<
>

Live Blog

8/29/2010

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Championship --Final

(refresh for updates)


4:16
PM PT

There is no better way to leave your stamp on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS 25th anniversary than the show Jason Wynyard just put on for a packed Oregon State Fair crowd.

Winning his third straight discipline, Wynyard put up a time of 5.47 and held the hot saw high over his head, screaming with emotion. Bolstad was first on stage to congratulate him on his ninth championship. Bolstad and Wynyard have accounted for all of the past 14 championships -- an incredible feat.

Sullivan put up the second best time of the day opposite Wynyard with a 5.893.

Here's how the hot saw finished: Wynyard, Sullivan, Lentz, Komarek, DeLosa, Ryan, O'Toole, Beckett, and DQ'd were Cogar, Bolstad, Roberts and Lane.

And finally, here is how they finished overall: Wynyard, Bolstad, O'Toole, Ryan, Beckett, DeLosa, Komarek, Lane, Lentz, Sullivan, Cogar, Roberts.

I am going to interview Wynyard now and we will have full coverage coming soon.

Thanks so much for following the blog today and all weekend from all over the world.

Have a great day.

-- Kyle Carter


4:01
PM PT

A jovial Dion Lane held the hot saw over his head after his cut, much to the delight of the crowd, but he already knew he'd cut the 6-inch line and would be DQ'd.

Mel Lentz cut was clean and only took 6.18 seconds, which put him in the lead and in the driver's seat for the U.S. championship with only Mike Sullivan still to cut. Sullivan is great in the hot saw, but he started hot saw five points behind Lentz, which is going to be hard, if not impossible to make up.

-- Kyle Carter


3:53
PM PT

And the hot saw continues to burn.

Roberts had trouble starting his hot saw in warm ups and that trouble continued into the competition. After five or six tries, he did get it rumbling (that's an understatement when it comes to the hot saw), but he cut out on his second cookie and was DQ'd.

Beckett's run wasn't a picnic either. He didn't complete three full cookies on his first run through and had to go back to cut a fourth. That gave him a time of 34.255.

There have been three DQs out of the eight that have gone thus far.

Dion Lane and Mel Lentz are up next.

-- Kyle Carter


3:48
PM PT

When Bolstad finished his hot saw, he stared at his work.

It was a nice time and it looked clean live. But when he reached down to grab his first cookie, it was clear what he was staring at. Near the top there was a tiny spot that wasn't round. When the head judge came up and confirmed that he cut out, Bolstad just nodded his head.

Sitting behind me, Wynyard was listening to his headphones and didn't react.

Komarek, meanwhile, put up a nice time of 6.923, which puts him on top for the moment.

But unfortunately, the top story here is that Bolstad's DQ all but assures Wynyard his second straight championship.

Beckett and Will Roberts are in the next heat. Roberts is still shooting for the U.S. championship, which was opened up by Cogar's DQ.

-- Kyle Carter


3:39
PM PT

The second hot saw run wasn't quite as smooth as the first.

O'Toole's saw didn't start on the first pull and he ended up with a time of 22.34

Cogar, had to double back and actually ended up cutting the line for a DQ. I think it's safe to say at this point that he will not repeat as U.S. champion.

Bolstad is up in the next heat with Komarek, so this should tell us a lot about who will win.

-- Kyle Carter


-- Kyle Carter

3:34
PM PT

Ryan and DeLosa were in the first heat and both ran clean with pretty good times, with DeLosa (6.943) edging out Ryan (8.05).

At the start of today, I thought DeLosa might be cutting for a championship at this point, but he's going to have to settle for the spoiler role.

The bar is set, now this thing starts to shake out.

-- Kyle Carter


3:26
PM PT

I'm going by memory only so forgive me if this is a little off, but I feel like we were in almost this exact same position last year. Wynyard had a big lead going into the hot saw, DQ'd, and still won the overall because Bolstad had to cut an extra cookie.

I tell that story mainly to point out just how crazy this last event is and what it can do to the standings. It was all over the board yesterday and there's no reason to think today will be different. I'll have my pen and paper out doing the math as the event goes along and will try to do more frequent blogs, offering moment by moment action.

So, that said, here are the standings going into the final discipline:
Wynyard 55
Bolstad 48
O'Toole 38
Beckett 38
Ryan 36
DeLosa 35
Lane 33
Komarek 26
Cogar 23
Roberts 21
Lentz 20
Sullivan 17

Note: Cogar is leading the U.S. competition but is nowhere near safe. That race can still go any direction.

-- Kyle Carter


3:15
PM PT

That's as happy as Wynyard has been all day. His time of 15.077 had him pumping his fist all the way back to the competitor tent. He was happy because it was a clean cut, but also because he knows Bolstad is running out of events to catch up.

Bolstad (15.387) was in the final heat but couldn't match Wynyard's time and lost yet another point in the overall.

Here's how they finished in the Underhand: Wynyard, Bolstad, O'Toole, Beckett, Ryan, DeLosa, Lane, Cogar, Roberts, Sullivan, Komarek, Lentz.

I'll have an update on the overall and my thoughts on the hot saw in a moment.

-- Kyle Carter


2:43
PM PT

If Jason Wynyard ends up winning, the single buck might be the event we can look back at where it all started.

His time of 11.59 not only won the heat, but it put six places between him and Bolstad, who finished seventh with a time of 14.18.

In one of the crazier moments of the day, both Dion Lane and Laurence O'Tool broke out of their cuts near the bottom and had to reset the saw to finish. I couldn't see exactly how Lane pulled it off, but he was still able to put up a decent time of 13.503.

He was near our setup talking about the cut with Wynyard and seemed pretty pleased with the results.

Here's how the single buck shook out: Wynyard, Beckett, Cogar, Roberts, Lane, DeLosa, Bolstad, Komarek, Sullivan, Ryan, Lentz, O'Toole.

As I said, this was good event for Wynyard in the grand scheme. Here's how the points look after single buck:
Wynyard 43
Bolstad 37
Beckett 29
Ryan 28
O'Toole 28
DeLosa 28
Lane 27
Komarek 24
Lentz 19
Cogar 18
Roberts 17
Sullivan 14

As you can see, the American title is still up for grabs.

-- Kyle Carter


2:16
PM PT

Hello New Zealand?! Good morning. What's tomorrow like? Thanks for following along. I'll try to post more complete standings as the competition goes along.

Right now, before single buck, the overall looks like this:
Bolstad 31
Wynyard 31
O'Toole 27
Ryan 25
DeLosa 21
Lane 19
Komarek 19
Beckett 18
Lentz 17
Sullivan 10
Cogar 8
Roberts 8

**This is where I should note that everything I post here is unofficial. I am getting official results handed to me, but I could easily make a mistake. Just felt like I should throw that out there.

