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Rick Russell Woodsmen Competition comes to Bible Hill


Event draws athletes from as far away as Wales - but the home team are this year's champions

Grit. Strength. Sweat.

Melissa Jenkins took mighty swings of the axe in the vertical woodcutting competition as her University of New Brunswick teammates cheered her on, adrenaline surging at the 2019 Rick Russell Woodsmen Competition hosted by Dal AC, who went on to win the meet overall.

“Overall, we didn’t do as good as we would have liked but we did some personal bests so that’s amazing,” said Jenkins. “It’s always really nerve-racking to start with, but once you get doing it you feel really powerful and strong, it’s invigorating.”

When not hacking at chunks of wood, Jenkins is studying two degrees in environmental management and forestry at the UNB.

All told, Bible Hill is a far cry from the gently rolling hills of Wales and the old town of Usk, where she spent the first 11 years of her life before immigrating to Canada with her family.

“I stuck around after I graduated High School,” said Jenkins. “My mom and my siblings are still here...it’s interesting. I actually want to do my master’s in Sweden.”

Earlier Saturday, the Truro News caught up with Ontarian James Bjerno, who competed in the super swede cutting competition.

Using a handsaw, Bjerno strained and sweated as he raced to cut several inches off a super swede wooden block, cheered on by his Fleming College teammates.

“My sister was in the school before me and so she gave me an introduction to logger sports and just through that I realized how unique this sport was and I had to give it a go,” said Bjerno, who is studying a fish and wildlife program. “Honestly this is some of the best memories of my life right now.”

The Dal AC athletes did not disappoint either, with final year student Kyle Corsten winning his pole-climbing competition.

Pole-climbing is simple, once athletes get the hang of it: they must scramble up a wooden pole tied to a safety rope, ring a bell at the top, then shimmy back down again.

“I’m just really happy to have closed out on a win,” said Corsten. “It’s really important to me.”

The 2019 Rick Russell Woodsmen Competition boasted a total of 20 teams from Dal AC, the University of New Brunswick, the Maritime College of Forest Technology, Montreal’s McGill, Fleming in Ontario and Colby in Maine.

Participants competed in sawing, chopping, axe throw, pulp toss, pole climbing, quarter split log decking and water boil events.

CANADIAN INTERCOLLEGIAL LUMBERJACKING ASSOCIATION RESULTS - WOMEN'S TEAMS' SCORES:

Dal AC Women's 1: 1,098 

Dal AC Women's 2: 694.13

Fleming Women's 1: 817.60

Fleming Women's 2: 519.82

McGill Women's 1: 1053.23

McGill Women's 2: 837.88

UNB Women's 1: 660.42

CANADIAN INTERCOLLEGIAL LUMBERJACKING ASSOCIATION RESULTS - MEN'S TEAMS' SCORES

Dal AC Men's 1: 1,224.82 

Dal AC Men's 2: 892.61

Fleming Men's 1: 883.83

Fleming Men's 2: 790.66

MCFT Men's 1: 975.53

McGill Men's 1: 849.90

McGill Men's 2: 753.92

UNB Men's 1: 958.65

UNB Men's 2: 721.99

RICK RUSSELL COMPETITION RESULTS - WOMEN'S TEAMS' SCORES

Dal AC Women's 1: 1,188

McGill Women's 1: 1,113

McGill Women's 2: 888

Fleming Women's 1: 868

MCFT Women's 1: 791

Dal AC Women's 2: 774

UNB Women's 1: 720

Colby Women's 1: 656

SSFC Women's 2: 560

RICK RUSSELL COMPETITION RESULTS - MEN'S TEAMS' SCORES

Dal AC Men's 1: 1,305 

MCFT Men's 1: 1,036

UNB Men's 1: 1,009

Dal AC Men's 2: 993

SSFC Men's 1: 924

McGill Men's 1: 900

SSFC Men's 2: 851

McGill Men's 2: 824

UNB Men's 2: 762

Colby Men's 1: 749

MCFT Men's 2: 682

CANADIAN INTERCOLLEGIAL LUMBERJACKING ASSOCIATION - MEN'S MVP WITH SCORES

Kyle Corsten (Dal AC): 200 

Brad Constantine (UNB): 177.32

Wyatt Brochert (Fleming): 165.18

Thomas Klaassen (McGill): 159.93

CANADIAN INTERCOLLEGIAL LUMBERJACKING ASSOCIATION - WOMEN'S MVP WITH SCORES

Rachael Bekkers (Dal AC): 200 

Alice Viala (McGill): 200

Naomi Jones (Fleming): 132.01

Isabelle Gillespie: 63.20

ECHO CHALLENGE RESULTS - MEN (TOTAL POINTS FOR UNDERHAND SINGLE BUCK AND CHAINSAW)

Mike Macdonald (Dal AC): 11

Matthew Rayner (Fleming): 9

Ryan Sanford (MCFT): 9

Brad Constantine (UNB): 7

Thomas Klaassen (McGill): 6

ECHO CHALLENGE RESULTS - WOMEN MEN (TOTAL POINTS FOR UNDERHAND SINGLE BUCK AND CHAINSAW)

Elisha Jones (Fleming): 14

Meghan Wynn (Dal AC): 10

Isabelle Gillespie (UNB): 9

Danielle Duquette (McGill): 7

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