Student third in national lumberjack competition

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- It's not necessary to be a lumberjack to pursue a career in forestry, Penn State senior Timothy Benedict will tell you, but it doesn't hurt either.

The senior Forest Science major (with a Forest Management option) in the University's College of Agricultural Sciences, placed third in the Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Event Aug. 28 in Salem, Ore. -- one of just six students who qualified for the finals of the lumberjack competition.

Daniel Jones, of Haywood Community College in North Carolina, captured the title. Cal Poly's Walt Page was second.

A native of Pittsfield, Pa., Benedict in 2010 also competed in the event, which is part of the Oregon State Fair. He earned an associate's degree in Forest Technology at Penn State Mont Alto in May 2010 and re-enrolled for the fall semester at the University Park campus to pursue his bachelor's degree.

The six collegiate lumberjacks faced off across four professional lumberjack disciplines -- single buck, standing block chop, stock saw and underhand chop -- to determine the nation's collegiate champion.

The collegiate champion earns an automatic spot in the 2012 Stihl Timbersports Professional Series, which is televised regularly by ESPN. More than 60 colleges and universities from across the nation competed in the 2011 Collegiate Series.

"I started participating in lumberjack sports in my freshman year of college when I joined the team at Penn State Mont Alto," said Benedict, a 6-foot-1-inch 225-pounder who hopes to work as a forester with a small sawmill after graduation. "I have been hooked ever since."

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Last Updated August 30, 2011