Practice and preparation paid off for Nick Morris, Pedernales Electric Cooperative lineman apprentice 3, who placed third overall out of 41 apprentices competing in the cooperative division at the International Lineman’s Rodeo in Bonner Springs, Kan., Oct. 16. Morris also placed 16th overall out of 284 in the “Best of the Best” apprentice division.
“I felt very fortunate to compete at the international level, and I was hoping to have a good day so I could represent PEC in the best way possible,” Morris said. “It made me proud to compete for PEC on the biggest stage.”
This was Morris’ first year competing on the PEC Lineman’s Rodeo team. At the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo he placed second overall in the apprentice division. At the international event he competed against apprentices from the U.S., Canada and Great Britain.
Lineman rodeos are annual competitions with events based on the work that linemen take on daily in the field, such as pole climb, 600-amp switch change and hurt-man rescue. Each event is judged on safety, technique and speed. The apprentice division also requires a written test.
“Nick recognized the challenge of the written test and the benefits of putting extreme effort into performing well on it early on in the rodeo season,” said Joe Lockhart, Canyon Lake district director and PEC rodeo team sponsor. “(He) is to be commended for not only his efforts in preparation, but in his performance under the pressures of competition and his willingness to share what he was doing with all the other apprentices involved.”
In true PEC spirit, Morris said he a got a lot of guidance and tips from coworkers who helped prepare him for competition.
“I learned so much from everyone that was out there helping, as well as how to overcome obstacles and focus on the details,” he said. “It felt really good just to be able to validate all the support I got from people all across the co-op.”
This year, PEC sent three apprentices and two journeyman teams to compete at the International Lineman’s Rodeo. Apprentice Justin Donovan of Oak Hill finished 28th and apprentice Tyler Horn of Bertram finished 33rd in the Rural Electric Association Cooperative Division.
Of the 31 journeyman teams competing in the Rural Electric Association Cooperative Division, the PEC Cedar Park journeyman team of Josh Hanawalt, Eric Osborn and Mark Moreno placed sixth overall and the PEC Canyon Lake journeyman team of A.J. Mann, Andy Ridge and Brian Sherwood placed 12th overall. In the “Best of the Best” journeyman division, which included 206 teams, the Cedar Park team placed 23rd and Canyon Lake placed 44th.
“(Our rodeo competitors) represent the co-op’s linemen to a tee: confident, competent and professional,” Lockhart said. “They are industry athletes performing at the highest possible level and putting those skills to work when it matters most: in building and restoring the power system for PEC members.”