Team Clarke wins on 'adrenaline coupled with ignorance'
By Steve Wright
Great Outdoor Games staff
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. A 1-year-old girl proved to be the key in Team Clarke's gold medal winning performance in the Timber Team Relay, which closed the 2002 ESPN Great Outdoor Games here Sunday evening.
Arden Cogar Jr. of Charleston, W.Va., was holding his baby daughter Saturday night when drafting for the five-person teams took place. In keeping the youngster happy, Cogar walked in and out of the tent during the eight-team draft.
"I happened to walk back in the tent, Dion (Lane) saw me and said, 'Pick him,'" Cogar recalled.
The result was a one-two Lane-Coger punch in the chopping events that was too much for the other seven teams to overcome.
Lane, of Auckland, New Zealand, the silver medalist in the Men's Endurance event, and Coger led the team to increasingly faster times, culminating with the fastest Timber Team Relay time of the day in the gold medal round, at 1:28.11.
"Adrenaline coupled with ignorance is a wonderful thing," said Coger. "Dion especially widened the gap for our team and I just finished it off."
Team Clarke was captained by Allyson Clarke of Dargaville, New Zealand. Eight women timber sports competitors were selected to lead their teams and draft the other four members.
The woman on each team was required to perform the Single Buck event. The other four events in a relay are Speed Climbing, Stock Saw, Underhand Chop and Standing Block Chop.
In the gold medal round, Team Strong, captained by Shannon Strong of Bantam, Conn., took a big lead on Brian Schulz' leg of the Speed Climb.
After Cassidy Scheer for Team Strong and Ray Gleason of Team Clarke finished the Stock Saw, Lane took over, providing a big lead for Clarke in the Buck Saw. She maintained it and Coger had a big advantage on Men's Endurance gold medalist Matt Bush before Bush started chopping. That lead proved too much for Bush to overcome.
The bronze medal changed hands after the consolation match. When the competition ended, it seemed Team Halvorson, captained by Penny Halvorson of Alma Center, Wis., was the victor. But Team Halvorson was assessed a 15-second penalty upon reviewing the Stock Saw event, where two complete discs must be cut. Team Halvorson had a slight "cut out," or incomplete disc on the first cut, thus the penalty.
The bronze medal shifted to Team Taylor, captained by Sheree Taylor of of Te Aroha, New Zealand. Other team members were Cal Richert of Juneau, Alaska, in the Speed Climb; Greg Hart of Maple Ridge, Canada, in the Stock Saw; Mike Sullivan of Winstead, Conn., in the Underhand Chop and Dave Jewett of Pittsford, N.Y., in the Standing Block Chop.