Carson rock driller wins Arizona competition |

Carson rock driller wins Arizona competition

Teri Vance
Mark Levy/Sierra Vista Herald/Review

Tobin Rupert, who regularly competes in the Single Jack Rock Drilling world championship on Nevada Day, won the annual Fourth of July competition in Bisbee, Ariz., — his first win since he began competing eight years ago.

“It was exciting. I trained for this one. I trained hard,” he said. “I just let ’er rip. I didn’t have butterflies or nothin’. I just wanted to kill that rock.”

Rupert, 47, drilled 9 3/4 inches, edging out his closest competitor, Ron Yuncevich of Bisbee, who drilled 9 3⁄8 in the allotted 10 minutes. Bill Pincock finished third, with 7 inches.

“I knew it was going to be a good competition,” Rupert said. “We’d all beat each other before. I was just the meanest (one) that day.”

He said a “hard spot” in the rock held him to about 6.5 inches in the first five minutes.

“I swung between 250 and 300 strokes and punched through,” he said. “It was soft after that, and I cranked it down.”

The owner of Rupert’s Auto Body and Rupert’s Precision Gemcutting will travel to another rock-drilling competition in Colorado before the world championships in Carson City on Oct. 26, held during the annual Nevada Day celebration.

Rupert said he is trying to focus more on each hit of the hammer against the steel bit, rather than the final result. And, he said, last week’s win won’t influence his future expectations.

“I just take them one competition at a time,” he said.