The Cal Poly logging team dominated at the Association of Western Forestry Clubs (AWFC) competition in April, taking home the first place title and nabbing four of six spots for top male competitors.
Northern Arizona University hosted the competition which consisted of more than 20 logging events, including chopping, sawing, log rolling and wood and plant identification. Cal Poly performed best in the men’s single buck, in which one person cuts through a log with a crosscut saw as fast as possible. The top three spots went to Cal Poly competitors. The team also won first place in dendrology, traverse and wood identification events.
Will Kraemer, a bioresource and agricultural engineering sophomore and president of the logging team, was named Bull of the Woods for earning the highest point totals of all male competitors. Forestry and natural resources seniors Xander Winter and Chris Daunt placed second and third for top male competitors, respectively. The top three female competitors for Cal Poly were forestry and natural resources seniors Alicia Streetman and Vanessa Shevlin and liberal studies senior Emma Stringer.
Kraemer said that while he didn’t expect to win Bull of the Woods, he was satisfied knowing training throughout the quarter paid off.
“What I focused on was all the little techniques. I would go out to the logging unit probably four times a week,” Kraemer said. “I put a lot of time into chopping events, because that’s where you have to combine both perfect technique with strength to be able to hit the exact spot and work your way up the block.”
Biological sciences sophomore and team Secretary Kyle Rozell said the logging team doesn’t have a coach or a set practice schedule other than its weekly Friday practices. To improve their skills, he said, loggers must train on their own time.
“There’s no regimented training plan at all on the logging team,” Rozell said. “Some people join the logging team and they do a few events and just hang out mostly. But you get out what you put in.”
Rozell said he hopes the team can perform just as well next year, when Cal Poly will host the AWFC competition.
“I’m just hoping that next year when we’re hosting it, we can put on as good of a show,” Rozell said. “We are losing a lot of seniors this year who clearly made an impact in our victory this year, but we’ve got a lot of up-and-coming people too.”
Despite AWFC being a competition, Kraemer said the inclusive, fun environment the event fosters is the best part about it.
“The atmosphere at the competitions — it’s kind of unlike any other sporting events I’ve been to,” Kraemer said. “Everyone hangs out and intermingles and talks and camps together … there’s no real animosity going on. It’s just everyone is just having a good time.”