Mason Johnny Langeraap and mason tender Gene Jerome of Sparta aced the Specmix Bricklayer 500 Northeast Regional Qualifier on Oct. 8.
The event held this year at Reuther Material Company in Succasunna, N.J., determines who qualifies for the world competition.
Langeraap and Jerome teamed up to win first place and top craftsman at the qualifier for the second year in a row. They’re now going to Las Vegas on Jan. 19 to compete against all the other regional winners to try to become the world’s best bricklayer.
Langeraap laid 547 brick in only one hour. He and Jerome beat out 12 other local teams, officially winning their shot to compete on the biggest stage in masonry, at the World of Concrete Expo.
To qualify for the World Championship, hundreds of teams from across North America will battle to win one of 20 individual regional series events, proving they belong on the national stage. Each team, consisting of one mason and one mason tender, will be given an hour to build the tallest and best 26-foot-long brick wall they can, with as few errors as possible. One winning team from each region will advance to compete for over $125,000 in cash and prizes (including a new Ford F-250 4×4 Truck, Kubota RTV-X1140) and the title, “World’s Best Bricklayer.”
Langeraap is particularly happy about his two-year streak, considering he tried for five straight years previously, falling just short of qualifying. Using his unique “pick and dip” bricklaying style, he laid 665 bricks in the World Championship but had three quality deductions, dropping his brick total to 590 — only 25 brick from the winner’s podium. He knows he has his work cut out for him after laying 547 to requalify.
“I’m super stoked for this,” Langeraap said, “but now that I have a taste of Vegas, I want to bring that Ford truck home!”
He went on to say, “I had a goal in mind this year, and I practiced with dry stacks at home, I wanted to build up the stamina in my back and work on muscle memory.”
Langeraap and Jerome also won the coveted Spec Mix Top Craftsman prize, which goes to the mason with most “sellable-wall.” All-in-all they left Succasunna with $2,400 along with a free trip to Las Vegas, a four-foot Stabila Level, $200 Blaklader gift certificate, $200 gift certificate from Ford, and a Marshalltown ceremonial trowel and tool bag.
Second place went to mason Ray Byers and mason tender Adam Byers, with Arch Masonry in Herminie, Pa. Third place went to mason Lonnie Locaillade and mason tender Ryan Raymond of Lacaillade Masonry in Huntington, Vt., with a brick count of 428.