Utility tech students find success at national lineman competition

ALPENA – Twelve students from Alpena Community College’s utility technology program participated in the National Lineman Rodeo Competition April 27 at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb., accompanied by instructors Roy Smith and Mark Swanson. The three teams of ACC students competed with 34 teams comprised of 140 linemen from around the country.

“Instead of climbing above sand, the students were climbing above concrete,” instructor Roy Smith said. “That gave the students plenty of incentive not to fall.”

Team one members James Dylan Kemp, Daniel Borowiak, Paul Wiley and Matthew Fate took first place in the framing event, second place in the written exam, and third place in the overall competition.

Individual honors went to Kemp for first place in framing and Borowiak, who took second place in framing and third place as overall lineman.

Team two members were Jeremiah Ritchie, Lucas Eisler, Jacob Brunette and Matthew Eaton.

Team three members were Jorden Koszegi, Brandon Bell, Nathan Balog and Keegan Planck.

“The students received a unique custom-made trophy for first place in the framing competition,” said instructor Roy Smith. “They only give a dozen trophies and we came home with six. It was a wonderful experience, and to come out with such high ranks, I was extremely proud.”

The trip to Omaha was made possible by Janet and Lucas Pfeiffenberger for the $2,000 provided by the John M. Grant fund distributed through the ACC Foundation and to Associate Vice President Nancy Seguin for $1,000 from the student activities fund.

“We spent 15 1/2 hours in a van riding to Omaha,” Smith said. “Without their support, we wouldn’t have been able to go.”

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.