The chips will be flying at the 35th Annual Rick Russell Woodsmen Competition this weekend as the men's and women's Woodsmen Rams compete for the prestigious Canadian Intercollegiate Lumberjacking Association championship on February 8.
The Agricultural Campus has a long winning history in woodsmen sports. Each February, the Agricultural Campus hosts the final Canadian Intercollegiate Lumberjacking Association (CILA) competition in Truro. More than 20 teams from Canada and the northeastern United States compete for one of the most prestigious titles in Canadian University Lumberjacking.
The CILA was formed in 1997 by four lumberjacking colleges with the purpose of providing a venue for all members to participate in a series of competitions. With the exception of a few select events, most rules and events are identical at all competitions, allowing the teams to tally points over the season and the opportunity of becoming the CILA Champions.
There are six schools currently registered as CILA members including Algonquin College, Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, Maritime College of Forest Technology, McGill University, Sir Sandford Fleming College and the University of New Brunswick.
Making the cut
The DAL AC Men’s and Women’s Woodsmen teams took to the road for their first winter term competition recently and did not disappoint. Both “A” teams set the pace with first-place victories, continuing their dominance heading into the final competition. The Women’s “B” Team also managed to capture an event win taking the snowshoe event.
Now, they set their sights on the 35th Rick Russell Woodsmen Competition, which takes place at the MacMillan Show Centre on Saturday, February 8 beginning at 9:00 a.m. The opening cut will see Dean David Gray and Barry Russell (Rick Russell’s brother) cut the first cookie with alumnus Ryan Cameron acting as head judge.
Student athletes Marissa Albright and Zach Lloyd have put months of planning into the event at which both teams (Woodsmen A and B) hope to capture the title on home turf. More than 15 woodsmen alumni will return to campus to help with the event including acting as judges, timers and more.
“It’s different than other competition,” explained Marissa, a third-year Animal Science student. “The atmosphere, you’re riding on a high!”
Marissa, from Burtts Corner, NB is studying Animal Science and has been playing since her first year and will compete in Standing Block and Pole Climb. Zach, from Sackville, NB, in his second year of Landscape Architecture, will compete in super swede and quarter split.
A team effort
Both co-chairs are very appreciative of all sponsors who continue to support the student athletes on campus year-after-year.
“It takes a lot to host an event like this,” said Zach. “It’s like a professional competition. Woodsmen is so different from any other sport. Its very exciting!”
Athletes will compete in events such as water boil, ax throw, vertical chop and much more. For more information, visit the event website.
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