Amerimix
BMJ Stone
EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Pullman Ermator
SPEC MIX LLC
Stabila
Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
2018 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block winner Jose Soto (right) with tender Tomas Quinonez (left).
2018 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block winner Jose Soto (right) with tender Tomas Quinonez (left).
February 8, 2018 9:00 AM CST

Soto Named 2018 Fastest Trowel

Jose Soto is the 2018 Fastest Trowel on the Block Champion

By

The annual MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block competition, held January 24, 2018 during MASONRY MADNESS® and the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas, drew a record crowd to catch the fastest twenty minutes in masonry and see who would win the $8,000 grand prize.

The contest pits 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:

2018 Fastest Trowel on the Block, First Place - Jose Soto
2018 Fastest Trowel on the Block, First Place - Jose Soto

First Place

Jose Soto

Sargon Masonry
Phoenix

Tender: Tomas Quinonez
Block Count: 126

This is the first time Jose Soto has won the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competition. He placed second in the 2016 and 2017 MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competitions.

2018 Fastest Trowel on the Block, Second Place - Gerardo Patlan
2018 Fastest Trowel on the Block, Second Place - Gerardo Patlan

Second Place

Gerardo Patlan

Fyffe Masonry & Plastering, Inc.
Glendale, Ariz.

Tender: Roberto Patlan
Block Count: 125

Gerardo Patlan placed first in the 2017 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block competition.

2018 Fastest Trowel on the Block, Third Place - Noe Martinez
2018 Fastest Trowel on the Block, Third Place - Noe Martinez

Third Place

Noe Martinez

Stone Cold Masonry
Phoenix

Tender: Heriberto Estrada
Block Count: 123

Noe Martinez placed first in the 2016 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block competition, and third in 2017.

Winners were presented with trophies, plus first place took home $8,000, a special trophy from Marshalltown, boots from Iron Age Footwear, and a 10-pack of mortar boards from GATORBACK; 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 Marshalltown tool bag and tools, a Belden Brick tool bag and tools, and additional prizes. All contestants received a level from competition sponsor Stabila, JagClamps, a Marshalltown tool bag, and a GROUT GRUNT masonry scoop.

The MCAA would like to thank the judges from across the country for donating their time and expertise:
  • Steven Fechino, Mortar Net Solutions; Burns Harbor, Ind.
  • Greg Althammer, Airplaco; Cincinnati
  • Greg Avery, SS Smith & Son’s Masonry; Corpus Christi, Texas
  • John Chrysler, Masonry Institute of America; Torrance, Calif.
  • Robert Collins, BAC Local 4 CA/Brick Mason’s Apprenticeship; Arcadia, Calif.
  • Tim Daniel, Airplaco; Cincinnati
  • Nick Gonzales, Sunnyside Masonry, LLC; Peoria, Ariz.
  • Bill Greco, T. Hansen Construction; Papillion, Neb.
  • Daniel Hiltebeitel; Honey Brook, Pa.
  • Robert Jacabacci, A.I. Prince Technical High School; Hartford, Conn.
  • Jake Johnson, Harold F. Johnson Masonry, Inc.; Cheyenne, Wy.
  • Dean Lang, Lang Masonry and Restoration Contractors; Waterford, Ohio
  • Armand Rainville, Fraco Products Ltd.; St. Mathias-Sur-Richelien, QC, Canada
  • Phillip Samblanet, The Masonry Society; Longmont, Colo.
  • Melvin Schwendeman, Lang Masonry and Restoration Contractors; Waterford, Ohio
  • John Smith, John J. Smith Masonry Co.; St. Louis
  • Tom Vacala, Restore Masonry, LLC; Des Plaines, Ill.
  • Terry Watts, True Bond Masonry, LLC; Doyline, La.
  • Jason Young, Ollier Masonry, Inc.; Batesville, Ind.
The MCAA would also like to thank the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) and Stabila for sponsoring the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competition, and give a special thank you to the sponsors and service/material donors for their contributions including:

Competition Sponsors

  • National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA)
  • Stabila

Contributors

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

Prize Donations

  • The Belden Brick Company
  • GATORBACK, Inc.
  • GROUT GRUNT
  • Iron Age Footwear
  • JagClamp
  • Marshalltown Company
  • SPEC MIX, Inc.
  • Stabila

MCAA Strategic Partners

  • Amerimix
  • BMJ Stone
  • EZG Manufacturing
  • Federated Insurance
  • Fraco Products, Ltd.
  • Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
  • Hydro Mobile
  • iQ Power Tools
  • Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
  • Mortar Net Solutions
  • Non-Stop Scaffolding
  • Pullman Ermator
  • SPEC MIX, Inc.
  • Stabila
  • Trademen’s Software, Inc.

About the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block

The MCAA’s 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 2019 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block will be held Wednesday, January 23, 2019 during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas.

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


About the Author

Tim O’Toole is the Director of Marketing for the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA). He has a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University and has worked in the masonry industry since 2003.

 

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