About 250 woodsmen from colleges in the northeastern U.S. will converge on the campus of Finger Lakes Community College for a two-day competition this weekend.
The 67th annual Northeast Collegiate Woodsmen Conclave will be held Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, on the college's main campus in Canandaigua. It is sponsored in part by chainsaw manufacturer STIHL, which will host its own professional and collegiate competitions, the 2013 STIHL Timbersports Series, at the college Friday evening. The professional competition is the same as a recent event in Michigan where Potter native Matthew Marks qualified for the national competition that will be held in June.
The conclave and STIHL events are free and open to the public. Parking will be available Friday at the Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center and on Saturday in the parking lot behind the main campus building at 3325 Marvin Sands Drive. Concessions will be sold on-site both days.
Students from about 18 colleges and universities from as far away as Maine and Connecticut will participate. Teams hail from Penn State University, the University of Connecticut, and the University of New Hampshire, to name a few. FLCC is the only two-year college taking part in the competition.
Nineteen individual and team events will test conclave participants in everything from cross-cutting and log-rolling to the pole climb, axe throw and canoeing.
Opening ceremonies begin at 8 a.m. Friday with the national anthem at the pond adjacent to the CMAC parking lot. It will be followed by a welcome address by FLCC President Barbara Risser and a ceremonial cross-cut by Marty Dodge and Hank Roenke, who coached the college's first woodsmen team in 1974. Events begin immediately and run until 3 p.m. the first day.
On Saturday, the conclave events move up to the athletic fields behind the main campus and wrap up with a finale event at 2 p.m.
Dodge has stayed active with the team since his retirement in 2011 as coach and professor of environmental conservation. The college will unveil a sign over the weekend naming the woodsmen practice field after Dodge.
"We've had a long-standing tradition at FLCC with our woodsmen program," said Bob Lowden, director of athletics at FLCC. "Through Marty's leadership and our new head coach, Ryan Staychock, we have developed a national recognition among woodsmen."
Several FLCC alumni have become professional lumberjacks and jills. Dave Jewett went on to become a commentator for ESPN. Fellow graduate Andrea Robarge is part of a team that competes internationally, and several others compete for STIHL Timbersports.
STIHL's Timbersports Series will run from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday in the gym. One man and one woman from each college will be selected to participate in the collegiate competition.
Page 2 of 2 - In addition, professional lumberjacks, including Jewett and fellow FLCC alumnus Dave Engasser, will compete in a qualifier for the STIHL Timbersports Pro Championship in June.
The contests will be filmed and aired at a later date on the Outdoor Channel, ESPNU and Tuff TV.
Here is a schedule of events:
Friday, April 19
8 a.m. Opening ceremonies: National anthem; welcome by President Barbara Risser; cross-cut, pond adjacent to CMAC parking lot
8:30 a.m. Canoeing events (heats by division)
Singles events (round robin/open): Pole climb, single buck, axe throw, birling, stock saw, triathlon
noon Team events (heats): Log roll, pulp toss
4 to 9 p.m. STIHL Timbersports Series collegiate and professional competitions, FLCC gym at the back of the main campus
Saturday, April 20: All competition takes place at the athletic fields behind the main campus
8 a.m. Doubles events (heats/open): Fire build, vertical chop, scoot load
10 a.m. Team events (heats): Cross-cut, bow saw
12 p.m. Triples events (heats): Quarter split, H-chopping
2 p.m. Finale event: Pack board (division heats/shotgun start).