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Drivers show off skills in Mixer Driver Rodeo Championship

Rob Gordon, of Masters Ready Mix Concrete, drives a cement truck through a row of tennis balls during the Mixer Driver Rodeo Championship on Saturday at the Centre County Public Safety Training Center.
Rob Gordon, of Masters Ready Mix Concrete, drives a cement truck through a row of tennis balls during the Mixer Driver Rodeo Championship on Saturday at the Centre County Public Safety Training Center. psheehan@centredaily.com

The Centre County Public Safety Training Center hosted the first-ever state Mixer Driver Rodeo Championship on Saturday afternoon — but there weren’t any cowboys or bulls.

Instead, mixer truck drivers with valid commercial driver’s licenses participated in 11 events, steering their trucks around a series of obstacles.

Winner is eligible for nationals in Texas.

The winner would earn a ticket to the national Mixer Driver Championship in October in Texas.

Organized by Centre Concrete, the event was set up as a way to build camaraderie among those who work in the industry and their families, said sales manager Bob Belinda.

“We started doing our own rodeo three or four years ago with our employees,” he said. “It was kind of like our version of a company picnic, and our owner challenged us to hold a statewide one. We’ve been working on it for at least six months with our cohorts and basically just want to go out there and have fun.”

There were 39 drivers from 10 concrete producers.

The event included 39 drivers from 10 concrete companies from around the commonwealth, including 14 drivers from Centre Concrete.

Centre Concrete is a College Township-based mixed concrete manufacturer with seven locations in New York and Pennsylvania.

Rodeo events included parallel parking, turning without hitting stationary cylinders, railroad stops, tennis ball drive-thru, basketball shoot, backup bowling and more.

“It’s a lot of fun and brings company spirit,” Belinda said.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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