Story by Rebecca Band
Photos by John Storey
IBEW 1245 members from PG&E competed in the National Gas Rodeo in Colorado Spring, CO for the third time this summer, and this year, the union was well represented. Of the 52 teams participating in this year’s Gas Rodeo, four of them were made up of IBEW 1245 members from PG&E.
The teams competed in four qualifying events – the meter set, six-inch pipe cut, service run and hand dig.
The other teams were extremely skilled, and our members showed their competitive spirit. They were more prepared this year, thanks to the practice they got at the first annual PG&E/IBEW 1245 Gas Rodeo, which took place on May 30th.
Even though they showed marked improvement, Local 1245’s teams from PG&E didn’t quite make the strides they had hoped for. In the end, our top teams missed the chance to compete in the final relay round by less than a minute.
In the two-person team division, the North Valley Gas Rats (Michael Silveria and Gregory Haggard, alternate Jayson Visinoni) came in 17th and Frisco’s Elite GC Gas (Marcus Pineda and Kitiona Umaleava, alternate Tahmal Fleming) came in 20th.
In the four-person team division, Los Jefes (Emanuel Ene, Adam Kotko, Miquel Loza and Sam Barraza, alternate Garrett Velenquela) placed 14th and the Yosemite team (Kevin Gonzales, Devin Holman, Ryan Clark and Walter Bobbitt, alternate Cornelis Koeiman) placed 21st.
Even though his team didn’t make it as far as they’d hoped, Eman Ene from the Los Jefes team called the experience “awesome.”
“I met a lot of good guys from different companies, and had a great time,” said Ene. “The practicing and all the work we put into it definitely paid off.”
Street Fitter Marcus Pineda from Frisco’s Elite GC Gas team felt the same way.
“I loved it. We get to come out and compete, show our skills and see what everyone else has got,” said Pineda, who competed in the National Rodeo last year as well. “Everybody out here is real cool and we had a great time.”
There’s no question that the competition has motivated the Local 1245 teams from PG&E to practice even harder to improve their standing next year.
“The hardest thing today was keeping your adrenaline where it needed to be,” said Ene. “We had a couple slip-ups… but it’s nothing we can’t fix. We’ll be in the top five next time.”