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Photo by Bruce Starrenburg
Photo by Bruce Starrenburg
January 8, 2020 8:00 AM CST

MASONRY MADNESS® 2020: Challenging the Best of the Best

By

The biggest adrenaline-packed event of World of Concrete/World of Masonry takes place on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, in the Bronze Lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center. MASONRY MADNESS® is a collection of the most exhilarating masonry competitions in the world, and they all happens on one day at one central location.  


Event after event, attendees see the best bricklayers, blocklayers, mason apprentices, and tenders go head-to-head in four unique and challenge masonry contests to prove who is the best in the world. You don’t want to miss seeing these skilled craftsmen compete for the largest value of cash and prize awarded for any construction industry event held in the world! 


MCAA’s MASONRY SKILLS CHALLENGE 
Wednesday, February 5, 2020  
9:00 AM- 12:00 PM  
Las Vegas Convention Center, Bronze Lot  


The MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge is a competition of masonry apprentices in first, second, and third-year skill levels. The contest is a showcase for skills training the masonry industry, challenging winning apprentices from regional competitions held throughout the country to determine the top masonry apprentice at each level. The exciting competition spotlights our industry’s finest young masons and focuses attention on careers in the masonry industry.  


Contestants are divided by experience level, "First Years" who are just entering the trade through "Third Years" who are just about to enter the workforce as journeymen. Each level is given a project to build appropriate to their experience.  


The catch? The projects are a complete surprise!  


Contestants must build their project without ever having seen the drawings. They haven't been able to practice, and they can't consult their instructor, employer or anyone else during the competition. They have three hours to complete their projects with the given materials. Awards are presented to the top three apprentices in each skill level.  

 

How It Is Judged  


Each contestant's project must be completed within the three-hour time allotment. No work may continue past the three-hour time limit, and no continuances will be granted for any reason.  


No contestant is allowed to consult with anyone during competition, including instructors, other competitors, and judges. All information needed to complete the project is provided within the project drawing. 

Each contestant must wear khaki work pants, work shoes or boots, and abide by proper safety methods, including wearing safety glasses or goggles when making cuts, during competition.  


Uniform shirts and hats will be provided for each contestant. All contestants must wear proper footwear and pants - no gym shoes, jeans, or shorts are allowed. 


Each contestant will be judged on the following criteria for a total of 200 possible points:  

Plumb (30 points) 
Level (30 points) 
Square and Range (20 points) 
Measurements (30 points) 
Correct Design (20 points) 
Manipulation (10 points) 
Tooling and Neatness (10points) 
Full Joints (20 points) 
Aesthetics (10 points) 
Production (20 points) 
Awards are presented to the top three apprentices in each skill level. 


Contestants* 


FIRST YEAR 

Jesse Steele  
BAC 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship 
Merrillville, IN 


Mitchell Philips  
WASCO Inc. 
Knoxville, TN 


Cameron Brylowski 
Schiffer Mason Contractors 
Holt, MI 


Mike Emerson 
Sutter Masonry 
El Mirage, AZ 


Ty'Shawn Pettway 
Lovell's Masonry/BAC #8 
Columbia, TN 


Wade Taylor 
Huntley Brothers Company Inc. 
Mint Hill, NC 


Philip Rosso 
Harris Masonry Inc. 
Pittsburgh, PA 


Anthony Sapp 
WaveCrest Masonry, Inc. 
Inverness, FL 


Alfonso Campos 
NuWay, Inc. 
Riverside, CA  


Kyle Grosvenor 
Grosvenor Masonry Inc./BAC Local 7 CO/WY 
Denver, CO 


SECOND YEAR 


Jacob Mangus 
BAC 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship Program 
Merrilville, IN 


Sebastian Drawdy 
Leidal & Hart 
Livonia, MI 


Deyvar Tena 
G&G Enterprises 
Glendale, AZ 


Mason Lovell 
Lovell's Masonry/BAC 
Columbia, TN  


Jace Huntley 
Huntley Brothers Company Inc. 
Mint Hill, NC 


Tylor Rock 
Harris Masonry Inc. 
Pittsburgh, PA 


Ruddy Alvarez 
Trinity Constructors, LLC 
Fruitland Park, FL 


Kevin Ruiz 
RP Masonry 
Mansfield, TX 


Jeremiah Cunetas 
Cleavenger Masonry Inc. 
Alpine, CA 


Jason Noland 
JW McGlade Masonry Contractors 
St. Joseph, MO 


THIRD YEAR 


Tristyn May 
BAC 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship Program 
Merrilville, IN 


Jesus Sandoval 
CEDCO Commercial 
Las Vegas, NV 


Douglas Woodall 
Jim Hauer Masonry 
Cincinnati,OH 


Jesus Ruiz 
Hobbs Masonry 
Chandler, AZ 


Jean Carroll 
WaveCrest Masonry 
Inverness, FL 


April Ruiz 
Ramirez Masonry Inc. 
Azusa, CA 


Jesse Willeford 
Boan Masonry 
Spril Hill, KS 


Jake Freeman 
Adams Masonry, Inc. 
Chattanooga, TN 

 

SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER® 
Wednesday, February 5, 2020  
10:45 AM- 11:30 AM 
Las Vegas Convention Center, Bronze Lot  



Teamwork is the key to success when it comes to the SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500®, however, before the masons can lay those bricks as fast as they possibly can their tenders have to set up his or her respective station. This is where the SPEC MIX Toughest Tender® comes into play. Tenders are more than helpers, they are coaches, advisors and scouts, teamwork and coordination between the mason’s tender and the competing mason for set-up strategy is critical for success. These tenders keep the brick and mortar coming to their masons. 


By the end of the competition, each mason tender has typically moved by hand 2,000 pounds of block, 3,000 pounds of brick and shoveled 3,000 pounds of mortar. From the beginning, organizers wanted the important contribution mason tenders make to the masonry team to be acknowledged. The SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER competition is a preliminary event to the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Championship Competition. The SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER is a challenge in which the competitors demonstrate the jobsite skills of organization, safety, and hustle. 


The world's top mason tenders compete for the fastest time setting up their SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® workstation. Watch as they haul tons of brick, block, equipment and materials to beat their peers and take home $2,500 cash and prizes. 


How It Is Judged 

The materials used in the bricklaying competition are set near each stall, as if they had just been unloaded from a delivery truck. Contestants are responsible for moving these supplies into the stall so that the layout configuration of the work area is identical to the provided diagram and demonstration stall. Tenders race the clock to set up this predefined work area for the mason.  


Competitors start simultaneously from their appropriate staging areas. Their work is independently timed from the starting signal until all materials and equipment have been appropriately staged and the competitors return to the staging area adjacent to their competition stall. The winning tender is the contestant who has set up the work area properly in the least amount of time safely.


During the competition, the competitors’ work methods are as close as possible to an actual jobsite situation. While the speed and accuracy of setup in the work area will determine the SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER winner, safe-working procedures are of the utmost importance. Judges monitor each contestant and can disqualify someone for an unsafe act. 


Care for quality is also an important consideration. Tenders often use brick tongs for the placement of brick stacks. Since chipped bricks are not allowed in the wall, tenders must take care in the brick placement and inspection. 

Tenders have another role in ensuring the bricklaying competition is safe. Before the start of the competition, the tender must restore all materials originally in the stall to their original position as accurately as possible with the exception of the material used in the construction of the starter courses. Once the work area is set up and the SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER competition is complete, there is no deviation to the configuration of the work area until the start of the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500. 

 

MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block  
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM  
Las Vegas Convention Center, Bronze Lot  


The Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition is hosted by the Mason Contractors Association of America, and is a showcase of industry craftsmanship and a testament of both the speed and skill of our industry's workforce. Only journeymen masons who have the skill, confidence and, courage face-off with the industry's best are invited to compete. This contest proves how important teamwork is in accomplishing a final product. 


The competition pits journeyman masons and their favorite tender, against one another in a show of speed and craftsmanship. Each contestant's goal is to complete as much of a 30-foot-long wall as possible, using 8"x8"x16" CMU and the provided mortar in a 20-minute heat. Contestants must have a high degree of workmanship using normal masonry practices and hand tools. 


The contest promotes quality training and pride in workmanship among journeymen and contractors, as well as promoting the craftsmanship, speed, and versatility of masonry systems and the masonry workforce. This contest also rewards and highlights the country's best mason journeymen for their hard work and dedication to the trade. 


How It Is Judged  

The contest will be judged by volunteer judges. Judges are not eligible to judge if they have a contestant competing from their company. Contestants are scored out of 100 points, broken down as follows:  

  • Production (30 points)  

  • True and Workmanship (10 points)  

  • Plumb (15 points)  

  • Level (15 points)  

  • Story (15 points)  

  • Voids (15 points)  

True and Workmanship (10 points)  

This category is subjectively rated by one team of judges. Walls will be rated by assessing bond accuracy or alignment, coursing appearance, out of plane or tipped block and bows, dips, and lumps, along with joints that are not cut flush, mortar stains and smears, etc. Only the working face will be judged. Each judge will award the best wall in the competition 10 points and all other walls a portion of 10 points (ranging from 0-9) depending on the appearance of each wall compared to the best wall.  


Plumb (15 points)  

Contestant's level will be used for judging. Vertical plumb will be measured on both ends, jambs, and in the center only. The number of 1/8" deviations in excess of 1/8" (1/8" at each location is allowed) will be deducted.  


Level (15 points)  

Contestant's 4' level will be used for judging. The top course of the wall at three locations, both ends and in the middle will be judged. The single point of greatest deviation in each of the three sections will be recorded. The number of 1/8" deviations in excess of 1/8" (1/8" at each location is allowed) will be deducted.  


