Bosworth collects her third gold in Women's Log Rolling
By Sam Eifling
Great Outdoor Games staff
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. Training against men in Idaho, where female log rollers are scarce, and holding her own is a challenge for Tina Bosworth.
In three matches, no one recorded a fall on Bosworth. Only in the finals, after rolling Jenny Atkinson into Mirror Lake a third time, did Bosworth deign to get wet, pumping her fists in triumph before jumping in herself.
"I have this competitive streak in me that I don't like to lose, even in practice," the six-time professional logrolling titlist said.
"It's like a double trophy if you can walk away from a practice session knowing you put the guy in the water just as many times as you put the girl in the water.
"Because I don't care what sport it is, men are always bigger, they're always faster, they're always stronger. As a woman you learn how to take advantage of your opportunities, and I think that's the only thing you saw today that was different between me and some of the other women."
Atkinson said she never really got set in the brief final match, falling twice on the first, largest log.
Bosworth could feel that Atkinson's footwork was choppy, because the log wasn't rolling smoothly. Bosworth sensed weakness, and in the spirit of the sport, pounced quickly.
"I don't know what happened," Atkinson said. "Just the two log, I never got in position right. I was really excited, I wasn't nervous at all. So it was so disappointing to fall in twice on the two log. That never happens. I never fall in on the two log, ever.
"I just know I can roll against her so much better."
Unlike last year, Atkinson at least survived the treacherous first round, which on Saturday claimed the top two returning finishers from the 2001 Great Outdoor Games. Atkinson bounced one, Katie Hoeschler, and Bosworth eliminated the other, Taylor Duffy.
Bosworth had little trouble with Lizzy Hoeschler in the semifinals, but Atkinson had all she could handle in Carly Scheer, a former logrolling student of Atkinson's. The two spun the first log very little, and time was called.
On the smaller log, Atkinson struck quickly, dumping Scheer. The pupil returned the favor, and on the decisive point, the two fell almost simultaneously, with gravity grabbing Scheer a split-second sooner.
In a matchup of cousins, Lizzy Hoeschler beat Scheer 3-1 for the bronze, her first Great Outdoor Games medal. At 19- and 16-years-old, the two were the youngest competitors in the event.
"She's an awesome roller," Hoeschler said of her younger cousin. "I just had to keep it back and forth, give a little, take a little."
Competing in her first Great Outdoor Games, Scheer was pleased with the fourth-place finish.
"I was seriously so surprised I had even gotten this far, I didn't even think that was going to happen, so I was happy with that," Scheer said of the consolation match. "She was just quicker than me, and her mind is more there than mine is."
Scheer's father, Fred Scheer, took her aside after the first two falls. Carly Scheer returned to the log and managed to topple Hoeschler once before bowing out.
"He said to just stay strong and try to get my mind in it more, because I get distracted," Carly Scheer said. "I get to where I don't want to beat my cousin, don't want to beat somebody. I was like, 'If I just let them win, it will be OK.' He's trying to get the killer instinct in me."