Forest science student wins national lumberjack championship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A senior forest science major in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences won the STIHL Collegiate Timbersports Championship, held June 1-3 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

This year marked the third consecutive year that Tim Benedict, of Pittsfield, Pa., competed in the national finals against five other regional qualifiers in four events: the chainsaw competition, the single buck event, the underhand chop and the standing block chop.

Universities fielding woodsmen's teams send their best competitors to regional qualifying contests, and each of the regions sends its winner to the national competition.

Benedict's best event is the underhand chop, and his time at this year's championship turned out to be his personal best. "I chopped through a 13-inch log in 26 seconds," he said. "My time was only a couple seconds behind the professional lumberjacks' times."

He will need to record times equivalent to the pros because his reward for winning the collegiate national championship is that he will travel with the U.S. Lumberjack Team to Norway in September to compete in the world championships. Benedict's win also has earned him a spot on the STIHL Timbersports Professional Tour next spring.

The lumberjack sports have become a big part of his life. "I first got involved in Timbersports four years ago while I was a student at Penn State Mont Alto," Benedict said. "I thought it would be cool, so I tried out for the team and have been hooked ever since."

Benedict trains four days a week, chopping and sawing. "It takes years to perfect these events, and you have to dedicate a lot of time and energy," he said. "I think I will be ready to compete with the pros."
 

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Last Updated June 12, 2012