Given all the extreme weather conditions linemen must work in, it was fitting that the 10th annual Nebraska Lineworker Rodeo competition was held in a mud pit. And if the mud from the previous night’s heavy rains wasn’t enough, the temps soared to the upper 90s, accompanied by plenty of humidity.
But that didn’t stop the OPPD line techs who competed in the event held July 22 in Broken Bow. OPPD sent two journeyman teams consisting of Tony Liston and Ben Kuhr, and Ted Gyhra and Brent Sass; two apprentices, Andrew Walter and Richard Terrian; and event judge Dave Benak and rodeo committee member Tim Potts. Lineworker Aaron Prohaska handled the design on the rodeo team shirts.
Once again, OPPD did well and brought home trophies. Walter won the cutout relocation event and finished second in the double guy event. The journeyman team of Gyhra and Sass finished first in the hurtman rescue event. They finished second in the deadend transfer event as well as second in the insulator change event.
At the end of the usual events, lineworkers competed in a mutual aid event. A drawing matched people from different utilities to compete as teams in a final event. Walter and his partner finished first in that event as well.
“It was another great showing for our line techs in a rodeo competition,” said Lee O’Neal, director of Transmission & Distribution Construction at OPPD. “These rodeos are a chance for linemen to showcase the speed, strength and skills it takes to perform the job. Plus it gives them a chance to meet with lineworkers from across the state to share information. The weather was also pretty typical of these guys have to work in, especially after a summer storm.”
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