CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Sixty Duke Energy line technicians will vie for "best in world" titles at the International Lineman's Rodeo Oct. 18 at the National Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, Kan.
The rodeo attracts the best linemen from around the world competing in events that test job-related skills.
The competition, now in its 31st year, includes events such as 40-foot pole climbs, simulated pole-top rescues, equipment repair procedures and mystery events announced the day before the competition.
Competitors are judged on speed, agility, technique and safety procedures.
"Our line workers are at the core of our service mission," said Duke Energy President and CEO Lynn Good. "Their craft is essential to delivering the power on which our customers depend. I am extremely proud of the team that will represent Duke Energy in the rodeo, and their dedication and passion to the challenging work they perform every day."
All Duke Energy participants earned their place in the rodeo by competing in regional events.
Sixty line technicians, representing Duke Energy's six-state service area, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, will participate in the apprentice, journeyman team or senior-journeyman team divisions.
An apprentice is a line worker with less than four years of utility experience. A rodeo journeyman has greater than four years of utility experience and a senior-journeyman team's members must be over 45 years old.
"We have a tough competition ahead, but we are prepared," said David Phillips, a Duke Energy lineman who is competing in the senior-journeyman team division for the seventh year. "The camaraderie we share with our teammates and fellow linemen at this event is a reward in itself. Weve put in the work, and we are eager to hit the field and showcase our skills, and hopefully return with a few more trophies in hand."
A Duke Energy apprentice won "best in world" in last year's competition, and four awards were earned by Duke Energy journeyman and senior-journeyman teams.
The rodeo competition begins Oct. 18 at 8 a.m. Central Time with individual competitors and teams vying to earn the top honors. Live updates will be provided on Twitter at @DE_MeghanM.
Duke Energy employs more than 5,000 line workers to construct, operate and maintain the equipment that delivers electricity to more than 7 million customers across its service territories.
Duke Energy's 2014 International Lineman's Rodeo Team:
• Andy Irwin, Bloomington, Ind.
• Tom Ackermann, Ryland Heights, Ky.
• Brandon Combs, Columbus, Ind.
• Curtis Addison, Florence, Ky.
• TJ Lewis, Moores Hill, Ind.
• Marc Lewis, Lawrenceburg, Ind.
• Mitch Nelson, Lafayette, Ind.
• Cole Eveland, Kokomo, Ind.
• Michael Ryan Haddix, Paris, Il.
• Steven Hickam, Columbus, Ind.
• Garry Hoff, Seymour, Ind.
• Luke Johnson, Martinsville, Ind.
• Jeffrey Kraus, Noblesville, Ind.
• Aaron Smith, Madison, Ind.
• Paul Schulte Jr., Crittenden, Ky.
• Josh Young, Franklin, N.C.
• Tony Rice, Franklin, N.C.
• Darick Hendriksz, Charlotte, N.C.
• Joseph Wilson, Franklin, N.C.
• Lucas Leatherman, Franklin, N.C.
• Jeff Porter, Cullowhee, N.C.
• Neal Walker, Shelby, N.C.
• David Phillips, Huntersville, N.C.
• Mike Haynes, Marion, N.C.
• Jacob Lynch, Weaverville, N.C.
• Kevin McCall, Franklin, N.C.
• Jay Tipton, Marshall, N.C.
• Keith Griffin, Marshall, N.C.
• Sandy Barnhill, Candler, N.C.
• Jamie Bannister, Belton S.C.
• Jeramy Wilson, Youngsville, N.C.
• Joshua Greguire, Rolesville, N.C.
• Mark Perkinson, Warrenton, N.C.
• Shawn Martin, Holly Springs, N.C.
• Preston Pernell, Kittrell, N.C.
• Donald Mann, Pittsboro, N.C.
• Cory Walters, Siler City, N.C.
• Taylor Brown, Wilmington, N.C.
• David Martin, Siler City, N.C.
• Zachary Sipes, Raleigh, N.C.
• Keith Vandervelde, Willow Springs, N.C.
• Brent Whitford, Ernul, N.C.
• Stephen Cox, New Bern, N.C.
• Derick Willis, Wilmington, N.C.
• Norman May, Wilmington, N.C.
• Brad Lefebvre, Lakeland, Fla.
• Michael Leininger, Orlando, Fla.
• William Ritch, Tavares, Fla.
• George Tibbetts, Clearwater, Fla.
• Sean Cooke, Orlando, Fla.
• Clay Baxter, Orlando, Fla.
• Josh Wilson, Winter Garden, Fla.
• Brad Sumlin, Clearwater, Fla.
• Bob Rommelt, Palm Harbor, Fla.
• Jackie Lynn,Tampa, Fla.
• Joe Badger, Inverness, Fla.
• Ed Filor, Crystal River, Fla.
• Daniel Klemmer, Odessa, Fla.
• Ronnie Bailey Jr., Wildwood, Fla.
• Gerald Searson, Tallahassee, Fla.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at http://www.duke-energy.com/.