MEA Energy Association (MEA) is pleased to announce that a record setting sixty-three teams of natural gas distribution professionals competed in the 2018 National Gas Rodeo at Heart of America Pop Warner Football Field in Independence, Missouri.
All teams were challenged to safely and quickly install a service line, dig a pit by hand, cut a six-inch metal pipe, and assemble a meter set during the qualifying round. The top 12 two- and four-person teams moved on to compete in the relay where they had six tasks to complete, including moving an egg with a backhoe. The teams go through intense training and some compete in local rodeos before entering to compete at the National Gas Rodeo.
The 63 teams included two student teams from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) who challenged themselves by competing against industry professionals. The NWTC teams, “Gas Greenhorns” and “Screaming Eagles” ranked 33rd and 37th respectively in the two-person field. The three all-female two-person teams represent the most female teams to compete in the rodeo. “Twisted Sisters” a team from Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas ranked 25th in the two-person field. The Spire teams, “Luna Chicks” ranked 26th and “Gashouse Gals” ranked 16th in the two-person field.
FASTEST TIMES: Qualifying Events and Relay
- Hand Dig: “Mad Tappers”, City Utilities of Springfield
- Service Installation: “Young Guns”, Spire-Alabama
- Pipe Cut: “Lil’ Gashouse Gang”, Spire-Missouri East with a new record of 10.02 seconds
- Meter Set: “Lil’ Gashouse Gang”, Spire-Missouri East
- Relay: “High Pressure Hitmen”, Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas with a new record of 111.91 seconds
2018 NATIONAL GAS RODEO CHAMPIONS:
- Hand Dig: “Gas House Gorillas”, City Utilities of Springfield
- Service Installation: “Gashouse Gang”, Spire-Missouri East
- Pipe Cut: “Gashouse Gang”, Spire-Missouri East with a new record of 6.11 seconds
- Meter Set: “Methane Maniacs”, Ameren Illinois Company with a new record of 26.10 seconds
- Relay: “Intense Ignition”, Spire-Missouri West with a new record of 100.34 seconds
- 1st Place: “Lil’ Gashouse Gang”, Spire-Missouri East
- Stephen Bouse
- Barry Hicks
- Jeff Busch (alternate)
- 2nd Place: “Mercaptan ‘Merica”, Alliant Energy
- Joshua Jaskolski
- Steve Scheffel
- 3rd Place: “High Pressure Hitmen”, Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas
- Reece Graves
- Andy Andrews
- Caleb Overton (alternate)
- Scott Overcash (alternate)
- 1st Place: “Gashouse Gang”, Spire-Missouri East
- Aaron Witt
- Brandon Vickery
- Robert Hayes
- Jon Loughary
- Don Jackson (alternate)
- 2nd Place: “Intense Ignition”, Spire-Missouri West
- Korey Ross
- Dylan Middleton
- Justin Wald
- Jeff Smith
- Seth Golay (alternate)
“The National Gas Rodeo Committee introduced the Spirit of the Rodeo Award this year,” said John Gann, program services vice president for MEA, “and we are proud to present it to Spire in appreciation for their outstanding support as rodeo host. We congratulate all the teams on their skill, sportsmanship, and professionalism and look forward to a spectacular competition next year.”
- 3rd Place: “Methane Maniacs”, Ameren Illinois Company
- Zac Reis
- Keith Huschle
- Dale Stallman
- James Tylka
- Aaron Sanders (alternate)
The intense competition and camaraderie of the National Gas Rodeo offer natural gas utilities from across the country an opportunity to showcase their teamwork, skills, and professionalism. Participation in the National Gas Rodeo plays an important role in developing a mindset of efficiency, proficiency, and safety when working in the natural gas field. Learn more about the National Gas Rodeo at nationalgasrodeo.org.
The National Gas Rodeo is a program of MEA and was hosted by Spire. The rodeo is made possible through the premier level support of CASE Construction, K.R. Swerdfeger Construction, Inc., and Sealweld/Val-Tex.
MEA serves the people that deliver electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses. We were founded as a trade association over 110 years ago by distribution utilities whose vision was to improve safety and efficiency. Today, we fulfill the same purpose through education, leadership development, and industry connections. Energy delivery companies, contractors, and suppliers around the country benefit from our 55 summits, roundtables, and webinars, 400+ online technical courses, safety assessments, evaluator training, operator qualification compliance tools, and leadership courses for field personnel.