Two local Laclede Gas employees recently helped their team place in the National Gas Rodeo.

Jason Love, Marthasville, and Chris Freiberger, Beaufort, are members of the Gas Commanders, which placed fifth in the rodeo.

Laclede Gas sent three teams to compete against elite gas crews from across the United States.

The teams practiced for two months leading up to the competition, which showcases the skills of safe installation and servicing natural gas pipeline and meter sets.

The 2013 event featured nearly 50 teams from across the country.

The all-day rodeo included competitions like the Pipe Cut, where competitors safely cut through a six-inch gas pipe in a matter of seconds; the Dig Box, where gas journeymen dig down four feet to find a buried box and then refill the hole in a flurry of flying dust, dirt and shovels; the Gate Valve, where contestants open and close a gas valve as fast as possible; and the Meter Set, where contestants constructed a gas meter set from parts.

“We have some of the best natural gas crews in the country,” said Steve Lindsey, president of Laclede Gas Company.

“They are safe, skilled and talented,” he said. “Our customers can rely on this expertise every day. We are very proud of our National Gas Rodeo team members and all of the dedicated and hardworking employees at Laclede.”

Love and Freiberger are employed by the Laclede Gas Company in the construction and maintenance department.