-- Kyle Carter


2:12
PM PT

The single buck started again with the collegiate where Scarborough edged out David Green for the full two points. It was already a foregone conclusion, but now it's perfectly clear: Logan Scarborough will be the 2010 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate champion.

The pros are through one heat. I'll have an update on them when they finish.

-- Kyle Carter


2:06
PM PT

I mentioned this yesterday, but I can't get over how these guys just obliterate these logs in the standing block. It really shows off just how powerful these guys really are.

Bolstad started the show by putting up an almost unbeatable mark of 14.98 -- emphasis on the word "almost." My horse DeLosa came through with a 14.04.

The Americans continued their struggle, but let's not forget they are in a separate battle among themselves for the U.S. championship.

Here's how they finished in the standing block, in order: Delosa, Bolstad, Wynyard, O'Toole, Ryan, Beckett, Lane, Lentz, Cogar, Komarek, Sullivan and Roberts.

Overall, dare I say it, it's a two-man race. Bolstad and Wynyard are tied with 31 points. O'Toole jumped Ryan for third place and DeLosa's win moved him up to fifth with 21 points.

In the race for top American, Mel Lentz leads with 17 points, followed by Sullivan (10), Cogar and Roberts (8).

-- Kyle Carter


1:51
PM PT

I hinted at a world record earlier and I was right. I just didn't have the right guy.

As it turned out, Jason Wynyard did not break his own STS record, but somebody else did – Martin Komerak.

Komerak put up an incredible time of 9.445, besting Wynyard's previous record of 9.81 by a healthy margin.

Wynyard's time of 9.967 held up for second place today. Bolstad's 10.315 was fifth.

The Americans struggled again, finishing in four of the bottom five spots. DeLosa missed his saw on the first grab and couldn't make up the time on the log, finishing dead last and all but eliminating his shot at a title.

Here is how they finished in the stock saw: Komarek, Wynyard, Beckett, O'Toole, Bolstad, Lane, Ryan, Lentz, Roberts, Sullivan, Cogar, DeLosa.

It's definitely early, and I tried to learn a lesson yesterday not to make predictions this early in the day, but Bolstad and Wynyard are definitely in the driver's seat as usual. Wynyard has the points lead with 21, Bolstad is right behind him with 20, followed by O'Tool with 18. My pregame dark horse pick, DeLosa, only has 9 points.

They're in the middle of the

-- Kyle Carter


12:56
PM PT

Stock saw is underway, starting with the collegiate competitors.

The top-two finishers in each of the college disciplines, ran by all six qualifiers on Friday, are competing for the top-two spots today.

Jon Preston outpaced Kory Garrie, who was eventually DQ'd for cutting over the line.

The final three events will include Logan Scarborough and David Green, who finished one-two in single buck, standing block and underhand.

We'll be crowing a collegiate champion today, who will be invited to the World Championships to run on a rookie team relay. He will also receive an invitation to the 2011 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series.

The pros are running the stock saw now, and for a moment, I thought Wynyard had broken his own world record.

More to come on that and the entire stock saw event.

-- Kyle Carter


12:45
PM PT

The big dogs are out early in this year's final.

O'Toole put up the time to beat early in the springboard with a 49.6. It held through a heat until Dale Ryan took his turn.

There's a bit of a running joke that Ryan is never happy with his cut. After almost every event, no matter how good or bad his time was, he'll stare at the wood or ax and shake his head in disgust. You can count on it. At least most the time …

After his springboard time of 42.325 seconds, he went ballistic. Screaming with joy, fists in the air, Ryan celebrated what he felt was a fantastic time.

DeLosa couldn't beat it a heat later after posting a 50.745, which left only Wynyard and Bolstad.

Bolstad delivered the only time in the 30s, a 39.190, raising his fist and his ax to the sky after finishing.

It was not a good start for American Arden Cogar Jr. 80.69. His board seemed especially wobbly and he had to catch himself from falling off on at least one occasion. None of the three Americans finished in the top half of the field.

Here's how they finished in order: Bolstad, Ryan, Wynyard, O'Toole, DeLosa, Lentz, Lane, Sullivan, Komarek, Roberts, Cogar, Beckett.

-- Kyle Carter


12:14
PM PT

Is it gaff or gaffe? Actually, turns out that it was a gaff gaffe that decided the speed-climb gold medal this morning.

Canadian Stirling Hart was ahead on the 60-foot tree to the second orange ring (about halfway up) in the final against rival Brian Bartow, but slipped out with BOTH of his feet and had to grab with his rope to prevent himself from falling back down to the pad. The slip cost him dearly as Bartow -- who had a small slip, too -- shot past Hart, reached the top first and hit the mat a half-second ahead.

Hart, if you recall from the morning blog, had switched out his gaffs to try to overcome a series of slips from quafterfinal and semifinal matches.

"I guess it didn't work out, right?" Hart cracked afterward.

Cassidy Scheer took a wild ride down the tree against Guy German in the battle for the bronze medal. Scheer ended his descent with his back turned sideways on the tree, but still had the required number of touches to register an official run. His time was 12.98 to German's 14.55.

More detailed story to come shortly.

-- Joel Shangle


12:02
PM PT

The final is underway as we break the noon hour. You can feel the tension in the air.

Will Roberts took Justin Beckett in the first heat with a 103.75.

We'll have an update on the speed climb shortly.

-- Kyle Carter


11:50
AM PT

Good evening Netherlands?!

According to my iPhone, it is 8:52 p.m. in Amsterdam.

Thanks for following the blog.

-- Kyle Carter


11:48
AM PT

The boom run final couldn't have been closer.

The ladies were going with the same format as they've used throughout the competition. Each took a run on both lanes and used their fastest time.

Alyse Schroeder handily won the first race with a time of 10.74 (by my notes, not official), with Katie Rick about a second behind.

But in the second run, Rick fired out of the gate, and putting everything on the line, she basically slid across the finish line just ahead of Alyse.

It would have been incredibly close comparing Alyse's first time with Ricks second, but the yellow flag came out. Video confirmed that Rick barely jumped the gun on the start of her race and her time was disqualified.

This is Schroder's second straight STIHL TIMBERSPORTS boom run championship.

-- Kyle Carter


11:31
AM PT

Here we are. Today we will crown the 2010 and 25th anniversary STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series championship. If you missed Hooked Up!, you really missed out.

Tommy Sanders and Kevin Holtz went lumberjack by lumberjack, assessing their chances in today's competition.

This is my fourth consecutive year to cover this championship and it feels a little different this year. Typically, there's not much hope beyond Bolstad or Wynyard, but I'm not sensing that this year.

DeLosa has been incredibly strong, and watching Cogar go toe to toe with Wynyard in Pool A yesterday is offering a glimmer of American hope.

I'm not saying it won't be Bolstad or Wynyard with the hardware at the end of the day, but it does seems a little more wide open than usual.

