Michael Schlund Wins the 2022 Wisconsin’s Bricklayer 500 Regional!
Schlund claims “Wisconsin’s Best Bricklayer & Top Craftsman” Title’s!
Wausau, WI – Schlund lays 646 brick in 60-minutes to win 1st place and the “Top Craftsman” title. Michael Schlund and his mason tender Aaron Kowalski of Kowalski Masonry are no strangers to the bricklaying competition. Schlund has battled at the regionals eight times and Kowalski two. The Schlund-Kowalski team worked quickly and effectively to put up a no deduction performance! Their perfect brick wall earned Schlund “Colorado’s Best Bricklayer” award and the “SPEC MIX’s Top Craftsman” title. The dynamic duo walked away with a combine total of $1,250, a 4-foot Stabila level, and two plane tickets to battle at the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® World Championship, taking place in Las Vegas at the World of Concrete Tradeshow 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. They must prove they have what it takes to contend at what is known as the Super Bowl of Masonry. Each team consists of one mason and one mason tender and have 60-minutes to build the tallest 26-foot-long brick wall with the fewest craftsmanship errors possible. From each regional event, one team will win and advance to Las Vegas. At nationals they will compete for over $125,000 in cash and prizes, such as a new Ford F-250 4×4 Truck, Kubota RTV-X1140, Essick Pro12 mortar mixer, and the title, “World’s Best Bricklayer.”
The upcoming national event will be Schlund’s 4th time battling in Vegas. During the last Championship, with 781 bricks laid, Schlund had the highest brick count, but after deductions from the judges he tied for 4th place. “My goal is to hit at least 760 brick laid for the 2023 event” says Schlund. His goal is to take it all and win 1st place in Vegas to obtain the “World’s Best Bricklayer” title and plans to practice rigorously in hopes of winning the F-250 truck. “Aaron wants to see me win as much as I want to win it. He is a pusher when it comes to practice,” says Schlund about his mason tender Kowalski. Schlund says last time Kowalski kept him on track; before the World Championship they built a total of eight walls and intends to do the same for this year.
The second-place winner at the Wisconsin Regional was Jake Brock with mason tender Nick Miller with Brock Construction. This team had a 465-brick count winning them $450 and a 2-foot Stabila level. The third-place winner, Roman Graebel and mason tender Greg Gazdeki with KMI was close behind with a 455-brick count. For their efforts, they won $350 and a 2-foot Stabila level.
During the Wisconsin Bricklayer 500 Regional Event, the JR. BL500 competition took place. In this battle, masonry apprentices and students display their ability in a shortened rendition of the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500, where they have the chance to win cash prizes and the “JR. BRICKLAYER 500 CHAMPION” title. The 1st place winner at the JR. BL500 was mason Max Dennee and his mason tender Nate Nemitz from DC Everest High School with a brick count of 97. This team won $75.00, an etched Marshalltown trowel, and a 4-foot Stabila level. Close behind was mason Tyler Carpenter and mason tender Alex Hoffmann from Kimberly High School with a 96-brick count. In third place was mason Peter Chezek and mason tender Hector Pintor from Marathon High School with a 94-brick count. Both second and third place winners walked away with $50 and a 2-foot Stabila level.
In 2019, the SPEC MIX organization partnered with other masonry associations to create the Junior SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 Competition. This year of the 22 Regional Series competitions, 12 will also hold Junior BRICKLAYER 500 contests that 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 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, 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 WISCONSIN REGIONAL RESULTS
|1ST PLACE||MICHAEL SCHLUND||AARON KOWALSKI||KOWALKSI MASONSRY||WAUSAU, WI||646 BRICKS||$650|
|TOP CRAFTSMAN||MICHAEL SCHLUND||AARON KOWALSKI||KOWALKSI MASONSRY||WAUSAU, WI||646 BRICKS||$600|
|2ND PLACE||JAKE BROCK||NICK MILLER||BROCK CONSTRUCTION||FORT ATKINSON, WI||465 BRICKS||$450|
|3RD PLACE||ROMAN GRAEBEL||GREG GAZDEKI||KMI||UNION GROVE, WI||465 BRICKS||$350|
2022 JUNIOR SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 WISCONSIN REGIONAL RESULTS
|PLACE||MASON||TENDER||COMPANY/SCHOOL||CITY, STATE||RESULT||PRIZE AMOUNT|
|1ST PLACE||MAX DENNEE||NATE NEMITZ||DC EVERST HIGH SCHOOL||97 BRICKS||$75|
|2ND PLACE||TYLER CARPENTER||ALEC HOFFMAN||KIMBERLY HIGH SCHOOL||96 BRICKS||$50|
|3RD PLACE||PETER CHEZEK||HECTOR PINTOR||MARATHON HIGH SCHOOL||94 BRICKS||$50|
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!