Impressive Individual Effort Marks Performance of Woodsmen’s Team

The Pennsylvania College of Technology Woodsmen’s Team competed in the 20th annual John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet held recently at The Cradle of Forestry in North Carolina.

Penn College fielded one of seven teams to compete during the Oct. 17 meet that was hosted by Haywood Community College at the U.S. Forest Service site in Pisgah National Forest. Others were Western Carolina University, Montgomery Community College, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

While the Penn College team finished fifth overall – trailing fourth-place Western Carolina by only four points – team members accumulated four first-place finishes, three third-place finishes and one fourth-place finish in their respective events.

Members of the Penn College Woodsmen's Team, shown during recent competition in North Carolina, are co-captain Taylor C. Moyer, of Boyertown, and James C. Synol, of Bloomington, N.J. (standing); Anthony A. Hampton, of Clearfield, Harley R. Heichel, of Wellsboro, and Jesse F. Strickhouser, of Manchester (middle row); and co-captain Ashton N. Rockwell, of Greencastle.

Team members were forest technology majors Anthony A. Hampton, of Clearfield, Harley R. Heichel, of Wellsboro, and Taylor C. Moyer, of Boyertown; Ashton N. Rockwell, a landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis student from Greencastle; Jesse F. Strickhouser, a welding technology major from Manchester; and James C. Synol, a building automation technology student from Bloomingdale, New Jersey.

Ashton N. Rockwell competes in the Women's Underhand Chop.

Rockwell finished first in Women’s Underhand Chop, Women’s Axe Throw and Women’s Bolt Split; and Strickhouser placed first in Men’s Bolt Split.

Rockwell teamed with Hampton, Moyer and Synol for a third-place finish in Team Log Roll, and with Synol for third place in Jack and Jill Crosscut. Moyer and Synol finished third in Pole Fell, and Heichel placed fourth in Women’s Pole Climb.

“Team members all performed at their best throughout the event and proudly displayed Penn College pride,” said coach Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forestry. “The six team members faced teams with as many as 16 individuals and were consistently in the thick of the competition all day long. I am extremely proud of how our student-athletes worked together and never let up despite the inevitable fatigue of competing in three times as many events as their counterparts on other teams. This is a strong core and we’d like to add to it for upcoming events through constant recruitment at Penn College.”

Backed by supportive teammates and coach, Jesse F. Strickhouser (left) and Anthony A. Hampton tackle the Men's Crosscut event.

All interested students, regardless of major, are encouraged to contact Bartholomay to join the team or just come to practice to see if it’s something in which they’d like to participate.

An upwardly mobile Harley R. Heichel attacks the Pole Climb.

The college’s Forestry Department will host the 2016 Annual Mid-Atlantic Spring Meet on April 9 at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood.

In addition to the main event, the intercollegiate woodsmen’s meet, the STIHL Collegiate Timbersports Mid-Atlantic Qualifier will be held over the lunch hour that day. That is an ESPN event and will include one student contestant from each competing school.

The entire day – under the title of Penn College Timber Fest – is open to the public. Forestry industry representatives, vendors and equipment demonstrations also will be featured.

For more information about forest technology, call the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies at 570-327-4516.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photos provided

Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State