Pittsburg, Kan. - A couple of students are getting ready to represent Pittsburg in one of the biggest competitions of their lives.
This weekend, semester graduate Zack Tallie & senior Coltin Oehme are traveling to Las Vegas to compete in the Masonry Madness Competition at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry Convention.
The challenge is a competition between first, second, and third-year skill levels to showcase their knowledge of the masonry trade. Competitors are judged on speed, accuracy; something they have been practicing and refining.
"We don't know what we are going to be building until we get to the competition," Tallie said. "My main practice has been looking at how quickly I can apply the cement and stack bricks on a plumb line."
This is the first year for both of them to compete at the Masonry Madness Competition. Tallie will be competing in the second-year skills level, which will be the harder competition. Oehme will be competing in the first-year division.
"I'm excited about the competition," Oehme said. "We will be able to gain knowledge from other masons and see some of the upcoming technology used in this profession."
"I like hands-on work; masonry, carpentry, I really enjoy it," Tallie said. "I'm thankful to have this experience and the opportunity to do this."
The trip is made possible through the sponsorship of Pittsburg Community Schools, Southeast Kansas Career and Technical Education Center of Crawford County, Labette Bank, Vinylplex, VanBecelaere's Greenhouse, and the Kansas Masonry Industries Council.
This is the fourth year FSCC instructor Nacoma Oehme has taken students to this competition.