NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 7, 2015) - The STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series, presented by Ram Trucks, today announced the six collegiate athletes who will compete in the U.S. Collegiate Championship, which will take place at Central Park in New York City on Saturday, June 20. Five competitors earned their championship bids by winning their respective regional collegiate qualifiers, and one holds the wild card position. Those five athletes include Three Rivers Community College’s Aaron Hovis (Midwest Collegiate Qualifier winner); Haywood Community College’s Ben Kniceley (Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Qualifier winner); Unity College’s Blake Wilder (Northeast Collegiate Qualifier winner); Oregon State University’s Cody Labahn (Western Collegiate Qualifier winner); and N.C. State’s Griffith Wilson (Southern Collegiate Qualifier winner). This year’s wild card spot was filled by University of Maine’s, Brad Jones, coming out of the Northeast Conclave.
"These six athletes are the best young lumberjack athletes in the country, and they have a tremendous opportunity to showcase their talents in Central Park this summer,” said STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Executive Producer Brad Sorgen. “This year is the 30th anniversary of our sport, and these athletes will get unprecedented exposure for both themselves and their schools.”
All of the athletes that qualified have showcased incredible skill and potential. In the qualifier rounds, Hovis’ standing block time at the Midwest Collegiate Qualifier was sensational at 32.80 seconds, beating the majority of his opponents by 30 seconds. Kniceley and Labahn won both the underhand chop and standing block disciplines by a landslide in their regional qualifiers. Wilder posted the fastest time in the stock saw discipline at the Northeast Collegiate Qualifier with a time of 12.46 seconds. Wilson dominated the Southern Collegiate Qualifier for the second straight year, winning the underhand chop, stock saw, and single buck, while coming in a close second in the standing block discipline. Jones had the fastest standing block of the year, an impressive 32.20 seconds, which earned him the collegiate wildcard spot.
The collegiate athletes will compete in four disciplines: the single buck, the stock saw, the standing block chop and the underhand chop, and will use professional rules and professional-sized wood. In addition to becoming the 2015 Collegiate Champion, the winner will also represent the U.S. on the international rookie team at the World Championship in November (the exact location and date will be announced soon), and earn an automatic bid into the 2016 STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Professional Series.
The U.S. Championship will be a jam-packed day with high-intensity action, as the Professional Qualifier rounds will kick-off the day’s events from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Collegiate Championship will take place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The day will conclude with the Professional Championship that will run from 3 to 5:30 p.m.
Admission to the U.S. Championships is free, and will take place at the Naumburg Bandshell within Central Park at 72nd Street and 5th Avenue. Those who are unable to attend can watch the Championships via live stream on the website, as well as follow the Series through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The Championships will air nationally on ABC on Oct. 11, Oct. 18 and Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. EST.
Sponsors of the 2015 STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series include Ram Trucks, the presenting sponsor; John Deere, the official equipment; and Duluth Trading, the official work wear of the Series.
About STIHL Inc.
STIHL Inc. manufactures the world's largest selling brand of chainsaws and produces a full line of powerful, lightweight, and versatile handheld outdoor power equipment for homeowners and professional users. STIHL products are sold through independent servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast – not mass merchants. For more information or for the name of the closest STIHL retailer, call toll free 1-800-GO STIHL (1-800-467-8445) or visit STIHL's website at www.stihlusa.com.
STIHL Inc. is the official underwriting sponsor of the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series. The series airs throughout the year on ABC, and the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Collegiate Series airs on ESPNU. The STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® SERIES is the pinnacle event in lumberjack sports. Since 1985 the Series has grown to become the premier showcase of the decades old sport of lumberjacking with competitions held around the world.
The term TIMBERSPORTS® is a registered trademark owned by ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG. and refers to the series of disciplines and competitions that are part of the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series. As such, it should not be used as a generic description of the overall sport of lumberjack sports. This trademark refers to all modifications of the term TIMBERSPORTS such as timber sports, or timbersport. The term TIMBERSPORTS should always appear in conjunction with "STIHL."
The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer since its launch as a standalone vehicle brand. Creating a distinct brand for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on how core customers use their trucks and what new features they'd like to see. Whether focusing on a family that uses its half-ton truck day in and day out, a hard-working Ram Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its commercial vehicles every day, Ram has the truck market covered.
The Ram Truck brand has the most innovative lineup of full-size trucks on the market. Ram Truck has emerged as a full-size truck leader by investing substantially in new products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and features that further enhance their capabilities. Ram trucks now boast these segment exclusives:
Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.