October 31, 2007
Forestry Club wins Midwest Foresters Conclave
CARBONDALE, Ill. — For the 16th year straight, Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Forestry Club took the trophy at the Midwest Foresters Conclave, held this year Oct. 6 in Madrid, Iowa. The annual competition features such events as match splitting, chain throwing and tobacco spitting as well as the more standard forestry skills of speed chopping, tree identification and not getting lost in the woods.
Hosted by Iowa State University, the conclave also drew teams from Michigan Technological University, Purdue University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Missouri. SIUC's 28-member team scored 159 points, followed by Iowa with 105 and Mizzou with 102.
"Mizzou has been our biggest rival for 20 years, and historically they're the runner-up, but this year, Iowa beat them — we were kind of happy about that!" said SIUC club president Meredith L. Mendola, a senior in forestry from Elmhurst.
The team swept the one-man bucksaw event, with Tyler H. Cox of Virginia winning first, Cory S. Slightom of Fillmore taking second and Caleb C. Crocker of Scheller coming in third. The team also took two of the three places in the men's log roll, the women's bucksaw and the men's underhand chop events. It ended the competition with a total of eight first-place finishes, including the top slot in the women's underhand speed chop won by newcomer Naomi E. Lewis, a sophomore in forestry from Harrisburg, who finished a full minute ahead of her closest competitor.
In addition, Benjamin J. Vandermyde of Morrison won a combination chain saw/underhand chop/one-man bucksaw competition sponsored by Stihl, a power tool manufacturer. He will compete with other regional Stihl winners next summer in a national contest to be broadcast by ESPNU.
As conclave winners, the team took home a new chain saw and a new bucksaw.
"And we got to keep our trophy," Mendola said. "We have had it 15 years, and we didn't want to give it up."
SIUC students taking part in this year's conclave (listed by hometown) include:
Downers Grove: Matthew J. Pilz, a junior in forestry, who placed second in the greased pole climb.
Elk Grove Village: Lauren M. Muchowicz, a junior in forestry, who placed first in women's bolt throw and second in women's pulp toss and in women's log roll.
Fillmore: Cory S. Slightom, a senior in forestry, who placed second in wood identification, one-man bucksaw, two-man bucksaw and in the greased pole climb.
Mason City: Justin D. Dodson, a graduate student in forestry, who placed first in the tobacco spit, second in men's pulp toss and in men's log roll and third in Jack & Jill log roll.
McHenry: Barry W. Tye, a senior in forestry, who placed first in match split and in traverse.
Morrison: Benjamin J. Vandermyde, a senior in forestry, who placed first in men's log roll and in men's underhand chop and second in two-man bucksaw.
Jodi M. Vandermyde, a senior in zoology, who placed third in women's bucksaw and in Jack & Jill log roll.
Palmyra: Philip R. Cox, a sophomore in forestry, who placed second in men's pulp toss.
Pecatonica: Sherri L. Wurtzel, a junior in forestry, who placed second in women's log roll.
Peoria: Joseph A. Chambers, a senior in aviation management, who placed second in men's pulp toss and in men's log roll.
Scheller: Caleb C. Crocker, a junior in forestry, who placed second in the greased pole climb and third in one-man bucksaw and Jack & Jill bucksaw.
Virginia: Tyler H. Cox, a senior in forestry, who placed first if men's log roll and in one-man bucksaw and third in men's underhand chop.