Story (15 points)  

The contestant's tape measure will be used for judging. Contestants are to place trig at top block on the base course and top of block on the third competition course. Story height at both ends of the wall will be measured. Four measurements will be taken: third course trig to the top of the top course block and base trig to third course trig at each end of the wall. The number of 1/8" deviations in excess of 1/8" (1/8" at each location is allowed) will be deducted.  


Voids (15 points)  

Only one side of the wall will be judged - determined by a coin toss following the block-laying portion of the competition. Voids will be measured and rounded up to whole inch. Points for each 1" will be deducted. A void is defined by any opening in a head or bed joint. Also, mortar that did not squeeze to the plane of the face shell is also considered a void. A void breaks the visual continuity of the mortar joint.  

Voids  

Points  

 

15  

 

14  

 

13  

 

12  

 

11  

10  

10  

12  

 

14  

 

16  

 

18  

 

20  

 

22  

 

24  

 

26  

 

28  

 

 

 

Production (30 points)  


The number of block laid by each contestant will be counted. The contestant that lays the most block will receive 30 points. The other contestants will have 1 point deducted from the 30 points for block less they lay than contestant that lays the most block. 


Judging could take up to 50 minutes. 


Contestants* 


Jason Grounsell 
TED Construction & Developments Ltd.  
Selsey, England 
Tender: Deborah Grounsell

  

Jose Cimental Vazquez 
Sargon Masonry Construction 
Phoenix, AZ 
Tender: Mario Cimental  
 

Crispin Jimenez 
Sargon Masonry Construction 
Phoenix, AZ 
Tender: Hilario Aragon 


Gustavo Soriano 
Rentfrow Masonry 
Ottawa County, Oklahoma 
Tender: Jose Adelso Mendes Ramirez 


Chris Carlton 
Capital Concrete and Masonry Inc. 
Chicago, IL  
Tender: Robert Carlton  


Jose Soto 
Diamond Masonry 
South Elgin, IL  
Tender Isreal Mendoza 

Luis Centeno 
Tender: Adrian Centeno  


Dakota Bezemer 
Artisik Masonry 
Mount Hope, ON 
Tender: John Ferraro  

Roberto Cimental  
Tender: Saul Escarcega  


Howard Cole 
NuWay, Inc.  
Des Plaines, IL  
Tender: Martin Avendano

 

Mike Fuller 
Keystone Masonry 
Algonquin, IL  
Tender: Sokthea Phoun 

 

Kevin Carruthers 
Baker Construction Co.  
Livingston County, MI 
Tender: Thomas Mikowski 



SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500®   
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM  
Las Vegas Convention Center, Bronze Lot  



Who is the best bricklayer in the nation? The SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® competition at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas will answer the question. 



Teams of one mason and one mason tender build a 26-foot 8-in., double wythe brick wall. The most bricks laid in one hour and counted under the quality rules wins the event. 



Judged by over 20 highly qualified industry experts, the award places are based on the highest brick counts meeting the quality standards and competition rules. The judges will check each mason's wall for workmanship and production to determine who will make it to the winner's circle, where over $100,000 in cash and prizes will be given away. 



The champion is awarded the title "World's Best Bricklayer" and handed the keys to drive home in the grand prize, a new Ford F-250 4x4 SuperDuty Truck. For those who won’t be able to make it out to the competitions this year, SPEC MIX will be streaming this event live on February 5, 2020 at www.specmixbricklayer500.com 

Competitors  


Mario Alves 
Defending World Champion  


Douglas Veldman  
Alberta  


Cole Stamper 
Ohio  


Scott Arthurs 
British Columbia  


Brian Tuttle 
Utah  


Grzegorz Goral  
Illinois

  

Brian Wade 
East Tennessee

  

Tommy Iezek  
Iowa  


J.T. Payne 
Missouri

  

Filipe Orfao  
Ontario Regional  


Jason Boll  
Colorado  


Adam White 
Florida  


Vince Polverini 
Pennsylvania 

 

Derek Boydston  
California  


Darian Douthit 
Defending SPEC MIX Top Craftsman  


Jeremy Lamb  
Oklahoma 


Michael Schlund  
Wisconsin 

 

Steve Thibault 
Quebec  


Michael Hudgins 
Virginia  


Victor Perez 
Louisiana

  

Angel Ramirez  
North Texas

  

Mark Wells Sr.  
Northeast Regional 


Matt Jones 
Arizona  


Matt Cash  
North Carolina 

 

Jacob Ramirez  
South Texas  


Fred Campbell 
West Tennessee


Antony Payne  
Wales 

 

*Tentative Contestants list 
 


About the Author

he Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) is the national trade association representing mason contractors. The MCAA is committed to preserving and promoting the masonry industry by providing continuing education, advocating fair codes and standards, fostering a safe work environment, recruiting future manpower, and marketing the benefits of masonry materials. Visit www.masoncontractors.org to learn more.

 

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