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Mel Lentz and Laurence O’Toole compete in the underhand chopping competition Sunday in the Stihl Timbersports Series at Point Mallard Park.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Mel Lentz and Laurence O’Toole compete in the underhand chopping competition Sunday in the Stihl Timbersports Series at Point Mallard Park.

Rain doesn’t deter Timbersports fans

By Tiffeny Hurtado
thurtado@decaturdaily.com · 340-2440

Fans of the Stihl Timbersports Series used their umbrellas to stay dry, not for shade, as heavy rain briefly delayed the competition Sunday.

The top eight lumberjacks who will head to the Timbersports championship in Stillwater, Minn., were identified on the second and final day as fans came out in spite of heat and then rain.

“We were here all day, and it’s been fun,” said Tammy Pressnell of Elkmont.

She and her family were camping at Point Mallard Campground, and because they remembered hearing about Timbersports last year, they decided to come out and see the competition.

“When it started raining, we walked back to our camper, but once it stopped we came back because we wanted to see who would win,” she said.

The Stihl crew was surprised how many fans stayed for the whole competition in spite of the 11/2-hour rain delay.

“These are the best fans I’ve ever seen,” said Todd McKeating, Stihl event-marketing specialist.

The die-hard fans impressed many of the crew, who got drenched themselves. The storm upended the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s mist tent and left almost everyone soaked and muddy.

“We were shocked to see so many back after that storm,” said Terry Kelley, Stihl’s vice president of public relations and corporate communications. “... As soon as it stopped, the stands filled up again.”

The rain not only helped cool off the fans and crew, but the choppers and sawyers also got a break and came back to the competition rested.

“The rain came during the stock saw event, and when we got started again, we got some really great times during the standing block chop,” he said.

Fans were rewarded for their dedication with giveaways including hats, T-shirts and plastic foam Stihl axes.

One fan won an autographed ax from Sunday’s overall competition winner, David Bolstad.

ESPN videotaped Decatur’s Stihl Timbersports Series competition Saturday and Sunday. It will air Dec. 2, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.; Dec. 9, noon to 12:30 p.m.; Dec. 21, 2 to 3 p.m.; and Dec. 24, 3 to 3:30 p.m.

Stihl, the world’s largest seller of chain saws, has sponsored the series since 1985, and only the world’s best are allowed to compete in the lumber sports competition.

Local winners

Stihl Timbersports Series competitors from Decatur who will advance to the finals in Stillwater, Minn.:

Choppers and Sawyers

Pool A: Dale Ryan, Jason Wynyard, Justin Beckett and Carson Bosworth

Pool B: David Bolstad, Dion Lane, Brad DeLosa and Arden Cogar Jr.

Boom Runners

Jenny Atkinson, Mandy Erdmann, Katie Rick, Lizzie Hoeschler, Taylor Duffy, Tanya Fischer, Greta Ingbretson and Olivia Judd

Speed Climbers

Cassidy Scheer, Derek Knutson, Guy German, Joel Kapp, Chris Hughes, Andrew Mattison, William LaValley and Burlin Nickerson

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