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TID wrangles rodeo win

TID wrangles rodeo win

TID competitors scale an electric pole during the Lineworkers Rodeo in Omaha, Neb.


POSTED March 30, 2010 10:27 p.m.
This wasn’t the Turlock Irrigation District’s first rodeo. But it was their second trip to the winners’ circle.
The defending champion journeyman TID linemen made short work of their competition in this weekend’s Annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo. The squad finished first in three of five events en route to claiming their second consecutive overall win.
“This was the first time in its 10-year history the rodeo saw a team win the cumulative prize for a second consecutive year,” said Larry Weis, TID general manager. “I am very proud of their hard work and determination.”
A whopping 39 journeyman lineman teams journeyed to Omaha, Neb. to compete in this year’s contest. Teams of four — including two who climb power poles, a third who works from the ground, and an optional alternate — compete to showcase their expertise in electrical work in a series of events.
Competitors are judged on neatness, ability, speed and safety as they repair down power lines, rescue ‘hurt’ colleagues dangling from poles and change out lightning arrestors. All journeyman competitors have at least four years of experience in the electric utility trade.
The TID team featured two returning members from last year’s championship journeyman team — Mark Pickens and Dustin Kreiger — alongside newcomer Josh Klikna, who claimed second in last year’s apprentice category. Aaron Baker served as alternate.
The repeat victory was anything but easy for the TID squad, who braved inclement weather to take home the gold.
“The day was rainy, cold and windy, but the competition continued with wet grounds, poles and equipment, not to mention temperatures that never rose above 40 degrees,” said Dennis Moon, Line Department manager.
The TID team bested public utility members of the American Public Power Association from around the country to claim first place, including a Modesto Irrigation District team, a second-place Sacramento Municipal Utility District team and squads from Florida, Tennessee and Los Angeles.
The District spends about $30,000 to send employees to the event. TID competitors train for the competition in their personal time, building skills useful for their day-to-day jobs.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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