STIHL TIMBERSPORTS speed climb semifinals


Derek Knutson vs. Cassidy Scheer

Derek Knutson went 60 feet up in about 9 seconds and came back down in about 2 to win the first speed climb semifinal by half-a-second over Cassidy Scheer.

The only problem was that Knutson hit a crease in the mat that is placed below the climbers to cushion falls that have been clocked at 45 mph, leaving only a steel platform to meet his tail end.

Knutson rolled around in pain after landing but eventually walked away.

"I'm feeling like I've got a pretty bad bruise going on back there, but I don't think it will affect me," Knutson said. "Well … I'm going to try and not let it affect me."

Brian Bartow vs. Stirling Hart

In the other semifinal, Brian Bartow beat Stirling Hart to the top of the pole by half-a-second and added to that lead on his way down. His final time of 11.79 seconds was .18 seconds behind Knustson's final, but it was good enough to beat Hart.

"The climb felt alright," Bartow said. "It was a little sluggish on the way up, but it felt good coming down."

Hart surprised the top-seeded Bartow in the TIMBERSPORTS competition in Lehi, Utah, and Bartow wasn't about to let it happen again.

"He snuck up on me in Lehi, but I was ready for him this time," Bartow said.

Bartow will face Knutson in the final on Sunday to determine the 2008 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS speed climb U.S. champion.