Just as we have the last three days, we'll be here trying to give you readable updates as often as possible. Thanks for following along.

-- Kyle Carter


10:49
AM PT

Speed climb finalist Stirling Hart told us yesterday that he was switching out his gaffs to a set that he normally uses for exhibitions. Hart, who faces off against Brian Bartow for the gold medal later this morning, has had problems slipping on his start this week, thanks in part to the angle on his gaffs, which he says are slicing through the tree instead of grabbing like they should.

Hart's assessment this morning: "It seems like they're working better."

With the amount of divots on the trees from three days of competition, though, it might not matter.

"If you grab one of those divots, it doesn't matter (what gaffs you're using)," Hart said.
-Joel Shangle

Watching the boom-rum practice, it looks like the red course is a little more difficult this morning. One end of the long white log positioned halfway down the course is settled lower into the water than the other end, making that end of the log a little more unstable.

We have a major difference in running styles in the final, too. At 5-foot-7 (most of it leg), defending STIHL national champion Alyse Schroeder has been taking 12 strides on the way down and 12 or 13 on the way back. Katie Ricks, at 5-foot-2, has taken between 14 and 16 strides to navigate the course.

-- Joel Shangle

10:36
AM PT

Good morning from the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem, Ore., where we're set up and ready to blog the logs for today's finals of the 2010 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series National Championships.

The first important name in the boom run this morning: "Big John" Tasker.

Tasker is the guy who climbs into the boom-run tanks and switches the order of the logs on the two-lane course. This morning, Tasker is setting a log in the two lanes that hasn't been seen yet this week, the big, white "Fat Boy" log. Finalist Alyse Schroeder says the log doesn't really have a nickname, but, well, it does now.

Fat Boy is easily the heaviest and widest of all the logs, and will require Schroeder and Katie Rick to take a big step up from the white log in front of it on the way down the course. It could be a major momentum breaker.

The logs are positioned by a random draw. We'll see how Rick and Schroeder are handling the layout in practice shortly.

-- Joel Shangle


STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Championship -- Day Two


7:21
PM PT

And thus ends the second day of our live blog. Hope you enjoyed the action.

Our full coverage will be coming soon. You should check out the photos from today in the meantime.

Thanks for following along. We'll see you right here tomorrow as we crown the 2010 and 25th anniversary STIHL TIMBERSPORTS champion.

-- Kyle Carter


7:20
PM PT

The Pool C hot saw, as expected, was all over the board and high on drama.

Dave Jewett came into the competition in fifth, one point behind Mike Sullivan in fourth, and he put the pressure on early with a 6.323.

After a couple of the seemingly required DQs, it basically came down to three men: Jewett, Sullivan and Martin Komarek.

Komarek was in the second to last heat and his drama started early and didn't stop. The competitors have 1 minute to warm up their saws, but Komarek's wasn't starting.

Time after time he put the pull cord back on the machine, pulled and got nothing. Finally, with about 15 seconds left, it started and he furiously started trying to put the pull cord back on.

He did and it started, but his cut was dangerously close to the line. He stood there waiting for judge to say yes or no. It was declared a clean cut and he started the celebration.

That left Sullivan, in the last heat, needing to beat Jewett's time.

"I'm done," Jewett said. "I need Sullivan to mess up in the hot saw and he never messes up the hot saw."

Jewett was right. Sullivan's 5.753 was easily the fastest of the day and set the final four spots in the finals with himself, Brad Delosa, Dale Ryan and Komarek.

-- Kyle Carter


6:42
PM PT

I was joking about somebody's saw blowing up, but maybe I cursed the Pool B sawyers in the hot saw because equipment malfunctions defined the whole pool. Mitch Hewitt's saw balked in the warmup and Laurence O'Toole's saw just flat wouldn't start for nearly 25 seconds after the gun in heat 1. Hewitt's saw started okay, meanwhile, but Hewitt cut out and was DQd. Tough break for Hewitt, who needed every precious point available for any chance to sneak into the top four.

David Bolstad's saw balked at the start, too, and he finished in 13.53 but picked up four points to stay just ahead of Dion Lane in the final standings for the pool.

The four advancing to Sunday's finals are Bolstad (39), DLane (38), Justin Beckett (31) and O'Toole (30).

-- Joel Shangle


6:20
PM PT

It's hard to watch Shane Jordan's great day disappear with the hot saw, but as I said earlier about the stock saw, that's the nature of the beast.

I predicted yesterday that the hot saw would shake things up and not much happened (scroll down to see how I've been doing with predictions).

That was not the case today, at least not in Pool A. Jordan's DQ in the first heat opened the door for Slingerland, Roberts, Head and Sirguy.

In the second heat, Slingerland DQ'd with a cut out and ended his competition.

Heat three featured Will Roberts, who all the sudden just needed to post a decent time to put himself in a great position with one heat to go.

He had a clean start, clean cut, and a time of 7.70, putting him only behind Wynyard's 5.74 seconds.

But still to go were Mel Lentz and Kerry Head, and both could shake things up.

Lentz barely finished his cut before Head, which officially put him in the final.

A clean cut by Head would have actually put him in third for the event and one point ahead of Roberts, but he cut over the line for the third DQ of the pool.

So your four lumberjacks qualifying for the final from Pool A are Jason Wynyard, Arden Cogar Jr., Mel Lentz and Will Roberts.

Will Roberts is the first former collegiate champion to make a STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Professional final.

-- Kyle Carter


5:45
PM PT

Pool C is going to be a points crunch by the end of hot saw.

The only guy who is safe is DeLosa. He could leave the hot saw in ... whatever it is they carry those things in ... and still win.

Strangely enough, the top four in the underhand are the top four in the overall. They go in this order: DeLosa, Ryan, Komarek and Sullivan.

Jewett, with a sixth place finish in the underhand, fell to fifth in the standings, a point behind Sullivan.

The pros are breaking hot saws and I am breaking out my calculator. The niose, crowd excitement, smell and volatility of the hot saws should make for an exciting finish as we find out which 12 lumberjacks will compete in tomorrow's final.

-- Kyle Carter


5:30
PM PT

Watching David Bolstad demolish a block in the underhand chop is like watching Godzilla stomp through downtown Tokyo. As Kyle Carter noted in his Pool A blog, Bolstad is the STIHL record holder with a ridiculous 12.28-second run in 1999, and his 15.04 today is the fastest in the pool by a full half-second. I'll be shocked if anybody in Pool C, which is chopping now, beats that time.

Bolstad is the clear top dog in Pool B today, winning three events so far and finishing second in another for 35 points, with just the hot saw left. Even if his saw blows up and catches fire, the worst he can finish is second.

