Duke Energy linemen roped in six awards at the International Lineman's Rodeo on Saturday, Oct. 19 in Bonner Springs, Kan., with North Carolina’s Mike Haynes, David Phillips and Neal Walker taking home first place in the world for the journeyman senior division, ages 50 and up.
The rodeo featured simulated “hurt-man rescues,” power line repairs and utility pole climbs. The competition included more than 1,000 line-workers. Competitors were judged on speed, agility, technique and safety procedures.
Phillips is from Charlotte, Walker is from Shelby, N.C., and Haynes is from Marion, N.C.
“First place has always been our team’s goal, but it’s always eluded us up until this year. It was a special time for us,” said Walker, a Duke Energy customer delivery supervisor. “It’s a lot of hard work, but the rewards pay off, especially when you have a day like Saturday.”
Another Duke Energy team -- consisting of Curt Addison, Craig Allen and Dave Barricklow, all from the Cincinnati area -- won fifth place in the same journeyman senior division.
Separately, a lineman journeyman under-age-50 team based in New Bern, N.C., placed fourth in the world. The team consisted of Brent Whitford, Stephen Cox and Dan King. The same team also placed third in the investor-owned utility division, fourth in the simulated “hurt-man rescue event,” and fifth in a previously unannounced “mystery event.”
“With 248 teams competing, it feels good to place where we did,” said King, a Duke Energy transmission supervisor. "We hope we get the opportunity to come back next year. The guys out here continue to get better, so we’ve got to keep adapting and upping our game every year.”
All Duke Energy participants at the rodeo earned their spots by competing in regional Duke Energy competitions in 2018 and 2019.
The best line-workers at Duke Energy and its legacy companies have showcased their talents at the International Lineman's Rodeo for more than 20 years.