The students of SUNY Cobleskill’s Woodsmen Club will test their skills against some of the region’s best competitors on April 9 as the College hosts the 8th annual intercollegiate Woodsmen Team Competition. The edge-of-your-seat competition showcases speed and precision with axes, saws, chainsaws and other tools of the trade in traditional lumberjacking challenges.
The competition will feature teams from SUNY Cobleskill, Paul Smith’s College, Finger Lakes Community College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Alfred University, Morrisville State College, Pennsylvania State University and the SUNY-ESF Ranger School. Each team of six will compete in a series of events that demonstrate skill in chopping, sawing, climbing and more.
The members of SUNY Cobleskill’s Woodsmen Club have worked hard in recent years to build a reputation in this demanding and growing sport. This year’s freshman club members show “substantial promise” to carry the momentum forward, according to club Vice President Jonathon Davis. “With these individuals’ ability to take information and turn it into results, the future for the club looks bright,” he said. The 35 student members, both men and women from various majors, practice four days a week under the guidance of SUNY Cobleskill Woodsmen alumni. They participate in competitions and demonstrations throughout the Northeast.
The club has gained a reputation for sending members on to professional careers in woodsmen sports, like junior Alexis Halstead who is both a current member of the club and professional competitor with the Axe Women Loggers of Maine. Halstead said she’s able to bring knowledge “sourced from many other professional competitors” to the SUNY Cobleskill team.
Ahead of the competition, the club has received a generous donation of outdoor apparel from Carhartt. “The Carhartt company store in Albany is excited to outfit the SUNY Cobleskill Woodsmen team with a set of double-front work dungarees for its upcoming competition,” Carhartt Vice President of Retail Jamie Millar said. “We’re proud to help support these hardworking students as they prepare to host and compete in this event.”
This year’s competition will be held at the SUNY Cobleskill Athletic Field from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is free to the public. Participants will compete in Singles Relay, Axe Throw, Stock Saw, Single Buck, Super Swede, Choker Race, V Chop, Fire Build, Cross Cut to Hell, Underhand Chop, Splitting and H-Chop.
The competition will cap off SUNY Cobleskill’s Inaugural Week, which features a series of events and special activities leading up to the Inauguration of SUNY Cobleskill’s new President, Dr. Marion A. Terenzio.