holds off challengers to win
Twenty-four of ITD’s best equipment operators from throughout the state assembled this week to demonstrate their skills and compete for a chance to represent Idaho at the regional finals this fall in Colorado.
The 2007 Statewide Truck Rodeo included the top foreman and top three maintenance workers emerging from the six district roadeos held in May and early June. Rex Hufford, who has coordinated the roadeo program the past decade, said 168 maintenance workers and foremen participated in district events this year.
The finalists assembled for the state roadeo Tuesday at the Mountain Home maintenance facility.
Final standings represent the average scores of snowplow and loader driving competition added to scores on a 10-question multiple choice exam about topics related to participants' jobs and a truck inspection to identify five "planted" defects.
Robin Freeman, a foreman from the Council maintenance shed in District 3, successfully defended his 2006 championship by finishing 130 points ahead of runner-up Mike Praegitzer of District 4. Freeman was first in both the snowplow and loader events (average scores of 1,558 and 1,425 respectively) en route to a total of 3,183 points. Praegitzer, the shop superintendent who competed as a foreman, scored 3,053 points overall after finishing sixth in snowplow and fourth in loader competition.
Mike Rearden took third place overall, giving foremen a sweep of the top three places at the state roadeo. The top “non-foreman” driver was District 2’s Frank Allen, who scored 2,938. Rick Connell of District 4, rounded out the top five finishers.
Freeman and Praegitzer qualify to represent Idaho at the annual Western Snow and Ice Conference to be held at Estes Park, Colo., Sept. 25-28. Last fall, Freeman finished ninth among 67 competitors in the loader event at the regional event in Colorado. He teamed up with David Palmer of District 1 to take 12th overall in the single-axel team driving event; they combined for 13th in the tandem-axel team driving event.
District Roadeo Finalists
District 1 (37 participants): Top foreman: Mike Rearden. Drivers: 1, John Reed; 2, Frank Farnsworth; 3, Jeff Keicker (Kurt Urbat competed as an alternate at the state roadeo, replacing Reed).
District 2 (21 participants): Top foreman: Mike Allen. Drivers: 1, Frank Allen; 2, John Richmond; 3, Ron Dammon. (Frank and Mike are brothers)
Distirct 3 (32 participants): Top foreman: Robin Freeman. Drivers: Martin Meyers; 2, Jerry Hiller; 3, Bob Hutchings.
District 4 (33 participants): Top foreman: Mike Praegitzer. Drivers: 1, Pete McGuire; 2, Rick Connell; 3, Jason Fisher.
District 5 (28 participants): Top foreman: Evan Snow. Drivers: 1, Justin Skinner; 2, Les Bartshci; 3, Scott Trubl.
District 6 (17 participants): Top foreman: Dan Hawkins. Drivers: 1, Corey Finn; 2, Ed Osteraas; 3, Robert Rainsdon; (Troy Stone competed as an alternate, replacing Osteraas).