SMEU Employees Test Skills at Lineworker Rodeo
On Thursday, July 1, San Marcos Electric Utility (SMEU) employees competed in the Seguin Apprentice Lineworker Rodeo. The competition offered a small group of employees from neighboring municipal electric utilities the opportunity to practice skills and showcase the profession.
The event challenged competitors to complete a series of five events, each worth up to 100 points, testing their ability to perform rescues, climb smoothly and safely, wire a variety of transformer banks, change a cutout, and tie knots used on the job for rigging. Only one competitor, New Braunfels Utilities’ Ty McFarlin, finished with a perfect 500-point score Thursday. Tanner Cockle placed highest among SMEU’s competing employees, finishing in fifth place overall. SMEU’s scores are detailed below:
- Tanner Cockle 496 points 0:25:36 5th place
- Michael Reid 495 points 0:31:44 7th place
- Ryan Bustamante 490 points 0:27:24 8th place
- Matt Lichtenberger 485 points 0:31:50 11th place
- Moises Garcia 475 points 0:51:47 14th place
- Tyler Freeman 473 points 0:44:40 16th place
- Shane Wright 458 points 0:38:47 18th place
- Tyler Babula 454 points 0:42:45 20th place
“We’re very proud of all the work our apprentices put into preparing for the Seguin Apprentice Lineworker Rodeo,” said Interim Utilities Director Tyler Hjorth. “Over the last year we’ve implemented the most intense apprenticeship curriculum in the state and it’s exciting to see their performances improve. We look to continue that trend as our apprentices progress further through our program.”
Lineworker rodeo competitions, including the Seguin Apprentice Lineworker Rodeo, promote educational and electrical safety activities, encourage the continued development of methods that increase efficiency and proficiency on the job, enhance trust and teamwork, and boost innovation and networking among utilities professionals.
“The objectives of lineworker rodeo competitions go hand-in-hand with SMEU’s commitment to have the best well-rounded apprenticeship program that we can provide to our up-and-coming apprentices,” said Electric Distribution Manager Scott King. “We utilize a variety of sources for our training program, led by a group of supervisors with more than 125 years of combined experience, to achieve our goals of working safely, professionally, and productively.”
SMEU employees will have another chance to test their skills when state and national lineworker rodeo competitions return next year. Events scheduled for 2020 and 2021 were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the February winter storm.
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