(Seguin) -- Its bright lights are not prompting next week's trip to Las Vegas for Seguin's Master Electrician Tommy McCormick. Instead the city of Seguin employee hopes to master a Meter Madness competition.
McCormick will represent Seguin in the National Meter Madness Competition after winning first place in the state competition during the Texas Water Conference in April.
McCormick's winning time for the state competition was 37.5 seconds. One of his opponents from SAWS beat him by a few seconds, but a loose bolt cost his opponent a five-second penalty which allowed McCormick to win. McCormick, who just recently returned from a vacation trip to Vegas to celebrate his 40th birthday, says what a perfect way to go back.
"I honestly didn't think that I was going to win state to be able to go to Vegas to do nationals so I planned my vacation just to go to Las Vegas anyway but then I was fortunate enough to win the state competition where I got a free trip to Las Vegas," said McCormick.
Since winning state, McCormick has spent his afternoons putting together water meters while working to beat his time. He says the contest can be intense. He says the trick will be to figure out which parts aren't needed as they are thrown into the mix and then, of course, to put the meter back together as fast as he can.
"Meter madness is actually where you take a water meter and it's taken completely apart and you put all of the parts that go into a water meter into a bucket and then they take three extra parts from a different type of meter and they put it all in a bucket and they shake it up and you have just the brass part of the base sitting in front of you and a wrench. When they tell you to go, you flip the bucket over and the parts fall as they may and you have to take and know your parts and put it together as fast as you can and then get the meter put together and the meter can not leak, the bolts can not be loose and it has to register as they test water running through it and my winning time for state was 37.5 seconds," said McCormick.
Although there's plenty of excitement in going to Vegas, McCormick says this trip will definitely be different
"My nerves is I'm going up against the best in the country and Mexico so it's not just everybody across the board. You've got whoever has won. There's 30 competitors I believe at nationals. So you've got the two two placing people from every state that entered into this. So you are going up against all the champions that there are," said McCormick.
McCormick says his concentration and focus right now is all on the contest. However, he thanks all those who have supported him along the way.
“I have to say I could not have won without the support and help of all of the guys in my department. I have received a lot of encouragement from everyone in the city and hope to do well at nationals,” said McCormick.
As the Master Electrician in the Water/Wastewater Maintenance Department, city officials say McCormick takes care of all the water utilities’ electrical needs; such as motor controls to keep pumps operational, and any other electrical repairs or needs that arise. He also works with numerous other departments when they encounter electrical issues. For example they say, McCormick was a huge asset in reconfiguring and fixing the Central Park fountain -- helping to install the new lights and pump controls.
The national competition is scheduled for Tuesday, June 12.