Martinez Named 2016 Fastest Trowel

Words: Dan KamysThe annual Fastest Trowel on the Block competition, held Feb. 3, 2016, during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas, drew a big audience to catch the fastest 20 minutes in masonry and see who would win the $8,000 grand prize. [caption id="attachment_12226" align="alignnone" width="1024"]2016 Fastest Trowel on the Block winner Jose Noe Martinez (center) with tender Heriberto Estrada (left) is presented the $8,000 grand prize from MCAA Chairman Mark Kemp (right). 2016 Fastest Trowel on the Block winner Jose Noe Martinez (center) with tender Heriberto Estrada (left) is presented the $8,000 grand prize from MCAA Chairman Mark Kemp (right).[/caption] The contest pit 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 20-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 20-minute competition. After the judges completed their scoring, the results were announced. The top-placing contestants in this year’s competition were: FIRST PLACE JOSE NOE MARTINEZ Stone Cold Masonry Phoenix Tender: Heriberto Estrada Block Count: 116 This is the first time Jose Noe Martinez has competed in the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competition. SECOND PLACE JOSE SOTO Sargon Masonry Phoenix Tender: Israel Mendoza Block Count: 119 This is the first time Jose Soto has competed in the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competition. THIRD PLACE ARCADIO ARMENTA Sutter Masonry, Inc. El Mirage, Ariz. Tender: Guadalupe Aragon Block Count: 113 Arcadio Armenta received his first job in the masonry industry twenty years ago as a tender and worked his way up. He also placed first in the 2013 and 2015 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block competitions. Winners were presented with trophies, plus first place took home $8,000, a special trophy from Marshalltown, 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 gift certificate from STIHL, and additional prizes. All contestants received a level from competition sponsor Stabila. For complete information about the competition, its sponsors and contributors, visit www.fastesttrowel.com.
Tim O’Toole is the Director of Marketing, Education, and Information Technology for the MCAA.
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