Crewe, Va — Six linemen from Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) proudly represented their co-op in the 30th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo World Championships last Saturday, October 19th. Held in Bonner Springs, Kansas at the National Agriculture Center & Hall of Fame, the event is a culmination of various regional and national competitions in the U.S. and around the world that test the various skills used by electric utility line workers every day.
Over two hundred teams of linemen representing cooperatives, investor-owned and municipal electric utilities came together for four days for fellowship, competition and training. In addition to the rodeo, attendees benefitted from a safety and training conference, ample networking opportunities and vendor expos demonstrating new industry technology and equipment.
SEC Linemen Troy Burgess, Kinte Robinson and Brad Ashwell competed as a team in the Journeyman Division, finishing 12th out of 32 teams in the co-op division, and 59th out of 210 teams in the overall competition. The SEC Journeyman team also finished in the top 80 (out of 210 teams) in both overall "Mystery Events," which are meant to challenge the competitors with an unexpected scenario. Other events included the pole climb and hurt-man rescue. All competitors are timed during the events, while judges take point deductions for any safety and procedure violations.
Apprentice Linemen Brandon Rust, Trevor Robertson and Blake Poindexter represented SEC in the Apprentice Division, which featured the pole climb, hurt-man rescue, CPR, a written test and a single mystery event. SEC’s best overall finish at the Rodeo came in the CPR competition, with Trevor Robinson capturing 3rd out of 219 competitors while fellow apprentice Brandon Rust finished 7th. The pair also finished in the top 40 in the pole climb competition. Rust also took 39th in the written test and managed an impressive 28th place out of 219 competitors in the overall ‘Best of the Best’ category. Among their fellow co-ops competing in the event, Rust, Robertson and Poindexter also finished 5th, 15th and 40th respectively.
While SEC’s linemen had quite a successful showing at the rodeo, the team competed this year with a heavy heart. Following the recent passing of a fellow lineman, friend and past competitor Larry Lovelace, of Kentucky's Bluegrass Energy Cooperative, the SEC team proudly wore Blue Grass Energy’s green team shirts to honor Lovelace and raise awareness of the lymphoma cancer that took him on October 15th. Although the Blue Grass Team could not make it to the rodeo this year, over 100 Blue Grass Energy shirts were distributed to linemen from around the world in honor and recognition of Larry. For more information, please visit: We Fight For Larry on Facebook.
For results and more information about the International Linemen’s Rodeo and Expo, please visit: www.linemansrodeokc.com. For more photos of the SEC Team at the 2013 Rodeo, please check our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SouthsideElectric.
Headquartered in Crewe, SEC is a member-owned not-for-profit electric utility serving more than 54,000 meters in homes and businesses throughout southern and central Virginia. For more information about SEC, please visit www.sec.coop, or find us on Facebook.
Atop pole: Troy Burgess (left) and Brad Ashwell (right).
The entire SEC team, (Left to right) - Troy Burgess, Brandon Rust, Trevor Robertson, Kinte Robinson, Brad Ashwell and Blake Poindexter
SEC Apprentice Lineman Blake Poindexter