The best collegiate lumberjacks in the region will converge on Paul Smith's College for the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Northeast Collegiate Challenge, the final qualifier event of the 2010 season, as part of the 63rd annual Woodsmen Weekend April 23-24.
ESPNU cameras will be on hand as top athletes from colleges and universities in the region will compete head-to-head in four disciplines, the single buck, stock saw, standing block chop and underhand chop, using professional rules and professional-sized wood. The competitor with the most cumulative points after all four disciplines earns a $1,000 scholarship from STIHL for his school and advances to the 2010 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Championship competition to be held in conjunction with the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Professional Series now in its 25th year. The event will be held at the Oregon State Fair in Salem, Ore., Aug. 27-29.
"We're very excited to host some of the nation's best collegiate woodsmen and women at the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Northeast Collegiate Challenge," said Brett McLeod, head coach of the Paul Smith's College woodsmen team. "Our traditions in lumberjack sports go back a long way here, and it's great to bring this event to the place where some of the first collegiate competitions were held."
Paul Smith's College has become a school known for producing top STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Series competitors. In last year's STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Championship, a Paul Smith's alumnus and student competed for the national title. Adam LaSalle received his associate's degree from Paul Smith's in 2006 and then attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he won the first regional event of the 2009 season advancing him to the Collegiate Championship last June.
LaSalle took the championship crown and received an automatic spot in the 2010 professional series and will compete in August. Also of Paul Smith's College, Kurt Karboski won the 2009 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Northeast Collegiate Challenge, which advanced him to the 2009 Collegiate Championship. Additionally, Matt Bolton, another Paul Smith's College student, won the 2008 Collegiate Championship and automatically advanced to the 2009 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series where he made his professional break-through performance.
"We are looking forward to holding the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Northeast Collegiate Challenge at Paul Smith's College," said Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager of STIHL Inc. "There is no better way to celebrate the Series' 25th anniversary than to see the future of the sport compete."
This summer, to expand the lumberjack tradition, Paul Smith's College will launch the Adirondack Woodsmen's School. The two-week school, co-sponsored by STIHL and work-clothing maker Carhartt, is aimed at high school and college students looking to train with some of the best woodsmen in the business to learn about the rugged traditions at the heart of the sport.
In addition to the Northeast Collegiate Challenge, STIHL will host the second annual dedicated STIHL TIMBERSPORTS collegiate women's event. The participating schools will select their top lumberjill to compete in three professional disciplines, the single buck, stock saw and underhand chop to determine who reigns queen. The top lumberjill will receive a Keech competition axe and a $500 scholarship from STIHL for their school.
A training demonstration will be conducted by professional STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series competitor Matt Bush at 1 p.m. ET Saturday, April 24. Bush will provide pointers to the collegiate lumberjacks, demonstrate techniques involved in the lumberjack disciplines and assist the athletes in improving their skills. He currently holds the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series world record in the hot saw discipline set in 2003 at 5.08 seconds.
STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Series Northeastern Conclave
Saturday, April 24
2-3 p.m. ET: STIHL's Women's Collegiate Challenge
3-5 p.m. ET: STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Northeast Collegiate Challenge
Paul Smith's College's Great Lawn
Cobleskill Community College, Cobleskill, N.Y.
Colby College, Waterville, Maine
Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.
SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, N.Y.
SUNY-ESF Ranger School, Wanakena, N.Y.
Finger Lakes Community College, Canandaigua, N.Y.
Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro, Nova Scotia
Paul Smith's College in Paul Smith, N.Y.
Penn State University, State College, Pa.
Unity College, Unity, Maine
University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.
University of Maine at Orono, Orono, Maine
University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.
University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt.