MSU to host lumberjack competition during 61st annual conclave

posted on March 28, 2013 4:09pm

MSU to host lumberjack competition during 61st annual conclave

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EAST LANSING, Mich. – For Michigan State University (MSU) student Ryan Hauser, playing host to the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series second lumberjack competition of the 2013 season means visiting the historical roots of the sport.

“Since the late 1800s, my family has been in the lumber business, so it’s cool to be able to fell a tree just like my great-grandfather did,” said Hauser, a senior from Saline, Mich.

MSU hosts the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series on April 6 as part of the 61st Annual Midwestern Foresters’ Conclave. Top professional and collegiate lumberjacks from all over the Midwest will converge on the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason. Winners of the Professional and Collegiate Series competitions will advance to the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series U.S. Championships hosted by The Great Smoky Mountain Lumberjack Feud in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., June 7-9.

“We are thrilled to host the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series Midwest Qualifier as part of the annual Midwestern Foresters’ Conclave,” said Richard Kobe, professor and chair of the MSU Department of Forestry. “This event is a great opportunity to showcase our students, forestry program and university, and we have worked very hard to ensure the event will be a huge success.”

ESPNU, the Outdoor Channel and TUFF TV cameras will be on site to capture the competition. These networks provide a national platform to highlight not only the competition but also the hosting schools and their forestry programs in the Professional and Collegiate Series competition shows, said Brad Sorgen, producer of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series.

“We’re excited to bring the 10th anniversary season of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Series to Michigan State,” Sorgen said. “We look forward to a great competition among the region’s top collegiate and pro lumberjack athletes.”

In the Collegiate Series, the participating universities select their best lumberjacks or -jills to chop and saw in four disciplines: single buck, standing block chop, stock saw and underhand chop, using professional-sized wood and rules. After competing in each of the disciplines, the competitor with the most cumulative points will receive a $1,000 scholarship from STIHL for his or her school and advances to the 2013 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Championship. Eleven schools will participate in the Midwest Qualifier, including Iowa State, Ohio State and Purdue.

During the conclave portion of the competition, students will employ “old school” techniques and be assessed on their skills, Hauser said.

“We’ll participate in orienteering and pacing, cross-cut sawing and speed chop with an ax,” Hauser said.

Following the collegiate competition, eight of the region’s top professional lumberjacks face off across six disciplines: hot saw, single buck, springboard chop, standing block chop, stock saw and underhand chop in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Professional Series Midwest Qualifier. The top four competitors will advance to the U.S. Championship.

For the first time this year, fans will have the opportunity to join the wood-chopping action on Facebook with Fantasy Lumberjack. Prizes include STIHL chain saws and a trip for two to the World Championship in Germany. To play the ultimate fantasy sports game, visit facebook.com/STIHLTIMBERSPORTS.

TV air schedule:

Outdoor Channel

Competition

Prime-time airings

Additional airings

Collegiate Midwest Qualifier

Sunday, April 21, at 3 p.m. EST

Wednesday, April 17, at 8 a.m. EST Friday, April 19, at 2 a.m. EST

Professional Midwest Qualifier

Sunday, April 28, at 3 p.m. EST

Wednesday, April 24, at 8 a.m. EST  Friday, April 26, at 2 a.m. EST

ESPNU air times are to be announced.

About STIHL:

Established in 1985 by STIHL, the No. 1-selling brand of gasoline-powered, hand-held outdoor power equipment in America, the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series, billed as the original extreme sport, attracts the world’s top lumberjack athletes in a competition based on historic logging techniques. The series is seen by millions of viewers annually in more than 62 countries on networks such as Outdoor Channel, ESPNU, Eurosport and TUFF TV.

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