In addition to the Pioneer Woodsmen’s Club’s great success at the 70th Annual Northeast Woodsmen’s Conclave, a pair of club members also rose to great heights in the STIHL Northeast Collegiate Qualifier.
Alfred State’s own Kara Stone, a surveying and geomatics engineering technology major from Lake View, won the national collegiate championship for female competitors, but due to a scoring error on the field, split the women’s STIHL title with a competitor from SUNY Cobleskill. Sutton Carhart, a construction management engineering technology major from Stafford, took second place overall in the men’s division.
As a result of their achievements in the STIHL competition, Stone received a $500 scholarship, and Carhart was selected as a wild card athlete to compete against seven others in the STIHL Timbersports US Championships July 15-16 in Chicago.
Stone noted that, “Anything is possible with a great coach, hard work, blisters, and being sore for weeks on end. Being the national top female competitor was my biggest goal and it feels amazing to win that title.”
Carhart said, “It’s an honor to be part of the team that won the Northeast championship and to be selected as one of eight from the entire country to compete in Illinois is still a hard concept to grasp. Training for that competition while working a full-time job will be a challenge, but we are going to make it happen.
While the conclave and the STIHL event featured hundreds of top competitors within the region, the Alfred State Pioneer Woodsmen’s Club held its own, as the men’s team took first place and the Jack and Jill team came in second in their respective divisions in the conclave.
All events were held in April at either the athletics events field on the Alfred campus or at the Lake Lodge. Singles events included axe throw, birling, underhand chop, single buck, super suede, and stock saw; doubles events are standing block chop, fire build, and crosscut to death; and triples include underhand chop and quarter split.
The Woodsmen’s Club’s most recent success capped off another successful year, one that saw the men’s team finish undefeated and the Jack and Jill team win two out of three shows, with one second-place finish in the fall.
Speaking about the conclave and STIHL qualifier, Coach Scott Bingham said hosting a competition of this magnitude is a feat that one doesn’t fully comprehend until they have done it.
“To host the championships and to win it with a team this young that was founded only six years ago is unheard of,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of this group of athletes.”
Bingham added that having Stone win the female division and Carhart move on to Chicago as one of the finalists for the entire country in the male division is really phenomenal.
“One of my biggest challenges as their coach was balancing just how far I could push the team without pushing them too far,” he said, “however it appears as though my pushing and their hard efforts matched perfectly.”