hanus of JP Cullen was back for his 2nd consecutive year in taking part of this competition and came away with 2nd place. Last years’ champion Nick Brock was not in this year’s field which left the door open for a new champion. Wisconsin’s Best Bricklayer and this year’s Wisconsin SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Regional Champion is Cory Firkus with Firkus Masonry. Cory had an adjusted brick count of 378 brick. Cory was not done being the fastest bricklayer as he was also crowned with the title of being Wisconsin’s Top Craftsman, taking home the Craftsmanship award as well.
The Wisconsin SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Regional event featured numerous national and local SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 sponsors. The brick for this year’s competition were donated by Belden Brick through their distributor County Materials. Other National sponsors include SPEC MIX Inc., The QUIKRETE Companies, Ford Motor Company, Marshalltown Trowel, Multiquip, Hydro Mobile, Prism Pigments, Stihl, Beta Max, MCAA, Belden Brick Company, Masonry Construction and iQ Power Tools. Many local sponsors also stepped up to make this competition a success. They include: IMI/BAC Training Center, Lannon Stone, Natural Stone Veneers International, United Brick and Fireplace, County Materials, Northfield Block, Graymont Western Lime, Maki Trucking, Solomon Colors, Ameriglobe, The Brickyard, Lafarge, Gagnon Clay Products, Precision Cut Stone, and D. Graham Transport.
First PlaceMason – Cory Firkus – 378 Brick Tender – Rob Wangen
Firkus Masonry – Stevens Point, WI
SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMANMason – Cory Firkus – 378 Brick Tender – Rob Wangen
Firkus Masonry – Stevens Point, WI
2nd PlaceMason – Bob Hanus – 343 Brick Tender – Tim Pavlekovich
JP Cullen & Sons – Janesville, WI
3rd PlaceMason – Dave Pyres – 296 Brick Tender – Andy Brosig
Boldt Construction – Appleton, WI
For more information on the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER Regional Program call 888-SPECMIX or go to www.specmixbricklayer500.com.
About the Author
Dan Neuens is a SPEC MIX Sales Associate for QUIKRETE Wisconsin.