MEA Energy Association (MEA) is pleased to announce that 34 teams competed in the annual National Gas Rodeo at Crossway Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri.
“It is so rewarding to have the rodeo back after a two-year hiatus,” says John Gann, membership senior vice president, MEA. “City Utilities of Springfield and the Rodeo committee stepped up magnificently to host and deliver an outstanding showcase for these elite gas crews. The camaraderie and sportsmanship we experienced again this year are heartwarming and a testament to the fine individuals who competed.”
All 21 two-person teams and 13 four-person teams were challenged to compete in several skills-based events including: 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 10 two- and four-person teams moved on to compete in the relay — an event with multiple, sequential tasks, including the precise maneuvering of a utility truck with trailer and picking up and moving an egg with a backhoe bucket.
The teams typically prepare for this annual event with several hours of practice and strategizing; some utilities host internal rodeos before entering to compete at the National Gas Rodeo.
FASTEST TIMES: Qualifying Events and Relay
- Meter Set: “Gang Related”, Spire
- Pipe Cut: “State Line”, Spire
- Service Installation: “State Line”, Spire with a new record of 81.61 seconds
- Hand Dig: “High Volume”, Colorado Springs Utilities
- Relay: “Gang Related”, Spire
- Meter Set: “Men of Steel”, Spire
- Pipe Cut: “CH4”, Piedmont Natural Gas
- Service Installation: “Intense Ignition”, Spire
- Hand Dig: “Methane Heads”, Duke Energy
- Relay: “Intense Ignition”, Spire
2022 NATIONAL GAS RODEO CHAMPIONS:
1st Place: “Gang Related”, Spire | Barry Hicks | Brandon Vickery | Alternate: Stephen Bouse
2nd Place: “State Line”, Spire | James Lee | David Cramblitt
3rd Place: “Chunky Gas Monkeys”, Spire | Keith Pate | Mark Alfano
1st Place: “Intense Ignition”, Spire | Jeff Smith | Dylan Middleton | Justin Wald | Mark Frazier | Alternate: Tim Cochran
2nd Place: “Gasaholics”, DTE Energy | Kyle Gotterson | David Riggs | Jonathon Kuhlman | Brandan Lewis | Alternate: Michael Iacovacci
3rd Place: “Methane Heads”, Duke Energy | Timothy Dennemann | Casey Woodyard | David Kabler | Bruce Greer | Alternate: Alex Klein
The Spirit of the Rodeo Award was presented to John Gann of MEA for his years of service to the National Gas Rodeo.
“Pressure Setters” from Xcel Energy won the contest for favorite team shirt and the charity of their choice will receive a $500 donation, sponsored by IBEW Local 304.
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. The rodeo returns September 14-16, 2023 to Springfield, MO. Learn more about the National Gas Rodeo at nationalgasrodeo.org.
The National Gas Rodeo is a program of MEA and is hosted by City Utilities of Springfield, MO. The rodeo is made possible through the premier level support of Centuri Croup, Inc., K.R. Swerdfeger Construction, Inc., Miller Pipeline, and Milwaukee Tool. Individual events were sponsored by Honeywell Smart Energy, IBEW 11th District, IBEW Local #304, IBEW Local #753, Missouri Common Ground Alliance, MRC Global, TPE Midstream/Zevac, USIC, and Vance & Associates. Lunch was sponsored by Balon Valves.
About MEA Energy Association:
MEA serves the people that deliver electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses. We were founded as a trade association over 115 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.