2022 IOWA REGIONAL SERIES
Tommy Iezek Wins the 2022 Iowa SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Regional®
Iezek takes home first place and the “Iowa’s Best Bricklayer” title.
Iowa City, IA – Tommy Iezek put down 679 bricks in 60-minutes with the help of his mason tender Angel Martinez to secure their win at the competition. This team is from Maxson Masonry, and together they claimed their spots to compete at what’s known as the best event the construction industry offers, the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500, taking place in Las Vegas at the World of Concrete Tradeshow on January 18th, 2023. Across North America, 22 regional events will occur, and only one team at each regional can advance to the World Championship in Las Vegas! The teams consist of one mason and one mason tender, and together, they must demonstrate that they have the skills to compete in what is known as the Superbowl of Masonry.
Given a 26-foot-wide wall and one hour, these teams must build the tallest brick wall with little to no craftsmanship errors to win the chance to wrangle at the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 in Las Vegas. Battling in Vegas comes with its perks; these teams can win a Ford F-250 truck, a Kubota RTV-X1140, an Essick Pro12 Mortar Mixer, and money, a combined total of over $125,000 in cash and prizes! Contenders will go all in to claim the title of “World’s Best Bricklayer.”
At the Iowa regional event the Iezek-Martinez team won with over a 100-brick lead amongst the competitors. With a final brick count of 679, this team won $750, a 4-foot Stabila Level, and two tickets to battle at nationals in Vegas. The championship competition in 2023 will not be Iezek’s first time in Vegas. He also contended at nationals in 2019 with his mason tender Martinez. “It was incredible to win. Last year we went up to Minnesota to compete, we had the highest brick count, but due to deductions, we ended up taking second place,” states Iezek. Instead of shooting for the highest brick count, Iezek wants to achieve the perfect wall. “When we went out the first time, our nerves got us riled up. The deductions killed us, which is why I want to practice on our quality,” says Iezek. “Honestly, with the level of the competitors, I would be thrilled to even place in the top three. The competition is so stiff,” states Iezek. Unfortunately, it was raining for a good portion of the Iowa regional. Iezek says it caused everyone to slow down. The Iezek-Martinez team practiced four times before the competition for the regional event this year. He plans to practice at least three times before the nationals. “We’ve got to keep the muscle memory,” states Iezek. Practicing is crucial but building these walls can be exhausting; Iezek mentioned how he had to keep resting his arms on the wall during the 2019 championship because he was so tired. For the 2023 BL500, Iezek plans to have his wife and sister join him, as well as his nephew who is a masonry apprentice.
The second-place winner at the Iowa regional was mason Ben Houghton and mason tender Bruce Miller with Miller Masonry. This team not only got second but earned the title of “Top Craftsman.” The judges declared their wall perfect with no deductions. The Houghton-Miller team walked away with a combined total of $750 as well as a 2-foot Stabila Level. And third was mason Steve Struck and mason tender Jorge Golita with Maxson Masonry. This team won $200 and a 2-foot Stabila Level.
In 2019, the SPEC MIX organization partnered with other masonry associations to create the JR. SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Competition. In 2022, of the twenty-two Regional Series competitions, twelve will also hold JR. BRICKLAYER 500 contests to give high schoolers and masonry apprentices the chance to compete for their state title. The program has proven remarkably successful and highly supported by the Mason Contractors Association of America, school administrators, and numerous masonry supply manufacturers and dealers. To learn more, visit https://www.specmix.com/jr-spec-mix-bricklayer-500/.
If you are interested in becoming a fan, the 21st annual SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Championship will take place on January 18th, 2023, at the World of Concrete tradeshow in Las Vegas; the Las Vegas Convention Center Bronze Lot. At this competition, you will see 26 world-class masons lay it all on the line to claim their portion of the total purse valued at more than $125,000. Prizes include a new Ford F-250 4×4 Super Duty truck, Kubota RTV-X1140, Multiquip Pro 12 Mortar Mixer, Additionally, there will be other prizes from Hilti, IQ Power Tools, Stabila, Marshalltown, STIHL, Blaklader Workwear, and Belden Brick.
If you have any questions, or would like to set up an interview with any of the competitors, please contact Brian Carney at 612-859-4505 or by email at Brian.Carney@specmix.com
SPEC MIX is your North American source for high quality, factory produced cement-based building materials that are preblended for the construction industry. SPEC MIX products are precisely engineered to meet ASTM and building code requirements. Projects designed for the installation of brick, CMU, stone, stucco or building repair and restoration, SPEC MIX offers a full line of products packaged in 80 & 3,000-pound bags produced with state-of-the-art batching equipment to ensure quality and consistency from start to finish. For optimal jobsite efficiency, safety, and productivity, we provide contractors with numerous silo material mixing systems that maximize a contractor’s cost savings, safety and profitability. For more information, visit www.specmix.com.
2022 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 IOWA REGIONAL RESULTS
|1ST PLACE||TOMMY IEZEK||ANGEL MARTINEZ||MAXSON MASONRY||IOWA CITY, IA||679 BRICKS||$750|
|TOP CRAFTSMAN||BEN HOUGHTON||BRUCE MILLER||MILLER MASONRY||IOWA CITY, IA||562 BRICKS||$450|
|2ND PLACE||BEN HOUGHTON||BRUCE MILLER||MILLER MASONRY||IOWA CITY, IA||562 BRICKS||$300|
|3RD PLACE||STEVE STRUCK||JORGE GOLITA||MAXSON MASONRY||IOWA CITY, IA||533 BRICKS||$200|
SEE LAST YEARS RESULTS
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!