Bolstad's underhand-chop heat partner, Laurence O'Toole, crept a couple of points closer to Dion Lane and opened up a couple of points on Justin Beckett. Heading into the final discipline, it's Bolstad, Lane (31), O'Toole (27) and Beckett (25), with Mitch Beckett just outside the cut but within striking distance (22).

-- Joel Shangle


5:25
PM PT

Oh how I remember the days when Wynyard was in the hot seat after two events. The guys in his pool must have felt like the track athletes in the 200 hundred that actually start in front of the other racers.

For some reason it makes you feel good to be in front even though you know you're in trouble as you start to make that first turn.

That long intro and semi-applicable analogy was to say that Wynyard is settling in to his place atop the leaderboard.

He won the underhand by more than 3 seconds with a time of 17.467 seconds. That kind of abuse prompted me to look up the world record in the event and oh my goodness -- it's Bolstad with a time of 12.28 seconds in 1999.

I watched Wynyard's run and there is absolutely no way to shave 5 seconds off what he just did. I feel like somebody is playing a trick on me.

As I type that, Bolstad puts up a 15 second run. It makes a little more sense now.

But back to Pool A where Cogar and Wynyard should cruise. Shane Jordan helped himself with a third place finish in the underhand and now sits in third place, five points ahead of fifth place Kerry Head.

Mel Lentz held on to the fourth spot, but is only one point ahead of Head and Roberts who are tied with 19 points.

-- Kyle Carter


5:06
PM PT

I've been trying to hint at without jinxing that the single buck might be Jewett's best chance at making a move toward the final.

His 11.38 seconds was almost a perfect run and the second fastest of the day (behind Wynyard) and the best of his pool. The win moved Jewett inside the four-cut with two events -- underhand and hot saw -- still to go.

"That's one of the best runs I've put up in a long time," he said after the run.

Mike Sullivan, who is trying to overcome a DQ in the stock saw, had the second best single buck with a 12.73 and sits one point behind Jewett out of the cut.

Oh, and remember when I talked about Komarek being mostly safe but said it has been a day of surprises? Komarek finished last in the single buck and is only one point ahead of Jewett in third.

It's an example of how fast things can change in this game and a lesson for to stop making predictions halfway through an event, although I probably won't learn from it.

Geissler, who had held down the fourth spot, finished sixth in the single buck and fell to sixth overall.

Thanks too to Shannon Waibel for the kind words about the blog. The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS community is a special thing and we're happy to offer even a glimpse of the excitement that's happening in Oregon as we celebrate the sport's 25th anniversary.

-- Kyle Carter


4:44
PM PT

Ah, the dreaded single buck. Mitch Hewitt and Justin Beckett probably don't feel quite the same about this event. Hewitt, who entered the single buck in third place in the pool, only earned 1 point in the discipline that's far and away his roughest.

Beckett, on the other hand, blazed through the single buck in 12.955 for the fastest time of the pool and 8 points in the standings. That makes things even more interesting heading into the final two disciplines as Beckett climbs into a third-place tie with Laurence O'Toole (20), dropping Hewitt to fifth (19).

Matthew Cogar helped himself in the single buck, finishing second for 7 points to climb from a distant seventh to within shooting distance of fourth place, at 14 points.

-- Joel Shangle


4:41
PM PT

Pool A is really the Cogar/Wynyard show, and they didn't disappoint in the single buck, also known among the competitors as the misery whip.

It was the third time (of the four events completed) that they have gone one-two in an event, with Wynyard getting the best of Cogar this time.

In fact, Wynyard beat Cogar by more than a second, posting 11.185 seconds compared to Cogar's 12.232.

Mike Slingerland had a nice event, coming in third with a 12.79 and putting him only one point out of the final cut.

If you're just picking up with us today, there are three pools of 8 lumberjacks competing and the top four from each pool will make up the 12-man final.

Shane Jordan and Mel Lentz are holding the last two qualifying spots with 18 points. As I said, Slingerland is behind by a point in fifth, former collegiate champion is in seventh with 16, and Sirguy and Head round up the pool with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

So, if you're speculating, which I am, it looks like Lentz, Jordan, Slingerland and Roberts are competing for two spots in the finals.

Note: My last blog had Lentz safely in Pool C. Obviously that's a little off since he's competing in Pool A. I meant to say Komarek. I've since made the change (got to love the ever changing Internet), but I figured I should come clean to avoid confusion.

-- Kyle Carter


4:26
PM PT

Pool C didn't do a lot of changing after standing block.

Jewett, who finished fourth in the event moved to fifth in the standings with his favorite event on the horizon. He's two points out of the cut at the moment behind Geissler.

That fourth spot is really the only one up for grabs at this point, in my opinion. I'd be surprised if DeLosa, Ryan or Komarek fell any lower than they are now.

Then again, I heard three men in their 30s discuss old cartoons for a half hour this morning complete with impressions, so I'm not beyond surprise.

-- Kyle Carter


4:15
PM PT

Halfway through the day's six-discipline schedule, David Bolstad seems to have settled in comfortably atop Pool B with 23 points. Bolstad was the fastest in springboard and stock saw, and finished second in standing block behind Dion Lane, who's currently second with 19 points. Mitch Hewitt is hanging tough in third with 18 and Laurence O'Toole holds onto the B bubble spot with 15.

-- Joel Shangle


3:56
PM PT

Cogar's 16.375 was looking even sweeter after Pool B, which Bolstad won with a 20-plus second time. But in the last heat of Pool C, Brad Delosa edged him out with a time of 15.82 seconds.

More on all that coming soon.

-- Kyle Carter


3:50
PM PT

Our new Internet is giving us the chance to publish photos as the day goes on. Check them out here.


3:36
PM PT

People love the hot saw, my favorite event is the standing block. Hot saw shows the raw power of a machine but standing block shows off the raw power of these lumberjacks.

I'm inclined to think Arden Cogar Jr. might agree.

After what to the amateur eye was a perfect standing block, he opened up to the standing room only crowd and screamed the kind of fierce, King Kong aint got nothing on me scream. It only took him 16.375 seconds and, more importantly, he was a swing faster than Wynyard.

Cogar also took over the lead in the overall standings at the halfway mark with 18 points. Wynyard and Jordan are tied for second with 17, Mel Lentz is in third with 14, Slingerland and Roberts take the next two slots with 11 points, while Kerry Head and Branden Sirguy bring in the caboose with 10 points apiece.

-- Kyle Carter


3:12
PM PT

Pool C is looking pretty much like it "should" in comparison to the seeds.

DeLosa is leading, Dale Ryan is in second, Martin Komarek is a bit of a surprise in third, and Christophe Geissler in fourth.

Mike Sullivan holds on to the fifth position despite a DQ in the stock saw. He cut out on his second cookie and went over the line when he tried to correct the problem.

