Michael Schlund Wins the 2021 Wisconsin Regional Series
Earns title, “Wisconsin’s Best Bricklayer.”
Fond du Lac, WI – He laid 569 brick in only one hour! Mason Michael Schlund and mason tender Aaron Kowalski with Kowalski Masonry in Wausau, WI teamed up to earn the title, “Wisconsin’s Best Bricklayer.” Schlund and Kowalski beat out 9 other local teams, officially winning their shot to compete on the biggest stage in masonry, the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500, in Las Vegas at the World of Concrete Expo in January 2022.
To qualify for the World Championship, hundreds of teams from across North America will battle to win one of 22 individual regional series events, proving they belong on the national stage. Each team, consisting of one mason and one mason tender, will be given an hour to build the largest and best 26-foot-long brick wall they can, with as few errors as possible. One winning team from each region will advance to compete for over $125,000 in cash and prizes (including a new Ford F-250 4×4 Truck, Kubota RTV-X1140) and the title, “World’s Best Bricklayer.”
This marks the 3rd time Schlund has qualified for the World Championship, having competed most recently in 2019. Schlund said he was tired after today’s event and the last time he had laid a full competition course was in Las Vegas two years ago. He added, “I will probably have to practice before heading out, we will see how I feel in November. That will determine if I aim for the most brick or the best wall.” This was a close race, as Schlund barely edged out a victory against last year’s regional champion, Jake Brock, by only 7 brick.
In addition to winning a free trip to the big show, Schlund and Kowalski also won $600 for claiming first place, along with other great prizes such as a 4′ Stabila Level, $200 Blaklader gift certificate, $200 gift certificate from Ford and a loaded Marshalltown Tool Bag.
Second place and the coveted SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN award went to last year’s regional champions mason Jake Brock and mason tender Nick Miller, which goes to the team with the “most-sellable” wall. The duo from Brock Construction in Ft. Atkinson, WI kept it close with a brick count of 562. For their efforts, the team took home $900, along with a 4′ Stabila level and Marshalltown ceremonial trowel and tool bag.
Third place went to mason Gabe Lesher and mason tender Adam Mayer of CD Smith Construction in Oconomowoc, WI with a brick count of 435, for their efforts, the team took home $300, a 4′ Stabila level and a Marshalltown ceremonial trowel and tool bag.
Following the conclusion of the journeymen competition, area masonry apprentices had a chance to showcase their skills in the JR. SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500. Designed to be an abbreviated version of the main event, the competition showcases the future of masonry. Each apprentice leaves with a prize in hand, but only one is named the region’s best apprentice, a title which could go a long way when being considered by contractors for future employment.
Mason Mitch Seilger with Kowalski Masonry won the junior event with a brick count of 84, taking home $150.
As workforce development becomes the primary battle cry for the skilled trades, the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 is a tool designed to create interest from a new generation of masons in the rewards and opportunities possible in masonry and construction.
But the day wasn’t just about competitions. Fond du Lac, WI provided the perfect backdrop to “Masonry Education Day.” Nearly 100 area masonry students had the opportunity to meet with contractors and vendors to learn about the industry through hands-on training. Students were also given an area to practice laying masonry structures with brick using SPEC MIX Training Mortar. Local masons took time out their busy schedules to offer tips and tricks to anyone willing to get their hands dirty.
The 20th annual SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Championship will be held January 19th, 2022 at the World of Concrete expo in Las Vegas. Prizes total more than $125,000 and include a new Ford F-250 4×4 Super Duty truck, Kubota RTV-X1140, Multiquip Mortar Mixer, and other prizes from IQ Power Tools, Stabila, Marshalltown, STIHL, Blaklader, Iron Age Footwear and Belden Brick.
2021 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 WISCONSIN REGIONAL RESULTS
|1ST PLACE||MICHAEL SCHLUND||AARON KOWALSKI||KOWALSKI MASONRY||WAUSAU, WI||569 BRICK||$600|
|TOP CRAFTSMAN||JAKE BROCK||NICK MILLER||BROCK CONSTRUCTION||FT. ATKINSON, WI||562 BRICK||$500|
|2ND PLACE||JAKE BROCK||NICK MILLER||BROCK CONSTRUCTION||FT. ATKINSON, WI||562 BRICK||$400|
|3RD PLACE||GABE LESHER||ADAM MEYER||CD SMITH CONSTRUCTION||OCONOMOWOC, WI||435 BRICK||$300|
2021 JR. SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 WISCONSIN REGIONAL RESULTS
|1ST PLACE||MITCH SEILGER||KOWALSKI MASONRY||WAUSAU, WI||84 BRICK||$150|
|2ND PLACE||JEREMY PARISH||FINDORFF CONSTRUCTION||MADISON, WI||63 BRICK||$75 GIFT CERTIFICATE|
|3RD PLACE||TIFFANY TILLIS||BERGLUND CONSTRUCTION||KENOSHA, WI||45||$75 GIFT CERTIFICATE|
NOW APPRENTICES CAN JOIN THE ACTION
Wisconsin is now an official host site of the rapidly growing JR. SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 contests taking place at numerous SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Regional Series across North America. High school masonry students and apprentices can get in on the bricklaying action and shine on masonry’s biggest stage! Judged like the journeymen event, the JR. SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 competitors are challenged by a 20-minute clock and a 9’-4” starter wall to showcase their skills, compete for prizes and prove they’ll soon be ready to claim the title of, “World’s Best Bricklayer.”
ONE MORE CHANCE TO QUALIFY
The new Wild Card Challenge will send additional Regional Series competitors to Las Vegas for the World Championship! At the end of the regional season, the bricklayers that post the top adjusted brick counts could win a FREE ride to Vegas and chance at becoming the 2022 World’s Best Bricklayer!