Top o’ the line
Utility line crews put spikes, skills to the test
Saturday, June 16, 2012View full version
WENATCHEE — Maybe it was the record number of teams. Or the prospect of buying a raffle ticket from a woman dressed as a gigantic duck. Or the Columbia River running cold, fast and symbolic in the background.
But Saturday’s 8th Annual Andrew York Lineman Rodeo was more super-charged than ever.
“I didn’t think it would get this big, at least not this quickly,” event co-organizer Daryn Klinginsmith said Saturday as he surveyed the action at Walla Walla Point Park.
A record 28 teams — nearly double last year’s 17 — traveled from around the state, as well as Oregon, Arizona and Utah to test their spikes and skills.
Winners took home belt buckles, bronze statues and bragging rights.
The rodeo honors Chelan PUD journeyman lineman Andrew York, who died in 2000 from injuries suffered on the job when he was hit by a drunken driver.
The event is a fundraiser for a like-named scholarship fund that awards high school students who work to prevent drug and alcohol abuse.
Klinginsmith says that by 2014, the rodeo’s 10th year, the scholarship fund should contain $100,000, held and invested by the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, to award scholarships in perpetuity.
The PUDs of Chelan, Grant, Douglas, Okanogan and Ferry counties host the event, along with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 77.
Top five finishers
1. Arizona Public Service: Jason Houle, Toby Claude, Travis Conner
2. Grant County PUD: Ryan Bingham, Kurt Meyers, Wayne Black.
3. Portland General Electric: Ryan Hagel, Joshua Welle, Jason Hiatt.
4. IBEW Local 57 (Utah): Russell Jansen, Jason Lusty, Randy Legault.
5. Grant County PUD: Edward Olson, Josh Burnside, Jeff Charpentier.
1. Tacoma Power: Chris Cournyer
2. Ferry County PUD: Todd Orestad
3. Consumers Power (Philomath, Ore.): Shawn Foultner
4. Seattle City Light: Evan Hufford
5. Grant County PUD: Ryan Davis
Click here for the complete list of rodeo results.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173