Tony Shelton of Creative Masonry is the “Toughest Tender” in the world. Shelton competed in the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 World Championships this week and was named “Toughest Tender.” Shelton competed as tender, the mason’s assistant, for Fred Campbell in Las Vegas, Nev., on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
The competition included more than 20 master craftsmen from across the globe. Campbell, while not a winner this year, is a past Bricklayer champion, winning in 2013 and 2015. Campbell’s company, Creative Masonry, is the contractor for the brickwork on the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math, which is currently under construction at Tusculum College. Creative Masonry also was the brick layer for the new Walters State building in downtown Greeneville.
Shelton is a contractor in his own right, as was his father, and he owns and operates Limestone Construction.
“Tony’s the best mason I’ve ever been around, and I wish I could take him with me to every job,” said Joe Lane, superintendent for Rentenbach Constructors, contractor for the Tusculum math and science building.
The Meen Center for Science and Math will be a four-story structure of approximately 100,000 square feet. Interiors include wings for biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and environmental science. There will also be lab space and research areas for both faculty and students.
Campbell led the team to the world championships through regional and national competitions, and Shelton served as tender to Campbell during the main competition. In the preliminary event, the tenders raced against the clock to set up a predefined work area for the mason, and Shelton took home the top award in his category with a winning time of 15:22.
By Stephanie Turner, senior journalism and professional writing major from Shelbyville