The best bricklayers and masons represented the state of Tennessee Saturday in the regional event of the World Series of Bricklaying.
Competitors from all over the Tri-Cities built away trying to advance to the national championships in Las Vegas in February by competing in the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500.
Ryan Coyne, regional manager at Spec Mix, says, "[Saturday's] winner's going to the 2015 World of Concrete to compete at the National Bricklayer 500 competition. He told News 5 participants had one hour to complete a "double-wide wall, which is about 26 feet 8 inches long."
Fred Campbell won last year. We talked to his wife, Sharon Campbell, who says, "You can't mess around. One little thing can lose the competition for you."
Fred has been a mason for 20 years. "My dad was a mason, and when I was 10 or 12, I went on the job with him, and from day one I liked doing it," he says.
Coyne says, "Masons will lay anywhere from 500 to 700 brick in these competitions. We right now have a brick count close to 700."
Sharon says, "You have to get into a rhythm. If you don't get into a rhythm, you don't get anything." Fred agreed, saying, "There's just an adrenaline once the race starts."
For Fred, he is successful because of his experience. "Just f rom the years doing this type of work and always working hard and doing a good job," he says.
Coyne says the bricklayers are tired, but they are used to working in the heat. "Every day they are giving back to our wonderful community. If you look at the Tri Cities area, there's lots of brick, there's lots of block," he says.
And experience worked for Fred, who picked up another regional win along with his tender. They will be heading to Las Vegas for the national championships after laying 600 bricks on Saturday.