Wednesday, April 19, 2006

HCC Student to Compete in National Collegiate Woodsmen's Meet

For the first time in Haywood Community College's history, one of its students, Jay Blackburn, was the overall winner of Stihl Chainsaw's Mid-Atlantic States Intercollegiate Woodsmen's Meet. Blackburn will travel in July to Stillwater, Minnesota to compete in the Stihl Collegiate Competition. He will face the five best college students in this sport in the nation. The winner of the competition will compete in the professional series for one year.

As a result of winning the Mid-Atlantic States Intercollegiate Meet, Blackburn was awarded a $1000 scholarship for HCC, as well as a new chopping ax and Stihl chainsaw to be used in competition. In addition, Stihl will pay for Blackburn and coach, HCC graduate Jimmy Lawrence, to travel to the July event. Blackburn participates in competitions for HCC three times annually. He also participates in the South Atlantic Woodsmen's Association (SAWA) where he was named Rookie of the Year last year. And rookie is an accurate term for Blackburn who has only been involved in the sport for almost a year. After owning his own business for two years, he decided he needed a change and came to HCC to pursue something he's always been interested in, forestry.

"This is something I really enjoy," Blackburn said. "The key to this sport is technique, accuracy, and practice." He spends one to two hours per day practicing.

The Marion native will finish HCC in May 2007 and wants to be a professional lumberjack. Catch Blackburn's performance on May 16 at 7 p.m. on ESPN. For more information about HCC's Forest Management Technology program, please call 627-4500.


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