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Methane Rangers, Dirt Demons Bring Home National Gas Rodeo Championship Trophies

INDEPENDENCE, MO — The 2019 National Gas Rodeo, organized by MEA Energy Association and sponsored in part by CASE Construction Equipment, recently held its annual two- and four-person team championship events in Independence, Missouri.

The 2019 overall Rodeo champions in the two-person category were the Methane Rangers (Jason Ficke, Jimmy Barnard, Kevin Fahnestock [alternate]) of Spire Missouri East. Last year’s champions, Lil’ Gashouse Gang (Stephen Bouse, Barry Hicks, Jeff Bush [alternate]) also from Spire Missouri East took second place, while The Legends (Derrik Hogland, Daniel Young, Britt Taunton [alternate], Brett Goggans [alternate]) from Spire Alabama took third place.

The four-person champions for 2019 were the Dirt Demons (James Grofe, Cody Hammond, Carl Monda, Devron Rampani, Kyle Witt [alternate]) from Spire Missouri East. Last year’s champions, Gashouse Gang (Dakota Connell, Aaron Witt, Jon Loughary, Brandon Vickery, Don Jackson [alternate]) — also from Spire Missouri East — took second place, and the Methane Maniacs (Zachary Reis, Dale Stallmann, Jim Tylka, Keith Huschle, Josh Bingheim [alternate]) of Ameren Illinois took third.

Native Gas (Sandy Beyale, Darrell Bighorse, Korwin Kinlicheenie, Seth Brown) from Navajo Tribal Authority, Arizona received the Spirit of the Rodeo Award for representing the true spirit of the National Gas Rodeo with their sportsmanship.

Now in its 29th year, the National Gas Rodeo draws teams from utility companies, unions, contractors and community colleges across the United States and featured 58 teams (35 two-person teams and 23 four-person teams). The two- and four-person teams compete in various skill-based events focused on safe and time-efficient performance — including a pipe-cutting contest, a meter set, a service installation and a hand-digging contest. The top 12 teams in those events then competed in a timed relay event featuring heavy equipment and hand/tool skills to determine the final winner.

“Each year, this competition continues to get more intense,” said Ed Brenton, Product Marketing Manager, CASE Construction Equipment. “This year hundreds of spectators gathered to see multiple world records broken during the qualifying events and several new teams inching up the standings board. CASE is proud to continue its sponsorship of this unique and exciting event.”

The event was further supported by equipment and personnel from CASE dealer Victor L. Phillips Company.
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