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Cougars & Mustangs 

Timber! The top lumberjacks from the region will be sharpening their axes and lacing up their Xtratuff’s as they assemble at the Cal Poly campus to take part in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series Western Professional Qualifier. To be aired on ESPN2 on Sunday, Dec. 11, the event displays chopping and sawing skills so dazzling that even we greenies will be able to appreciate their prowess.

Billed as the “Original Extreme Sport,” the daring displays of historic logging techniques featured in TIMBERSPORTS are viewed by more than 20 million fans scattered over 62 countries each year.

Cal Poly will serve as the host campus for the Western Region for the second straight year. The professional lumberjacks will be judged on their competency in categories such as hot saw, springboard chop, single buck, and underhand chop. The four top loggers will then be selected to take part in the U.S. Championship.

The four top pros from last year—who, not so surprisingly, came from the evergreen state of Washington and lush Oregon—went on to represent the West in the inaugural U.S. relay competition, where they won first place.

The games test not only physical ability, but also endurance, coordination, and speed. Crowds have been drawn to the events to see the athleticism on display, as well as for the entertainment value. In Ketchikan, Arkansas, tourists flock to the summertime favorite Lumberjack Show to shout “Yo Hooo!” along with the cheeky contestants.

Mel “King of the Lumberjacks” Lentz, who’s already qualified for the championship, is one such example. Having begun his life as a lumberjack at age 11, Lentz answered “all” for his strongest TIMBERSPORT discipline. Others, like Logan Scarborough, who recently turned 23, may not have the years, but as an avid weight lifter and with a career as a forestry technician, he has the skills and brawn to put Paul Bunyan to shame.

Brad Sorgen, producer of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series, spoke of the show’s longevity and attractiveness to viewers: “As one of ESPN’s longest running programs, we value our relationship and look forward to airing the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series on the ESPN stage for the 26th season. Being able to showcase our sport on a national platform enables us to recognize the intensity of the competition and talent of our professional athletes.”

The games will be featured on ESPN2 at 10:30 a.m. Or you can head on over to Cal Poly and check out their chops in person.

Intern Jason Keedy compiled this week’s Cougars and Mustangs. Send your collegiate news to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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