The second annual Indiana Electric Cooperative Lineman Rodeo was a rootin’-tootin’ good time on August 24-25, 2023, at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds.
That was thanks in no small part to Hoosier Energy member cooperatives, who played a big role in the event practically doubling in size from its debut in 2022.
A total of 13 Hoosier Energy member cooperatives – Clark County REMC, Decatur County REMC, Dubois REC, Harrison REMC, Henry County REMC, Jackson County REMC, JCREMC, Orange County REMC, South Central Indiana REMC, Southeastern Indiana REMC, RushShelby Energy, Southern Indiana Power and Whitewater Valley REMC – were represented during the two days.
That included 38 of the 71 linemen who participated in the individual events, up from 13 of 33 a year ago, and 14 of the 26 three-man teams, up from seven of 15 teams a year ago.
Hoosier Energy members not only competed but were well-represented in the results, including 11 first-place finishes.
That included the first-place team finish in the Overall competition by Jackson County REMC’s Travis Mull, Jarren Brown and Ethan Stidham with JCREMC’s crew of Logan Voris, Mike Pflum and Skylar Smith coming home third.
Also in the Overall, Kody Kennedy of Harrison REMC was first in the Individual Journeyman category just ahead of JCREMC’s Smith in second and Decatur County REMC’s Collin Crabtree in third. Jason Connell of JCREMC claimed the Overall top spot in Senior Journeyman, followed by James Applegate of Southern Indiana Power in second place. Kenny Geis of RushShelby Energy finished second in Individual Apprentice.
Among individual events, Hoosier linemen swept the Senior Journeyman events. Greg File of RushShelby Energy was first in the Insulator Change, followed by Connell and Applegate. Connell won the Hurt Man with Applegate second, and they flip-flopped spots in the Light Move with Applegate first and Connell second.
Individual Journeyman events saw Jake Walker of South Central Indiana REMC take first in the Light Move with Kennedy second and Smith third. In the Insulator Change, Brad Wildman of Whitewater Valley REMC was second and Jaylin Brown of RushShelby Energy third. Brown was second in the Hurt Man with Kennedy right behind in third.
It was a trio of second-place finishes in Apprentice for Hoosier Energy members with Abrem Losekamp of Whitewater Valley second in Insulator Change, Dakota Evans of Clark County second in Hurt Man and Wyatt Binkley of Clark County second in Light Move.
In the Team Events, Harrison REMC’s crew of Kennedy, Trysten Williams and Rusty Thomas was first in Hurt Man with Whitewater Valley’s Wildman, Losekamp and Noah Williams in third.
The Whitewater trio took first place in Transformer Change followed by the Clark County crew of Binkley, Bo Simpson and Harley Applegate in second and Harrison in third.
In the A5 Transfer, it was the Clark County crew claiming first ahead of Harrison in second and the SCI trio of Campbell, Aaron Hansen and Jake Walker in third.
The final Mystery event saw Southern Indiana Power’s crew of Applegate, Travis Goffinet and Clint Heeke take first place while South Central Indiana’s Chuck Beaver, John Campbell and Jake Waldon claimed third.
Dates are already set for the 2024 Indiana Electric Cooperative Lineman Rodeo with sights set on Aug. 22-23, 2024, being even bigger and better than 2023.