It's amazing that a guy who has been competing all 25 years of the series can DQ in the "easiest" event, but that's the nature of the beast that is the stock saw. It's so easy, it's hard.

Komarek won the stock saw with a time of 11.017. Delosa was second, Ryan third, Geissler fourth (Ryan beat Geissler in a saw off because they had the exact same time, 11.51 seconds).

Jewett had another rough event finishing seventh, but he admits stock saw is not his specialty. He'll need to make a move in standing block and then his favorite event, single buck to get back into things.

They're taking a small break and played the Colbert Report bit that includes TIMBERSPORTS. I'm not sure how many times I'll have to watch that before it becomes not funny, but it's at least one more than where I'm at now.

-- Kyle Carter


2:43
PM PT

Joel Shangle, who is covering the boom run, speed climb and Pool B today just asked me if anything looks off in the Pool B overall after two events and the answer is yes.

His name is Mitch Hewitt.

After going toe-to-toe with Bolstad in the springboard, he backed it up with a second-place finish in the stock saw (behind Bolstad, of course).

Hewitt qualified fourth in yesterday's play-in round, well behind current Pool B competitor Matt Cogar. But he is killing it today, while Cogar sits sixth in the group. It should be noted here that Hewitt finished dead last in the single buck yesterday, so there is still of lot of moving yet to happen.

-- Kyle Carter


2:30
PM PT

Sound the alarms. Two things are happening that just don't feel right.

First, I finally have a decent Internet set up, so these blogs should come firing at a better rate the rest of the day (or at least more timely).

Second, Jason Wynyard is on the bubble of making the finals cut after two events in Pool A. OK, so that might be playing with the numbers a little bit since the stock saw is the ultimate equalizer and there is a 1 percent chance he doesn't make the cut.

But I will say that these next three events are important for him because he doesn't have a great history with the stock saw. To be completely comfortable going into the day's final event, he'll need to be able to cushion a DQ and still get in.

That's a long way from now. Wynyard's 12.657 finished him seventh in the stock saw, which Mike Slingerland won in 11.665 seconds.

Sirguy finished second, Lentz third, Jordan fourth, Roberts fifth, Cogar sixth, and Kerry Head eighth.

Overall at this point in the group, it goes Lentz, Jordan, Cogar and Wynyard, in that order. Shane Jordan is out to prove his second place finish in the qualifying round wasn't a fluke and he's doing that so far.

-- Kyle Carter


2:15
PM PT

Sounds the alarms. Two things are happening that just don't feel right.

First, I finally have a decent Internet set up, so these blogs should come firing at a better rate the rest of the day (or at least more timely).

Second, Jason Wynyard is on the bubble of making the finals cut after two events. OK, so that might be playing with the numbers a little bit since the stock saw is the ultimate equalizer


1:45
PM PT

Pool C started out a little scary with JP Mercier's first board giving out from underneath him twice while he was trying to cut his second pocket.

It's not a long fall but Mercier cut his hand on a nail sticking out of a different place in the log. It's not something that should give him too much trouble the rest of the day, but it killed him in the springboard.

Brad DeLosa, who has actually threatened Bolstad and Wynyard the past couple of years, took the win with a time of 45.285. That time, for what it's worth, was only the fourth best of the day behind Bolstad, Hewitt and Wynyard.

Dale Ryan finished second with 46.03, and there was a pretty large drop to Mike Sullivan in third with a time of 55.385. Geissler was fourth, Komarek fifth, Jewett sixth, Eash seventh and then Mercier, who did eventually make it to his top board and finish off the log.

They are setting up the stock saw as I type.

-- Kyle Carter


1:31
PM PT

Pool B predictably went to David Bolstad in the springboard, but as I mentioned earlier, it was about as close as it gets. Those times did hold up on video, with Bolstad barely going off before Mitch Hewitt.

Dion Lane went third, Laurence O'Tool fourth and yesterday' winner, Matt Cogar, went fifth.

I talked to Mike Forrester on Thursday and he said he's been having some knee problems. He was most worried about springboard and his fear was validated. His time wasn't too bad, 71.26 seconds, but it only got him seventh in the pool of death.


1:03
PM PT

This may mean something, it may mean nothing, but looking at the times from Pool A compared to the times from the bottom 16 seeds yesterday a couple things stand out.

Mitch Hewitt, who won the springboard yesterday, was only two seconds off Jason Wynyard's time. Bonus note: he's up against Bolstad in Pool B today and just put up a nasty time -- more coming.

Also, the top three times from yesterday would have qualified today.

They are checking the tape, but the initial times indicate that Bolstad edged out Hewitt but 3 hundredths of a second.

Bolstad 38.99 seconds
Hewitt 39.02 seconds

-- Kyle Carter


12:54
PM PT

I mentioned this yesterday, but it's fun to watch Don Quigley and the Granite State staff, who is in charge of the wood and clean-up of wood.

As soon as an event ends, a group of about 16 of them come from all angles and get to work. Right now they're replacing the trees in the springboard, so there's an even larger group out there banging hammers and moving wood.

It's amazing how quickly they get everything done.

-- Kyle Carter


12:48
PM PT

Keith Alan, who hosts the BASS Elite Series weigh-ins, works with the X-Games, and is here on site introducing the competitors and keeping the crowd ready to go, made the point that we are putting the logger in blogger.


12:35
PM PT

Wow, I can't describe to you the difference between these top pros and the lumberjacks who competed yesterday. Watching these guys, it's clear they are the best in the world. They are so efficient with each swing.

Not surprisingly, Jason Wynyard won Pool A, but perhaps surprisingly, he won it by almost 12 seconds with a time 44.687. He had two four hit pockets and only took four swings at the backside of his block.

Arden Cogar Jr. came in second with a time of 56.477 followed by Shane Jordan in third and American legend Mel Lentz in fourth.

As he did yesterday, Mike Slingerland had a slow start to the day, finishing last in the pool with a time of 79.885. Former collegiate champion Will Roberts finished sixth with a time of 66.045 seconds.

Pool B, which is the consensus hardest pool, is staring the springboard now.

-- Kyle Carter


12:03
PM PT

Speed Climb was incredibly close and sets up what should be a thrilling final.

Guy German, 56, ended his impressive run this year by falling to Bartow in the opening heat.

The second heat was Cassidy Scheer heads up against Stirling Hart and it came down to the drop. Scheer was first to the top, but a near free-fall from Hart made up the difference on the way down as he took the win by a couple tenths of a second.

We'll have official times soon, but Hart's was in the 11 second class, which is the fastest time put up this week.

-- Kyle Carter


11:51
AM PT

The boom run was as tough as advertised. The only lady to make two clean runs was Alyse Schroeder, who was once again the top qualifier, but it came down to the last race.

Schroeder and Katie Rick were running in the same heat and their last run -- the very last run of the day -- was their two best and qualifying times. We'll have official results soon, but unofficially Schroeder was 11.06 and Rick was 11.81.

