Woodsmen victorious in Mud Meet at home

At the Colby Woodsmen’s field, the annual Mud Meet kicked off this past Saturday to a sizeable home crowd. President Greene and new Athletic Director Tim Wheaton were present at the opening ceremonies to welcome the crowd and help cut the first log.The meet, which attracts woodsmen teams from across the Northeast and Canada, was a resounding success for the Mules, as the Woodsmen put in a strong performance to place first at home.

The meet, which has been contested annually since 2007, is notable for its unusual competition format: rather than having each team field separate men’s and women’s sides, the meet is run in a “Jack and Jill” format, where each school fields teams of three men and three women. The groups compete in a variety of events, each derived from a specific forestry skill.

The meet began bright and early with the single buck, a timed competition in which one member from each team uses a long saw to attempt to be the first to slice through a log. University of Maine won the event with a time of 22.66 seconds, taking an early lead, with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry taking a close second. 

Colby, however, gained momentum as the day continued, putting in a number of strong performances to win the competition. The Mules placed first in dry land log birling, an event which involves competitors trying to keep their balance on a rolling log. The Mules also came first in the doubles bow saw event, in which a team of two tries to cut a log as fast as possible, completing the task in only 66.50 seconds.

The Mules also put on a strong display in one of the meet’s signature events, the packboard. This event involves woodsmen gathering various survival items, such as an axe, flint, and other supplies before running a certain distance with the pack and building a fire, all in the fastest possible time. Colby’s A team placed first in this event, finishing with an impressive time of seven minutes and 52 seconds.

The strong performances were not limited to Colby’s first team, as the Woodsmen’s B team put in a number of impressive displays, including an upset to place first in the chain throw, an event which, decievingly, does not involve throwing anything, but rather has woodsmen attempting to coil a chain, with points awarded for speed and neatness. The Colby Woodsmen second team placed fought their way to first in this event, putting on an impressive demonstration of a highly specialized skill.

The meet also included a number of achievements for various teams, most notably in the disc stack, an event where competitors cut a vertical log into as many “cookies” as possible in a limited amount of time, with penalties given if any of the disks fall. Three high scores were made in the event, with SUNY ESF coming in first with 19 successful cuts. Most impressively, however, was the showing by the UConn alumni team. Competing in the un-scored alumni category, the team successfully cut 25 discs, an outstanding score.

After a top showing at this year’s Mud Meet, the Woodsmen continue to look ahead to a busy spring schedule, most notably with the Dartmouth Spring meet in two weeks’ time. A strong performance at the meet would mean entry for the Colby Woodsmen into the Stihl Northeastern Timbersports competition, the highest level of collegiate and professional competition in the country. With this in mind, the woodsmen are looking to continue the impressive performances that have characterized their season thus far.

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