Words: Isa Stein

Words: Isa Stein, Multimedia Production Coordinator
Photos: MASONRY Magazine

MASONRY MADNESS® took place on Wednesday, January, 18th in the silver lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center. As always, this was a highlight of the World of Concrete, and the competitors squared off to see who would come out on top in their respective contests. Thank you to all of those who competed and attended these competitions. 

MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge 

MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge is the national championship of masonry apprentices in first, second-and third-year skill levels. The contest consists of aspiring masons who are given three hours to showcase their skills by challenging the winning apprentices from numerous regional U.S. and foreign competitions to determine the top masonry apprentices at each level. This exciting competition spotlights the industry’s finest young masons and focuses on careers in the masonry industry.

First Year Apprentice Winners

First Place: Melvin Marroquin, Detroit Metro JATC, Warren, MI
Second Place: Connor Murphy, RB Weatherman Masonry, Tulsa, OK
Third Place: Maurice Stringer, Wavecrest Masonry Inc, Inverness, FL

Second Year Apprentice Winners

First Place: Ryan Newton, Lampkin Masonry, St. Louis, MO
Second Place: John Synek, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local #2NY/VT, Albany, NY
Third Place: Jacob Horton, Wasco / Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 8 SE, Knoxville, TN

Third Year Apprentice Winners

First Place: Christian Kluttz, Huntley Brothers Company Inc, Mint Hill, NC
Second Place: Garrick Manning, Kirk Brothers Masonry, Columbus, OH
Third Place: Douglas Stamper, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship, Merrillville, IN

SPEC MIX Toughest Tender

The SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER® Competition is a combination of speed and detail that requires each of the mason tenders of the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® to strategically lift, carry, and place the materials and tools needed to set up the bricklayer’s defined workstation. 

Winner: Jeffery Head, Foeste Masonry, Cape Girardeau, MO

Fastest Trowel On The Block Presented By Best Block

The 2023 Fastest Trowel On The Block promotes workmanship, speed, and craftsmanship in the masonry industry and workforce. Journeyman masons, accompanied by their choice of tender, compete against one another in a high-speed, 20-minute challenge. Only journeymen masons who have the skill, confidence, and courage to face off with the industry's best are invited to compete. This contest proves just how important teamwork is in accomplishing a final product.

First Place Winner: Gerardo Patlan (Mason) and Roberto Patlan (Tender), Adams Fence LLC, Phoenix, AZ
Second Place Winner: Roberto Cimental (Mason) and Mark Diaz (Tender), Arizona State Masonry, Gilbert, AZ
Third Place Winner: Noe Martinez (Mason) and Heriberto Mendoza (Tender), Stone Cold Masonry, Phoenix, AZ


The SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® world championship event is celebrating the 21st Anniversary of the competition revered as the “Super Bowl of Masonry,” putting skilled masons to the test. The competition consists of 26 bricklayers and their tenders racing against a 60-minute clock to build a 26-foot-long double wythe brick wall. The SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® showcases the industry’s skill, speed, and stamina.

Winner: Michael Schlund (Mason) and Aaron Kowalski (Tender), Kowalski Masonry, Wausau, WI
Second Place: Scott Tuttle (Mason) and Brian Tuttle (Tender), Quik Trowell Masonry, Syracuse, UT
Third Place: Luis Prado (Mason) and Eduardo Ramirez (Tender), Brazos Masonry, Waco, TX

Along with the “World’s Best Bricklayer,” the mason with the “most-sellable” wall as determined by a panel of judges will be crowned the 2023 SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN®.

Top Craftsman: Mario Hernandez (Mason) and Guadalupe Hernandez (Tender), Ranch Masonry, Houston, TX

Thank you to all of those who competed and supported this day of madness in Las Vegas!

Are Your Employees Safe While Working In Hot Weather?

As the temperatures rise outside during summer months, so do the risks that employees working in hot conditions may be harmed by the dangerous effects it can have. Exposure to high temperatures can be deadly.1 It’s your responsibility as a business owner

Maximizing Efficiency with CrewTracks

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SOLA Innovation: Digital Levels

In 2021, SOLA introduced a new generation of digital levels at the World of Concrete. Because it was in the midst of Covid it wasn’t the most well-attended show, but we were optimistic. We attended, showcasing both our SOLA and Keson brands. The standout

Bonding with Masonry 2024 Q2

This issue’s questions come from an Architect, an Engineer. and a Mason Contractor. What questions do you have? Send them to info@masonrymagazine.com, attention Technical Talk.