MASONRY MADNESS® 2021: The Best Of The Best Go Head-to-Head

Words:

Words and Photos: MASONRY Magazine 

Editor’s Note: World of Concrete is less than a month away! So here is the most up-to-date MASONRY MADNESS® schedule and competitor lineup. Don’t miss out on these great competitions and skilled masons next month! 

The most action-packed event at the World of Concrete takes place on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in the Silver Lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center. MASONRY MADNESS® is a collection of the most exhilarating masonry competitions in the world, and they all happen 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 challenging 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 MASONRY SKILLS CHALLENGE
8:00 AM- 11:00 AM
Las Vegas Convention Center, Silver 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

The Mason Contractors Association of America provides judges for the competition. Contestants must be able to demonstrate skills appropriate for the level in which they are competing.

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

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

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

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

Plumb (0-30)

Manipulation (0-20)

Level (0-30)

Tooling and neatness (0-10)

Square and range (0-20)

Full joints (0-20)

Measurements (0-20)

Aesthetics (0-10)

Correct design (0-20)

Production (0-20)

Awards are presented to the top three apprentices in each skill level.

Competitors

First Year 

Kevin Vinardi
BAC 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship
Merrillville, IN

Grant Miller
Jess Hauer Masonry
Cincinnati, OH 

Oscar Montano
Sun Valley Masonry
Tucson, AZ 

Christian Brown
BAC Local 7 CO/WY
Denver, CO

Brycen McLaurin
Adams Supply of Dallas
Dallas, TX 

William Evans
District Council Training Center
Addison, IL 

Tyler Koller
Von Goettling Masonry, Inc.
Gainesville, FL

John Parker
Wasco Knox/BAC 8 Southeast
Knoxville, TN

Second Year

Alex Mendoza
BAC 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship
Merrillville, IN 

Ryan Clark
Mosser Construction, Inc.
Fremont, OH

David Esquivel
Hobbs Masonry
Phoenix, AZ 

Eulices Casiano
Adams Supply of Dallas
Dallas, TX 

Gunnar Elofson
Inland Northwest Masonry Apprenticeship
Spokane, WA 

Julia De La Cruz
District Council Training Center
Addison, IL 

Chris Waisanen
Masonry Builders, Inc.
Tampa, FL 

Kiefer White
Wasco Knox/BAC 8 Southeast
Nashville, TN 

Third Year 

Marcos Gonzalez
BAC 4 IN/KY Apprenticeship
Merrillville, IN 

Jordan Back
Gostomsky Masonry
Englewood, OH 

Jacob Brooks
Sutter Masonry
El Mirage, AZ

Ruddy Alvarez
Trinity Constructors, Inc.
Fruitland Park, FL 

Kevin Ruiz
Texas Masonry Council (TMC)
The Woodlands, TX 

Szymon Lpsa
District Council Training Center
Addison, IL 

Juan Gonzalez
Amazon Masonry
Las Vegas, NV 

Jonah Cody
Precision Masonry
Albuquerque, NM 

Mason Lovell
Lovell’s Masonry/BAC 8 Southeast
Columbia, TN 

Spec Mix Toughest Tender
9:00 AM
Las Vegas Convention Center, Silver 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.

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.

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
9:15 AM – 9:45 AM
Las Vegas Convention Center, Silver 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)

A complete list of judging criteria has been supplied to each contestant. Additional copies are available upon request.

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.

VoidsPoints
015
214
413
612
811
1010
129
148
167
186
205
224
243
252
261

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.

Upon the return of MCAA staff to headquarters, contestants will be mailed a copy of their scorecard.

Competitors 

Howard Cole
Tender: Martin Avendaro
NuWay Inc.
Riverside, CA 

Gerardo Patlan
Tender: Robert Patlan
Adams Fence LLC
Phoenix, AZ

John (J.T.) Payne
Tender: Jeff Head
Kennth E. Foeste Masonry, Inc.
Cape Girardeau, MO 

Mike Canez IV
Tender: Louie Salcido
Sargon Masonry Construction, LLC
Phoenix, AZ 

Jose Soto
Tender: Israel Mendoza
Diamond Masonry
Gilbert, AZ 

Roberto Cimental
Tender: Saul Escarcega
Arizona State Masonry
Gilbert, AZ

Tevita Tauteoli
Tender: Lisiate Tauteoli
IMS Masonry, Inc.
Lindon, UT 

Richard King
Tender: Miguel Gonzalez
NuWay Inc.
Riverside, CA 

Christopher Dubief
Tender: Freddy Tamayo
Masonry Concepts Inc.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 

Raul Reyes
Tender: Angel Miguel Andrade
Sargon Masonry Construction, LLC
Phoenix, AZ 

SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® 
9:45 AM – 11:15 AM
Las Vegas Convention Center, Silver 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 June 9, 2021 at www.specmixbricklayer500.com

Competitors 

Fred Campbell
Tender: Tony Shelton
Defending World Champion 

Darian Douthit
Tender: Andy Zepeda
Defending Top Craftsman 

Emilio Dibra
Tender: Charlie Cheatham
Ohio Regional Champion 

Esteban Cabral
Tender: Oscar Gausin
Colorado Regional Champion 

Allen McCleese
Tender: Dean McClanahan
Pennsylvania Regional Champion 

Manuel Hernandez
Tender: Jose Perez
East Tennessee Regional Champion 

Douglas Veldman
Tender: Daniel Veldman
Alberta Regional Champion 

Marty Marrs
Tender: Tony Savant
Illinois Regional Champion 

Carlos Hernandez
Tender: Juan De Lara
Oklahoma Regional Champion 

Jake Brock
Tender: Nick Miller
Wisconsin Regional Champion 

Mario Landeros
Tender: Aldolfo Gonzales Jr.
North Texas Regional Champion 

Brian Tuttle
Tender: Scott Tuttle
Utah Regional Champion 

Javier Chacon
Tender: Steve Braswell
Missouri Regional Champion 

Johnny Langeraap
Tender: Luke Wikander
Northeast Regional Champion 

David Chavez
Tender: Geronimo Baten
South Texas Regional Champion 

Brian Wade

Tender: AJ Lina
West Tennessee Regional Champion 

David Puga
Tender: Richy Martinez
Arizona Regional Champion 

David Kelly
Tender: Nick Campbell
Carolina Regional Champion 

Juan Cabral
Tender: Omar Mayorga
Wild Card 

Jacob Ramirez
Tender: Ricardo Trevino
Wild Card 

Jason Boll
Tender: Zack Farris
Wild Card 

Zac Guire
Oscar Herrera
Wild Card 

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