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Credit: Joseph Foulk
Credit: Courtesy of Robert Torres
Credit: Joseph Foulk
Credit: Joseph Foulk
Credit: Joseph Foulk
Credit: Joseph Foulk

SCE Linemen Showcase Their Skills at Annual Lineman’s Rodeo

The top finishers will head to Kansas in October for the International Lineman’s Rodeo.
By Caroline Aoyagi-Stom @SCE_CarolineA

Jacob Lybbert, 33, grew up watching his lineman dad drive the big trucks and enjoyed watching the guys throw rope from pole to pole as they strung wire and climbed up the big electric poles. He even remembers watching his dad judge the lineman’s rodeo competitions.

Now a lineman himself for Southern California Edison, Lybbert and his teammates, Wil Robinson and Ramon Garcia, recently took home the top prize at the company’s annual picnic and lineman’s rodeo.

And winning is something this trio is getting used to as they take part in competitions across the country and prepare for the International Lineman’s Rodeo this October in Kansas.

Video Credit: Joseph Foulk

“It’s fun for me and a chance to showcase our skills and ability,” he said. “When we compete, our goal is to complete the event clean, as fast as we can, and as safe as we can. It’s the experience and the brotherhood we enjoy.”

Dozens of lineman, groundman and apprentice teams from various utilities competed in events like the Hurtman Rescue, Pole Climb and 12Kv Over-the-Arm Tap Installation at SCE’s rodeo. The top finishers will now head to Kansas where competitors from all over the world will be represented.

This will be Lybbert’s sixth time heading to Kansas. He enjoys the camaraderie with his fellow lineman and the opportunities to share stories.

“The lineman from back East always talk about the hurricanes,” he said. “The guys from Canada talk about working in minus 10 degrees Celsius.”

The event is also a time to talk about how everyone works to stay safe and to share safety tips. The International Lineman’s Rodeo has a safety conference and trade show where new tools, equipment and safe work practices are discussed.

“For our lineman, it’s an opportunity to not only showcase their skills and compete against the best in the industry, but show pride in their craft,” said Robert Torres, an SCE manager in the Covina District.

SCE Lineman’s Rodeo Overall Winners

  • Journeyman Teams
    • 1st        Ramon Garcia, Jacob Lybbert & Wil Robinson
    • 2nd       Ryan Araujo, George Murillo & Raudel Ruiz
    • 3rd        Alex Plascencia, Steven Lekvold & Phil Sonoqui Jr
  • Apprentices
    • 1st        Gerad Coburn
    • 2nd       Justin Roberts (PG&E)
    • 3rd        Eric Brusseau
  • Groundman
    • 1st        Victor Coria
    • 2nd       Eduardo Jauregui (East LA Skills Center)
    • 3rd        Austin Miller (LA Trade Tech)

Winners of Specific Events

Journeyman Events

  • Hurtman Rescue
    • 1st           Robert Barbarena, Jason Jones & Chris Podergois
    • 2nd          Ramon Garcia, Jacob Lybbert & Wil Robinson
    • 3rd          Edgar Castillo, Tyler Lopiccolo & Brian Marques
  • Pole Climb
    • 1st           Ryan Araujo, George Murillo & Raudel Ruiz
    • 2nd          Ramon Garcia, Jacob Lybbert & Wil Robinson
    • 3rd          Kristopher Baliton, Henry Calero-Garay & Bryan Casas
  • 12Kv Over-the-Arm Tap Installation
    • 1st           Brad Morgan, Ryan Reid & Robert Scott
    • 2nd          Ramon Garcia, Jacob Lybbert & Wil Robinson
    • 3rd          Bryce Munday, Bruce Thompson & Josh Younkman (IBEW Local 47)
  • Mystery Event – Dead end insulator change out
    • 1st           Ramon Garcia, Jacob Lybbert & Wil Robinson
    • 2nd          Ryan Araujo, George Murillo & Raudel Ruiz
    • 3rd          Edgar Castillo, Tyler Lopiccolo & Brian Marques

Apprentice Events

  • Written Test
    • 1st           Gerad Coburn
    • 2nd          Eric Brusseau
    • 3rd          Michael Clinkenbeard
  • Obstacle Course
    • 1st           Jeremiah Maciujec
    • 2nd          Eric Brusseau
    • 3rd          Justin Roberts (PG&E)
  • Hurtman Rescue
    • 1st           Eric Brusseau
    • 2nd          Matt Richardson (city of Riverside)
    • 3rd          Travis Witters (PG&E)
  • Pole Climb
    • 1st           Donovan VanElsberg (PG&E)
    • 2nd          David Angove (IBEW 66)
    • 3rd          Travis Witters (PG&E)
  • Mystery Event – Down Guy Replacement
    • 1st           Donovan VanElsberg (PG&E)
    • 2nd          Jeremiah Maciujec
    • 3rd          Eric Brusseau

Groundman Events

  • Written Test
    • 1st           Nick Barrell
    • 2nd          Mike Gossett
    • 3rd          Zachary Cartwright
  • Eye Splice
    • 1st           Victor M Coria
    • 2nd          Eduardo Jauregui (East LA Skills Center)
    • 3rd          Austin Miller (LA Trade Tech)
  • Mystery Event – Circle of safety
    • 1st           Cody Gibson
    • 2nd          Daniel Alcala
    • 3rd          Daniel Silva
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