Eric Kent Lays 590 Bricks to Win Washington SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500
Kent Returns to the Bricklayer 500 to Claim “Washington’s Best Bricklayer” Title for the Third Time!
Seattle WA – No stranger to the event, Kent laid 590 bricks in 60-minutes! Mason Eric Kent partnered with his mason tender, Brandon Honold of Western Washington Masonry Trades Apprenticeship and Training, to win the title, “Washington’s Best Bricklayer,” for the third time. Kent, a seasoned bricklayer that now serves as a masonry instructor for apprentices, enrolled in the Washington BAC Local Union 1, put his skills to the test, and claimed first place for the third time after winning the 2014 and 2017 contests. Competing against 7 other teams from Washington and Oregon, Kent and Honold will advance to compete in the industry’s biggest event, the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship in Las Vegas at the World of Concrete tradeshow, taking place on January 18th, 2023.
To qualify for the World Championship, hundreds of teams from across North America will battle to win 1 of 22 individual regional series events, proving they have what it takes to step into the arena and battle at what is known as the “Super Bowl of Masonry.” Each team, consisting of one mason and one mason tender, is given one hour to build the tallest, 26-foot-long brick wall with the fewest craftsmanship errors possible. The winning team from each regional qualifying event will advance to compete in Las Vegas, for a total purse of over $125,000 in cash and prizes, including a new Ford F-250 4×4 Truck, Kubota RTV-X1140, Essick Pro12 mortar mixer, and the title “World’s Best Bricklayer!”
At 53 years old, Kent is ready to return to Las Vegas and take his shot at winning the World Championship contest. Before becoming a masonry instructor for the Bricklayer and Allied Craftworkers Local 1, he logged approximately 20 years with Washington’s R & D Masonry where he honed his skills as a mason. “This is my first year working as an instructor and I find it very rewarding—now I’m able to give back to a craft that has been so good to me. And by winning the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 last Saturday, I not only gained the respect of my apprentices, but they are also all fired up to watch me compete in the final round next January through the live stream shown on SPEC MIX’s website!” stated Kent.
For hundreds of masons around North America winning a spot on the World Championship roster is both a privilege and honor. For Kent, it was that and much more. Only days after his victory on Saturday, his sister, Colleen Casey, was laid to rest. He stated, “As soon as the competition ended, I told my mason tender, Brandon, that I’m dedicating this win to Colleen. And now my goal is to get to Las Vegas, lay 720 perfect bricks, and win the World Championship in her honor. Nothing would make me happier!” Kent knows that finishing with a brick count in the 700 to 750 range will put him in the running for both the TOP CRAFSTMANSHIP award as well as the “World’s Best Bricklayer” title, giving him all the motivation necessary to meet his goal.
The competition’s second most coveted title up for grabs, the SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN award, which goes to the mason with zero brick deductions and is referred to as the “most-sellable” wall, went to mason David Wernette with Davco Contracting in Portland, OR. Wernette, with the help of his mason tender Joshua Carey, won $400 by precisely laying 528 bricks. Wernette’s performance also earned him second place and an additional $300 in fun money. Like Kent, Wernette is an accomplished mason who knows what it takes to win first place. In 2019, he won the state’s regional competition and moved on to the championship round in Las Vegas.
The third-place prize went to mason Garret Shafer, who was supported by mason tender Errol Cage, both employed by Northbound Masonry located in Stanwood, WA. The team worked together to put in a final count of 468 bricks and won $200.
Following the conclusion of the journeymen competition, area masonry apprentices had a chance to showcase their skills in the JR. SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 competition. Designed to be an abbreviated version of the main event, the competition showcases the future of masonry’s next generation of skilled masons. This 20-minute contest awards the region’s best masonry student or apprentices the JR. BRICKLAYER 500 Champion, a title that could go a long way when being considered by mason contractors for employment and a well-paying career.
It was mason Ian Work, with the help of his tender, Ryan Clifford, apprenticing for R&D Masonry, that laid 120 bricks to win first place and $100 along with a 2-foot Stabila level loaded backpack. The two aspiring masons outshined 5 other teams who worked hard but came up a tad short of Work and Clifford.
In 2019, the SPEC MIX organization partnered with other masonry associations to create the JR. SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Competition. This year of the 22 Regional Series competitions, 12 will also hold JR. BRICKLAYER 500 contests to give high school 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’re interested in becoming a fan and spectator, 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 in the Las Vegas Convention Center Bronze Lot. You’ll 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, including a new Ford F-250 4×4 Super Duty truck, Kubota RTV-X1140, Multiquip Pro 12 Mortar Mixer, and 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 WASHINGTON REGIONAL RESULTS
|1ST PLACE||ERIC KENT||BRANDON HONOLD||WESTERN WASHINGTON MASONRY||RENTON, WA||590 BRICKS||$500|
|TOP CRAFTSMAN||DAVID WERNETTE||JOSHUA CAREY||DAVCO CONTRACTING||PORTLAND, OR||528 BRICKS||$400|
|2ND PLACE||DAVID WERNETTE||JOSHUA CAREY||DAVCO CONTRACTING||PORTLAND, OR||528 BRICKS||$300|
|3RD PLACE||GARRET SHAFER||ERROL CAGE||NORTHBOUND MASONRY||STANDWOOD, WA||468 BRICKS||$200|
2022 JUNIOR SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 WASHINGTON REGIONAL RESULTS
|PLACE||MASON||TENDER||COMPANY/SCHOOL||CITY, STATE||RESULT||PRIZE AMOUNT|
|1ST PLACE||IAN WORK||RYAN CLIFFORD||R&D MASONRY||ARINGTON, WA||120 BRICKS||$100|
|TOP CRAFTSMAN||KONNER ZAMPERIN||THOMAS BAZIA||R&D MASONRY||EVERETT, WA||104 BRICKS||$50|
|2ND PLACE||KONNER ZAMPERIN||THOMAS BAZIA||R&D MASONRY||EVERETT, WA||104 BRICKS|
|3RD PLACE||CALEB SILVER||MARY KENT||R&D MASONRY||MARYSVILLE, WA||95 BRICKS|
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!