55th Annual Woodsman Competition

McGill’s MacDonald Campus plays host to annual event
By Jim Morrison

Watson field, located on McGill University’s MacDonald Campus welcomed several hundred visitors this past Saturday, as it played host to the 55th Annual Woodsman Competition.

Twenty teams of lumberjacks, and jills, from eight universities in Eastern Canada and the United States, tested their determination in a variety of woodsman events.

Over 100 students competed in measures such as axe throwing, log rolling, pole climbing, water boil, snowshoe races, and wood chopping, vying for individual, doubles and team honours.

“I’ve been on the McGill woodsmen team for four years and we’ve never had such a beautiful, warm day for our competition. There was a lot of pressure on our team (McGill women’s 1) to perform well since we are currently ranked first in the Canadian Intercollegiate Lumberjacking Association, (CILA). We ended up winning first overall. I also won my snowshoe race for the fourth year in a row. I am very proud of how far my team and I have come. We are contending in our last competition in two weeks in Nova Scotia where we hope to take home the title of this year’s league champions,” Evelyn Levac told The Suburban.

“The competition was a great success. It takes over 30 volunteer judges and timers to run the events, and all meals are planned and prepared by our own Food Science and Nutrition students at Mac. It takes many weeks of preparation to set up and stock the wood used for the competition. Our Mac teams do a great job getting it all organized under the careful watch of coach John Watson.

Watson is retiring this year, so it was even more special for him to see his Women’s 1 team take top honors at their home competition. Watson has been a dedicated coach for over 35 years (since 1978) and he’s been a solid contributor to the development of the woodsmen teams on campus, as well as with (CILA). Big shoes to fill, but the University is committed to keeping the tradition going” said Lee Bieber, Athletics and Recreation, McGill University, MacDonald College.

“Many of the judges at the event are former MacDonald woodsmen, which effectively carries on our rich tradition in logger sports,” said Jill Barker, assistant director, Athletics, and Recreation, McGill University.

The events are to showcase Canada’s rich history in forestry, and celebrated by a new generation of lumberjacks.

Further information on MacDonald Campus can be viewed at www.mcgill.ca/macdonald
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