2017 Summer Recap- Logrolling in the Coulee Region

If you’re interested in summer highlights from competitions, classes, and events, or local class information for the fall, keep reading!


PROFESSIONAL LOGROLLING

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18-year-old Connor Birdsong, right, faces Tom Mengwasser in a heated bucking match at this year’s men’s World Championships.

This June, the men’s logrolling field welcomed Connor Birdsong of Onalaska to a memorable season. Birdsong outwitted top talent on his path to win the U.S. Open in Chicago and went on to join the upper third of professional logrolling’s most elite throughout the 2017 season. He bested all but two veteran rollers, Jamie Fischer and Cassidy Scheer, at the Three Rivers Roleo and again at the World Championships. At this year’s international competition in Hayward, he dominated the entire back bracket by taking victories over Efer Christopherson, Brian Duffy, Garrick Birdsong, and Tom Mengwasser.

Emily Christopherson came into the pro logrolling scene at the Three Rivers Roleo in Onalaska hungry for a win after a loss in last year’s World Championship finals. As an athlete who has relied mostly on power and strength in the past, she followed her usual approach throughout the summer and successfully wound up among the top women’s competitors. Christopherson was the victor in multiple back-and-forth matches at the Namekagon River Roll-Off over Haley Penning, Ellie Davenport, and Gretchen Greene and eventually won the tournament. She also brought grabbed fifth place finishes at the Three Rivers Roleo and the World Championships.

With a 2016 Three Rivers Roleo win under his belt, Garrick Birdsong entered the early season as the third-ranked men’s logroller in the world. Birdsong took second at the U.S. Open and the La Crosse Open in June and continued to make impressive finishes throughout the remainder of the year, including his top five spot at World Championships.

Shane Burns brought an enhanced skill-set to the table this season as a second-year-pro in the men’s division. He competed at a high level throughout the year and added a semi-final qualification at the Midwest Championships a tie for seventh and eighth place at the Three Rivers Roleo to his logrolling resume.

Other local competitors who competed among the pro ranks this summer include Efer Christopherson, Michael Pickar, Carl Rick, and Katie Rick.


AMATEUR LOGROLLING

(Pictured left to right:) Youth winners Kody Koblitz, Livi Pappadopoulos, Grace Berg, and Aini Anderson at the Namekagon River Roll-Off

It was a successful summer for all amateur competitors that included tournaments and ice cream from all over the Midwest!

U7 Coed is getting bigger as more and more young rollers are learning logrolling. Eli Neve traveled to the Midwest Championships for the very first time this year, and after completing matches with many great rollers, took third place! Neve also took second place at the La Crosse Open. Caleb Priem, a relatively new roller, took third place at both the Three Rivers Roleo and Holmen Summer Splash tournaments. Finn Rick took second place at the Three Rivers Roleo.

In 2017, the U10 Girls division usually took around five hours to complete as each girl brought incredible foot speed and endurance in their toolbox to each tournament. Grace Berg competed in U10 for her final year. Berg won first place at the Midwest Logrolling Championships and finished in the top seven at each event of the summer. Aini Anderson, one of the youngest rollers in U10, won the combined junior division at the Jack Pine Roleo in Michigan and also set a record with Illinois’ Libby Magnone in an hour-long match at the La Crosse Open.

This summer, the U17 Girls division displayed a collection of exceptionally experienced rollers. Livi Pappadopoulos, 16, remained undefeated this summer and brought her fifth world championship title home. Maggie Amundson, 15, competed at a high level throughout the season and took second place at the La Crosse Open.

The U17 Boys displayed pro-level rolling again this year at each tournament. After a successful 2016 season, Kody Koblitz competed as the #1 seed this year. Koblitz took second place at the World Championships as well as top honors at the Minnesota State Championships in Grand Marais. Larsen Birdsong took first place at the Midwest Logrolling Championships over last year’s world champion, Anthony Polentini. Tre Owen took third place at the La Crosse Open.

Want to get rolling at the competitive level? Contact Coulee Region Logrolling to find out more about awesome tournaments and great ways to practice!


CLASSES

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Whether it was in the river or in a pool, kids and adults loved splashing around in the water, laughing, and learning how to logroll on this summer at local logrolling programs! This year, classes were held at Erickson Pool in La Crosse, the Holmen Area Aquatic Center, the La Crescent Aquatic Center, the Bob Welch Aquatic Center in Winona, the Great River Landing in Onalaska, and the La Crosse Area Family YMCA. Some rollers spent the summer working on their speed so they could move up to practicing on a faster log, some achieved their goal of adding a few more steps on the log, and some even prepared for and competed in their first tournaments! Though nothing beats the thrill and excitement of plunging into cold water on a hot summer day or breathing in fresh air while sprinting on a log, there are still fantastic logrolling opportunities indoors through the fall, winter, and spring! Keep reading to learn more.


TOURNAMENTS

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Coulee Region Logrolling hosted the Holmen Logrolling Summer Splash beginner and intermediate level tournament! Sixteen new rollers from all over the Coulee Region met at the Holmen Area Aquatic Center for a day of logrolling, building friendships, and eating a whole lot of delicious treats. Though there could only be one winner, each individual who competed at the tournament demonstrated excellent logrolling and sportsmanship. Here’s to the brand new competitors from the Coulee Region and the future of logrolling! Congratulations to the following top three winners in each division;

JUNIORS
1st: Logan Hill- La Crescent Aquatic Center
2nd: Hailie Gilberts-Onalaska Waterfront/La Crosse Area Family YMCA
3rd: Caleb Priem- Onalaska Waterfront/La Crosse Area Family YMCA

SENIORS
1st: Peyton Wolfe- Holmen Pool
2nd: Tessa Nehring- Erickson Pool
3rd: Lily Nehring- Erickson Pool`

 

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(Photo courtesy to Aperture By Steve Davis)

The 10th Annual Three Rivers Roleo was once again held in Onalaska. Professional logrollers from around the nation competed for the top spot while spectators enjoyed the logrolling scene on a gorgeous day at the Great River Landing. Jamie Fischer (Stillwater, Minnesota) won the men’s division while Meredith Ingebretson (Hayward, Wisconsin) took top honors on the women’s side. The Three Rivers Roleo amateur competition took place the next morning.

The La Crosse Open returned to La Crosse’s North Side in June and posed as the second professional event of the summer. Ellie Davenport (Bayport, Minnesota) won the women’s division and Tanner Hallet (Oconomowoc, Wisconsin) won the men’s.


COMING UP THIS FALL AND WINTER

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Classes at the La Crosse Area Family YMCA are open to all ages and abilities! Below is the schedule for beginner/intermediate classes:

TUESDAYS- 6:40-7:20

THURSDAYS- 6:40-7:20

FRIDAYS- 3:30-4:10

SATURDAYS- 12:00-12:40

SAVE THE DATE!

Don’t miss the River Rat Roll amateur tournament, which is just around the corner on Sunday, October 29th. The competition is perfect for both brand new competitors and experienced rollers from any program who enjoy competing year-round! The top three finishers in each age division will win an award, and everyone has the opportunity to enjoy free pizza and treats at the end of the event. All Coulee Region Logrollers are also invited to a Holiday Open Rolling Social on Thursday, December 21st at the Y!

Indoor Logrolling!

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