Spann’s winning time was just enough to best fellow authority employee Brook Jackson, who was runner-up at the state competition this year.
“As a result, an employee from the authority has finished first and second in the last two events,” authority spokesman Chris Wood said in a statement.
The annual event pits water professionals against each other in a race against the clock to see who can assemble a standard residential water meter from a bucket of parts in the fastest amount of time.
Spann, who is responsible for landscaping properties impacted by meter replacements or other water line maintenance, and the other sectional winners practiced on their own time to perfect the proper method for assembling a meter, Wood said.
“By competing against fellow authority employees, Spann said his competitive nature came out and served him well during the state and national competitions,” he said. “That competitive drive and work ethic also is reflected in his daily duties as a foreman for the authority.”
Spann said he and his fellow workers ramped up the rivalry before they got in front of an audience.
“Our competitiveness here at the authority was more intense than at the state event,” Spann said in a statement about the six authority employees who took part in the Georgia competition. “I’m a competitor, so if you show me how to do something, I’ll do it until I’ve mastered it. There are 14 pieces to the water meter we have to assemble, so I just practiced keeping my hands steady during the process.”
Spann qualified for the national competition held June 9 in Boston.
He finished sixth among 27 competitors, with the national winning time coming in at just over 33 seconds, only a second or so faster than Spann’s qualifying time.
The Georgia section of the association provided $2,000 to reimburse Spann for his expenses while taking part in the national championship.