Taylor Duffy had a nice run in the early 12 second range on her second attempt, but it wasn't enough. Jenny Atkinson fell on the very last log on both of her runs.

-- Kyle Carter


11:15
AM PT

Looks like it's going to be a waterlogged day in the boom run, thanks to the "double yellow" and a new starting line.

Today's log placement for the four women competing in the semifinals -- defending national champion Alyse Schroeder, Katie Ricks, Taylor Duffy and Jenny Atkinson -- has the two smallest, lightest logs on the six-log course, the yellow logs, back-to-back roughly ¼ of the way down the course. That means that competitors have one log after the start to gain momentum before crossing the two yellows.

That's further complicated by the fact that the automatic timers are malfunctioning, and the heats will be hand-timed. Consequently, the starting line has been moved up one step, giving the competitors fewer strides to pick up speed before they hit the first log, the crucial white log right before the double yellows.

We're going to see a lot of splashdowns on the way down today.

So far in practice, the yellows are winning: all four runners have gotten wet several times. Yesterday's fastest runner, Schroeder, made it dry all the way until her final practice run before falling off.

-- Joel Shangle


10:55
AM PT

Here's what the pools look like today:

Pool A
Branden Sirguy
Will Roberts
Mike Slingerland
Kerry Head
Arden Cogar Jr.
Shane Jordan
Mel Lentz
Jason Wynyard

Pool B
David Bolstad
Justin Beckett
Laurence O'Tool
Dion Lane
Mike Forrester
Matt Cogar
Mitch Hewitt
Robert Ebner

Pool C
Brad Delosa
Dale Ryan
Martin Komarek
Mike Sullivan
Dave Jewett
JP Mercier
Mike Eash
Christophe Geissler


10:45
AM PT

Welcome to Day Two of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Championship presented by Carhartt.

Just a reminder of what we'll be looking at today. Eight guys qualified from yesterday and were plugged into three pools of eight (A, B and C) that will be running today.

All the top dogs are in play today -- there are no more byes or passes.

The top four from each Pool will advance to the 12-man final on Sunday.

It will be times that decide places within each pool, with 8 points going to first place, 7 to second place, and on down the line. No points are awarded for a DQ.

So that's it. You can already feel the difference today with all the tops seeds walking around. Everybody looks a little bigger and a little more serious.

The business begins with Hooked Up! here in 15 minutes and competition will follow shortly. I'll do my best again to keep you up-to-date with what's happening, while trying to give you as much of the atmosphere and analysis as I feel qualified to give. We'll hopefully have a few more voices here today, too.

Rogers Phelps, who runs the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series, just walked up to our tent and backed up what I was just trying to say.

"Tension goes up each day with the competitors," he said. "It's fun to watch."

And we'll be watching soon.

-- Kyle Carter


STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Championship -- Day One qualifying round


7:40
PM PT

That just about does it for today's live blog, but is by no stretch the end of our coverage.

Here's a sampling of what's coming:
Full story on the day's action
Collegiate feature with Scarborough
Boom run and pole climb features
More on Shana Martin's hamstring injury
Behind the scenes notes package
A boatload of photos from the day's action
A full, official results package

And there may be more, depending on who passes out on their computer and when.

Thanks a bunch for following along. We'll be running the same drill right here tomorrow with the best in the world in action.

Have a great night.

-- Kyle Carter


7:31
PM PT

Unfortunately, the hot saw did its usual damage to would be qualifiers, including the aforementioned Waterfield, who DQ'd.

But I guess that's kind of the glass half empty look at things. One man's misfortune is another man's opportunity and nobody took better advantage of the opportunity than Robert Ebner, who was in ninth coming into Hot Saw and won the event.

Contrary to my prediction/promise, the rest of the seven held their own in hot saw and will chop tomorrow.

All the night's results will be coming soon.

-- Kyle Carter


6:58
PM PT

My head is officially spinning with names and numbers. I have 22 sheets of results and standings in front of me and I'm trying to figure out who moved where after the underhand. And I'm pushing my daily word limit, which means you'll get more colorful stuff for better or worse.

Waterfield -- did I mention he was a former college qualifier? -- is on the bubble in eighth. LaSalle followed his first-place in single buck with a last place in underhand and it took him out of the running.

And wow ... the first heat of the hot saw just ran. No matter how loud you think it's going to be, it's always a little louder.

Anyway, here are the results of the underhand:
Jordan 20.15
Eash 21.2
Hewitt 21.757
Moses 23.525
Sirguy 23.743
Cogar 24.315
Slingerland 24.43
Duperre 24.945
Waterfield 25.310
Geissler 25.95
Hallett 26.61
Skirvin 28.405
Ebner 28.84
Starr 29.685
Bischoff 31.425
LaSalle 41.785

Overall standings:
In
Cogar 69
Jordan 60
Sirguy 58
Hewitt 52
Eash 48
Slingerland 47
Geissler 46
Waterfield 41
Out
Ebner 39
Moses 38
Duperre 36
Bischoff 33
Starr 31
LaSalle 31
Hallett 28
Skirvin 22

One more note: After three events David Moses was in dead last in the standings. Now he's three points out of the cut. Easily the biggest move we've seen in the past two events. Moses is also famous for other reasons, which will be in our notes package tonight. That, my friend, is what you call a teaser.


6:39
PM PT

One more heat in the underhand then it's time for the hot saw.

Hot saw is easily the craziest event. If you're not sure what it is, click here. If you want some info on all the events, check out the home of STIHLTIMBERSPORTS.com in the middle column.

I'll post the underhand standings and post the overall here in a minutes, but I promise a large change after hot saw. It's not only crazy because they put chains on snowmobile engines, it's crazy because there always a few DQs that shake up the standings.

They are warming up the saws behind me. In addition to the hearing loss I'm suffering, the smell of cotton candy has been replaced by burning alcohol, or whatever it is they run those things on.

-- Kyle Carter


6:27
PM PT

Just talked to Scarborough about his incredible day and he seemed pretty happy but reserved at the same time.

I'll have a full story on it this evening but he seemed hard to be too excited about winning when he watches the bottom 16 seeded pros compete right behind him and beat his times.

He's come a long way, but said he has a long way to go yet.

And, once again, Scarborough and Green and went one-two, in that order. If it weren't for Green's stock saw, Sunday would be very, very interesting, but as it is, it looks like Scarborough has it all but wrapped up. I'll have the math in tonight's story.

Here were the underhand results:
Scarborough 26.555
Green 26.925
Preston 36.267
White 38.395
Garrie 55.55
Benedict DQ

-- Kyle Carter


6:07
PM PT

Collegiate qualifier/champion from 2009, Adam LaSalle, took the win in the single buck. I hate to keep harping on the college/pro connection, but this format gives us a chance to spotlight those guys and so that's what you get.

