This year’s National Gas Rodeo, which took place in mid-September in Kansas City, MO, proved to be the most successful one yet for our Local 1245 members, who performed significantly better than in years past. This year marks just the fourth time that IBEW 1245 members from PG&E Gas Construction have competed on the national level, and while the whole event is still somewhat novel for them, their skills and performance have continued to improve, year after year.
Team Quiet Riot from PG&E Chico GC is the prime example of the kind of progress a team can make with dedication and experience — and this year, they blazed a path as the first IBEW 1245 team to advance to the national finals.
“This is the best we’ve ever done here!” Quiet Riot team member Jayson Visinoni told the Utility Reporter as the results were being tallied from the qualifying events. “The biggest highlight of the day was our pipe cut. We haven’t practiced in a long time, and it’s been a while since we had our hands on that, but we were still able to get 19 seconds, which is about our average cut, right where we wanted to be.”
Despite a hiccup on the meter build event, Visinoni and his partner, Brad Husa, still managed to come in sixth place overall, among the 39 two-person teams that came from around the nation to compete in this year’s rodeo.
Although Quiet Riot didn’t end up bringing home a trophy, they still did exceptionally well as they went up against teams that had been competing for far longer than they had, and they left with nothing but pride and appreciation for the experience.
“This is a great event. It’s the fourth time I’ve come, and second time Brad’s come,” Visinoni said. “We’ve got a lot of people here supporting us, and we all had a good time.”
In the four-person team competition, Local 1245 members Kevin Gonzales, Nic Reed, Devin Holman, Rafael Zermeno and alternate Ryan Clark — known as Team Yosemite – also made an impressive showing, finishing 13th out of 24 teams, ahead of many other more experienced competitors.
“We’re pretty satisfied [with how we performed in the events] … the only one we weren’t satisfied with was the service run. We had a few penalties that cost us 20 seconds. Everything else, we feel like we got pretty decent times,” said Gonzales, who has only competed at the national level once before, back in 2015. “We had one of the faster times in the meter build … Overall, I think it went fairly well.”
Although Team Yosemite was just a few seconds shy of getting into the top 12, they were proud of their performance and enjoyed being a part of the Rodeo.
“I love this! I’m a very competitive person, along with everyone else on our team, and just getting to compete with all these other guys from around the United States is pretty awesome,” said Gonzales, noting that he appreciates that both the union and the company are supporting this endeavor.
Tom Peterson, Zach Shepherd, Sarah Bergeleen, Scott Gust, Victor Romero, John Jackson, Brandon Bascherini, Steve Lange, Shaun Mahanay and Kyle Hill also competed at this year’s National Gas Rodeo. Congrats to all our competitors!
Photos by John Storey