PAUL SMITHS, NY (11/10/2016)(readMedia)-- The Paul Smith's College Woodsmen's team capped off a dominant fall with men's and women's overall championships in the East Coast Lumberjack Roundup at SUNY ESF.
The team entered the Nov. 5 competition coming off of a clean sweep at Finger Lakes Community College in October, placing it squarely in the sights of the competition.
"It's really hard to have such a dominant semester and not have a giant bullseye on your back," said head coach Brett McLeod, a former Paul Smith's woodsman who turned pro in the sport after graduating in 2003. "They study our scores, look where other teams are making points and fill in the gaps."
The women's first-place finish was their third in as many tries this semester, while the Paul Smith's men took first twice to go along with a runner-up performance to start the season in September. The Jack and Jill team, which won in the previous two competitions, podiumed again by finishing third.
The men's and women's teams were led by captains Jesse Cutting and Maria Urban, respectively, and McLeod credited yet another slew of top finishes to strong performances in axe and saw events.
Though the fall season is officially wrapped up, a limited practice schedule will continue through to winter break as the team gears up for an April meet hosted by Paul Smith's College that McLeod called "the Super Bowl of collegiate lumberjack sports."
About 500 competitors and as many as 1,500 spectators are expected, many to cheer on some of the nation's leading teams and competitors.
"The best schools in the whole country are in New York. Paul Smith's, ESF, Finger Lakes and Alfred are the powerhouses," McLeod said. "Any of those can win any day of the week ... if you can win in the conclave, you can usually win in nationals."
About Paul Smith's College
At Paul Smith's College, it's about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs – in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences – draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information, visit paulsmiths.edu.