Second place was ... none other than Mike Slingerland. After finishing last in springboard, admittedly his worst event, he has been on a tear and has himself inside the 8 who will be moving on.

First, the single buck results:
LaSalle 12.72
Slingerland 13.17
Cogar 13.47
Moses 13.597
Sirguy 13.625
Ebner 13.795
Jordan 14.337
Duperre 14.375
Geissler 14.4
Starr 15.29
Eash 15.335
Bischoff 16.853
Skirvin 16.95
Waterfield 17.3
Hallett 21.125
Hewitt 23.105

As you might defer on your own, that was not a good finish for former collegiate competitor Waterfield. He went from comfortably inside the cut to tied for 8th. Bischoff is paying for his stock saw DQ moved out of the cut. Meanwhile, a victory put LaSalle within sniffing distance of Saturday.

Here are the current overall standings and points:
Cogar 58
Sirguy 46
Jordan 44
Geissler 39
Hewitt 38
Slingerland 37
Ebner 35
Eash 33
Waterfield 33
Bischoff 31
LaSalle 30
Starr 28
Duperre 27
Moses 25
Hallett 22
Skirvin 17

The college competition is over and I'm heading to talk to Scarborough.

-- Kyle Carter


5:51
PM PT

This may be a little (lot) late, but let me explain how these guys are placed.

They compete head-to-head, but all that matters is their time in each event. Take the place off all the competitors and give them the reverse amount of points.

1st= 16
2nd=15
16th=1

No points are awarded for a DQ. Add up the points from the 6 disciplines and the top-8 advance to tomorrow.

The collegiate are setting up their underhand blocks because the pros just finished the single buck. Those results and an update on overall pro standings coming shortly.

-- Kyle Carter


5:43
PM PT

The crowd at the Oregon State Fair is starting to build and the smell of corn dogs and funnel cakes is actually more potent than cut wood and gasoline.

That's a first for me at a STIHL event, but I have a feeling that will change when they break out the hot saws here in a bit. I am happy to report, however, that my keyboard is covered in saw dust per usual.

The atmosphere is pretty awesome around the event.

-- Kyle Carter


5:35
PM PT

As I mentioned earlier, David Green was less than happy after cutting over the line in the stock saw and getting no points. Months, and realistically years, of work gone in a moment.

The top collegiate finisher not only gets an invite to the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS World Finals next week, he gets an invitation to the professional series next year. That's really what these guys are competing for, and Green, a scratch golfer who almost qualified for the U.S. Open in 2008, has made it clear this is what he wants to do in the future.

Since the stock saw, he has put together back-to-back second place runs, finishing only behind Scarborough in both the standing block and the single buck.

He told Phelps he needed to pull himself together and put up a nice showing so he'd be considered as a general invite for the professional series. He's definitely making a case.

-- Kyle Carter


5:24
PM PT

Logan Scarborough of North Carolina State continued his dominance of the college competition by winning the single buck with a time of 15.443. And that could have been better because he got caught up toward the end of the cut.

It's interesting to see him do so well. He was a wildcard selection to the collegiate championship last year and got beat up a little bit. He said it showed him exactly what it takes to compete at this level and he spent the next year training with pro Mike Slingerland and his son, who is also going pro, Matt Slingerland.

And you can tell. Scarborough has always had the size, but the improvement in technique has made all the difference this year. You should see the excitement in Roger Phelps eyes when he talks about it. Phelps runs the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS series and had someone just like Scarborough in mind when he created the collegiate series five years ago. He hoped to grow an American crop of young lumberjacks and it seems to be working.

The southeast region, which is typically the weakest of the five collegiate, is being represented well.

Here are the full single buck results:
Scarborough 15.443
Green 16.683
Preston 17.65
White 18.84
Benedict 19.21
Garrie 29.175

More on Green in a moment.

-- Kyle Carter


4:15
PM PT

Oh so much to tell.

We're halfway through the competition and the standings are starting to work themselves out. Again, only the top 8 pros will continue in the competition. The bottom 8 are finished for the year.

There are a couple early couple surprises. The first being that Mike Slingerland, a guy who had a saw off this morning to see if he could get a bye today (scroll down to get that story) is currently out of the cut.

Here are the eight guys in at the moment, in order from top to bottom:
Cogar
Hewitt
Sirguy
Jordan
Geissler
Waterfield
Eash
Bischoff

Bischoff is in the cut despite being DQ'd in the stock saw, which is pretty amazing.

Here are the eight guys out at the moment, in order from top to bottom:
Ebner
Slingerland
Starr
Hallett
Duperre
LaSalle
Skirvin
Moses

They're starting the event they call the misery whip -- the single buck -- right now. There is a lot of moving yet to be done.

-- Kyle Carter


5:15
PM PT

I also wanted to point out that this blog is just a vehicle for closer to instant gratification. We have three reporters and two photographers on the ground all day today that will deliver a mountain of content to the front of STIHLTIMBERSPORTS.com and ESPNOutdoors.com when the competition ends this evening.

Also, I'm only getting waves of Internet out here on-site so if there is a long break between entries, it's usually because I am waiting for the Internet gods to throw me a bone and let me post.

So be sure and scroll down too. A lot of times I have to post two or three entries at a time. Also, if you have any questions, you can ask them in comments section and I'll do my best to find and post the answer.

-- Kyle Carter


4:40
PM PT

Standing block was a well-executed, close competition for the college guys. Logan Scarborough edged out David Green (they were in the same heat, too) to take the top spot, but as I explained earlier, that could change.

Here were the full results:
Scarborough 34.145
Green 35.835
Preston 37.49
Benedict 37.81
Garrie 47.785
White 49.06

I should point out here that these results -- and all the results posted on this blog -- are unofficial, if for no other reason than they are being typed in by hand.

So, here again, I make the disclaimer that these can change because 6 points now could mean 5 on Sunday and vice versa, but if things were to stay the same, Scarborough and Preston would be tied for the championship with 10 points.

-- Kyle Carter


4:18
PM PT

Here are the pro stock saw results:

Ebner 10.945
Cogar 11.213
Slingerland 11.3
Eash 11.317
Hallett 11.51
Sirguy 11.52
Duperre 11.537
Geissler 11.547
Waterfield 11.62
Hewitt 11.627
Skirvin 11.733
Jordan 11.817
LaSalle 11.995
Moses 12.923
Starr 16.405
Bischoff DQ

Ebner, who last in the springboard, and Slingerland, who was second to last, started their comeback in the stock saw.

The collegiates are doing standing block now.


4:15
PM PT

Jenny Atkinson was just given a pink STIHL chainsaw by the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS staff in honor of her fight against breast cancer this past year. She was shocked and it was a special moment. We're hoping have some video of the event uploaded to timber cam sometime soon. You can read her fully story here.

-- Kyle Carter


3:45
PM PT

The stock saw is easily the most even event. Every heat that doesn't include a DQ is neck and neck.

Speaking of DQs, I'll have complete pro results here in a few minutes, but springboard's second place lumberjack Bill Bischoff after just barely missing a full cookie on his first cut and was DQ'd after a long review.

There are six events to make up ground, but it's not easy to do.

Matt Cogar is leading the stock saw right now 11.21 with a couple heats to go. Slingerland is also making a move to get back into the running. Full results to come.


-- Kyle Carter

3:19
PM PT

It's hard to watch months of work disappear in 12 seconds, but that's what just happened to David Green. There's just something about the stock saw. It's so easy it's difficult -- like a 3 foot putt in golf.

Green was in the second heat and used more than his allotted 4 inches of wood, giving him a DQ and zero points. He put his hands on his head in disbelief and walked hastily back stage with a facial expression that mixed disappointment with disbelief.

Close to the same happened to Tim Benedict, but he went too thin and didn't cut a full cookie. He re-cut and posted a time of 25.513.

Jon Preston continued the Northeast domination with a top time of 11.605.

Here are the full results:
Preston 11.605
Garrie 11.615
Scarborough 12.315
White 13.27
Benedict 25.513
Green DQ

The college format is a little different than the pros. It still follows the points system, with the winner getting 6 points, sixth place 1 point and everything in between (there are no points awarded for a DQ). After competition today, spots 2 through 6 in each discipline will be set, but the top two times will race again, head-to-head on Sunday to decide spots 1 and 2. So if you win a discipline today, it doesn't mean you won it for the event.

The pros are starting the stock saw now.

-- Kyle Carter


2:56
PM PT

We're starting the stock saw competition, which means we're starting the college competition as well. They will go before the pros in four of disciplines today: stock saw, underhand, standing block and single buck.

-- Kyle Carter


2:52
PM PT

The results of the springboard chop:

Hewitt 46.117 seconds
Bischoff 58.567
Cogar (Matthew) 63.23
Jordan 64.02
Geissler 65.11
Sirguy 65.45
Starr 65.87
Waterfield 67.567
Moses 69.31
LaSalle 71.125
Eash 73.57
Skirvin 74.42
Hallett 76.45
Duperre 81.45
Slingerland 83.475
Ebner 86.003

Remember the top eight after six event will qualify for tomorrow's action.


2:33
PM PT

We're getting close to the end of the springboard.

It's fun to watch all the top-seeded competitors stand back toward the TV tent and watch the competition. Sometimes they nod with approval, sometimes they shake their head in disgust, but you can always count on at least one of them swinging their arm like as ax as they explained what they liked or didn't like.

They also spend a lot of time looking at the chopped wood that's put beside the Dodge Ram truck to the left of the stage. They can learn more from a cut of wood than you would ever imagine.

There's definitely competition between these guys but there is a lot of camaraderie as well. They are all linked by a love of logging and that's not lost on any of them.

-- Kyle Carter


2:20
PM PT

Everybody working this event is wearing blue shirts, and it's fun to watch them come out of every hole and safe place when a heat is over to do a number of things: clean up wood, pull off the old block, put on a new block, fix cameras, get times, etc.

I counted 16 blue shirts scurrying around after last heat and all the things I just described and more takes about three minutes. It looks like the pit crew at a NASCAR event.

-- Kyle Carter


2:10
PM PT

I don't have the official times yet, but it looks like LaSalle's time is holding up in fourth at the moment, with eight done and eight to go.

You don't have to be an expert, which I am definitely not, to look at these guy's blocks when they're done with a cut and see how they did. The guys with fast times will always have a smooth line running up at an angle on the severed log. The guys who struggled – their logs look like a staircase. Easier said than done, of course.

It's amazing to think that these are the bottom 16 seeds at this event. You forget how incredible some of these guys are. They make the wood look like butter.

-- Kyle Carter


1:50
PM PT

Now it's time for the lumberjacks.

The springboard chop threw us a loop in the very first heat. Collegiate qualifier from last year Adam LaSalle went head-to-head with and beat today's top seed (17th overall), Mike Slingerland.

It's just one heat and these guys are chopping for time, not head-to-head victories, but it's certainly an early win for the up-and-comers and the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Collegiate Series presented by Carhartt.


1:42
PM PT

Here is how the pole climb went down:

Brian Bartow posted the fastest time of the day with a time 12.82 seconds, beating Bryce Smith.

Guy German edged out Wade Stewart, Cassidy Scheer beat Darren Hudson and Stirling Hart beat Andrew Mattison.


1:35
PM PT

The boom run and speed climb are using different formats this year, so I need to clarify something from earlier in the blog.

The boom runners did not get seeds. They decided instead to take two runs apiece in the quarterfinals, take the best time of the two, and have the top four times advance to the semifinals.

The speed climbers are sticking with the head to head, bracket style event. They just finished competition and I'll have those results in a few minutes, but I know Guy German was the only climber to shave time off of his qualifying round.

-- Kyle Carter


1:23
PM PT

Alyse Schroeder easily had the best time in the quarterfinals of the boom run, and was actually the only runner with two clean passes across the logs.

Also qualifying were Jenny Atkinson, Taylor Duffy and Katie Rick. Shana Martin, who is always a favorite coming into an event, suffered a leg injury during warm-ups and ran through obvious pain.

-- Kyle Carter


1:02
PM PT

Boom Run action is underway, with eight ladies running for four spots in the semi-finals.

It's technically the first official action on-site but earlier this morning Jean-Pierre Mercier competed against Mike Slingerland in a stock saw saw-off.

The two were tied for the 16th seed coming in -- only the bottom 16 seeds will compete today -- so they had to figure out who would chop today and who would get a bye. It was timed separately, not head-to-head.

Mercier was first and put together a nice time, although he said he was waiting to hear the word "go" (instead of the gunshot that actually starts the event), so he was a little late starting.

Slingerland was next, but cut out on the way down and officially became the 17th seed, so he'll compete later today.

-- Kyle Carter


11:01
AM PT

We're not able to stream the entire event live this year, but we're going to do our best to keep you up to date with what's happening on the grounds at the Oregon State Fair all day long.

Today is more of a qualifying round to put eight into tomorrow's three-heat action at the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Championship presented by Carhartt. A lot of the former college qualifiers will be going today, so it will be interesting to see if they can advance against competition from around the world.

The boom runners and speed climbers are running/climbing for seeds right now. They'll be running the quarter finals today.

The fair opens today and you can tell. The smell of corn dogs and funnel cakes is floating around.

Competition officially begins at noon local (PT) time, but there was a big saw-off this morning. I'll have a note on that here in a bit.

-- Kyle Carter