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SEASON PREVIEW - 2017

2017 PROFESSIONAL LOG ROLLING PREVIEW


The worlds #1 ranked Women’s Roller Ellie Davenport
guns for her second straight World Title in 2017.

Once again, the World’s top professional Log Rollers will descend on the windy city to kick off another year on the Pro Log Rolling Circuit. The 2017 season begins just south of Chicago in Orland Park, Ill. on June 10 at the US Logrolling Open. The 2017 tour will wind through several stops throughout the summer before closing in Hayward, WI in late July at the Lumberjack World Championships. This summer promises a strong dose of top veteran rollers on the men’s side, such as Will Hoeschler, Jamie Fischer and Brian Duffy, who have nine world titles among them. The men’s group also boasts perhaps the best rookie class in more than a decade. On the women’s side, front and center will be 19-year old Ellie Davenport, who enters 2017 having won eight of the past 12 pro tournaments dating back to 2015. Summer has arrived and the 2017 Log Rolling season is cued up and ready for take off.

WHO TO WATCH IN 2017 -- MEN

Will Hoeschler – The 26 year old Hoeschler busted out of the gate with two early wins last year (La Crosse Open / Midwest Championships) before nailing down his first World Championship in Hayward last July. The Minnesota native was at his best at the Lumberjack Bowl, knocking off three time World Champion Jaime Fischer, Five time champ Brian Duffy, along with young guns Dominick Serpico and Spencer Wilkinson on his way to the 2016 World Title. Expect Hoeschler, who’s got seven career pro wins and 20 top three finishes, to be among the top contenders throughout the summer, and back in the hunt to win again in Hayward.

Jaime Fischer – After completing a marathon this past off season, Fischer is set to resume his comeback as a professional log roller. Following several years away from the pro circuit, Fischer returned in 2016 to mixed results. The ten time World Champion (Three-Log Rolling / Seven-Boom run) finished third in Madison but struggled with injuries in Hayward, falling short of winning his fourth World Log Rolling title. The 36-year old Stillwater, MN. native has been training hard this spring and could be Hoeschler’s toughest challenger on the men’s side. Since the 1890’s, only 10 professional Log Rollers have won at least four men’s World Titles. If Fischer can turn the trick this summer, he’ll join that group.

Garrick Birdsong – The fourth year pro had an impressive 2016 season, winning the highly competitive Three Rivers Roleo, and also taking the top spot among pros at the Namekagon River Roll Off. Birdsong is among the hardest workers in the men’s field, and has steadily improved in each of his first three years as a professional. The Onalaska, WI native should be a threat at each stop on the pro circuit this summer, and very well could be in the mix to win a World Championship in Hayward.

Tanner Hallett – The 18 year old rookie won a remarkable six amateur World Titles and heads into the 2017 season as part of one of the best rookie classes in the past 10 years. Hallett is coached by his father John, a former pro roller, and one of the most respected and successful coaches in the sport. Tanner may have to fight through some growing pains as a professional, but should immediately be among one of the top contenders in 2017.

Spencer Wilkinson – The 20-year old Madison, WI native carved his way to the finals at last year’s World Championships before losing to Hoeschler. Wilkinson has four top three finishes as a pro and is also among the top Boom Runners on the circuit. Wilkinson should be in the mix throughout the 2017 season, and don’t be surprised if he makes another strong run at Hayward this July.

OTHERS TO WATCH

Dominik Serpico - Hudson, WI native is currently ranked fifth in the world. Came in fourth at ’16 Roleo.

Tom Mengwasser – Should be another strong contender from this year’s rookie class. Size and solid technique should match up well against top pros. Won 2016 Semi-Pro World Championship.

Connor Birdsong – As a declared amateur, won last year’s pro event at Namekagon. Among the top rookies in the ’17 class.

Brian Duffy – The five time World Champion is a generation ahead of this years decorated rookie class but continues to perform at a high level. Duffy came in third at last year’s World Championships.

Carl Rick – Finished third at 2016 Three Rivers Roleo. Four career pro wins.

Tyler Berard – Finished second in Madison last year. 10 top three finishes in pro career.

Shane Burns – Second year pro scored a runner-up at La Crosse Open in 2016 & cracked top five in Madison.

Cassidy Scheer – Size and strength present a tough matchup for opponents. Aggressive style gives him a chance against anybody.

Brian Stearns – talented all around Lumberjack came in sixth at LWC in ’16.

WHO TO WATCH IN 2017 –- WOMEN

Ellie Davenport – The 19-year old Minnesota resident is far and away the best professional Log Roller on the circuit heading into 2017. Davenport dominated the 2016 season, winning five of the seven pro tournaments, including capturing her first World Title last July. She carved her way through a tough field in Hayward, going a perfect 12-0 in her four matches on her way to the ’16 World Championship. Davenport has won a remarkable eight pro tournaments in just the past two years.

Shana Verstegen – Verstegen has four World Titles under her belt and has won more pro Log Rolling tournaments than any woman in the history of the sport. The Madison native heads into 2017 following a strong 2016 summer, one in which she won the season opener in Chicago (U.S. Logrolling Open) and also grabbed a fifth place finish at World Championships in Hayward. Verstegen, after two decades as a pro, is still among the very best in the women’s field.

Meredith Ingbretson – the 22-year old is perhaps the best all-around athlete in the women’s field. Ingbretson, a former Wisconsin State Hockey player of the Year, enters 2017 as the circuit’s best Boom Runner and among the top Log Rollers. The Hayward, WI native won the 2015 Log Rolling World Title and will be going for her fifth Boom Run Title this summer. Both rolling and running, Ingbretson should be a force in 2017.

Abby Hoeschler – The Minneapolis native heads into 2017 with five career pro wins, including a victory at last year’s La Crosse Open, and more than 25 career top three finishes. Hoeschler is also a multiple Boom Run World Champion, and like Ingbretson, is a threat to win both on the Boom and on the Pro Log Rolling circuit this summer.

Emily Christopherson – Christopherson is arguably the strongest roller on the circuit and regularly uses her strength to out muscle opponents. Over the past several years, she’s often saved her best for the biggest stage. Christopherson is the only pro in the women’s field to have finished in the top three in Hayward in each of the past four years, including a runner-up last season.

Lizzy Horvitz – The Minneapolis area native is among the most accomplished athletes in the women’s field. Horvitz enters 2017 with three World Championships and seven career pro wins since 2007. She came in fourth at last year’s World Championships, and also picked up a fourth place finish at the Three Rivers Roleo.

Gretchen Greene – The Madison, Wi native has five career pro wins, including a victory at the 2013 World Championships. Greene, a former college Track & Field and Cross Country standout, came in second at last year’s Midwest Championships and cracked the top five at the highly competitive Three Rivers Roleo. Along with Davenport, Verstegen, and Hoeschler, Greene will be among the favorites at this weekend’s opener in Chicago.

OTHERS TO WATCH

Maggie Penning – Opened up with a strong fourth place finish in Chicago last year and cracked the top 10 at World Championships in Hayward.

Jenny Atkinson – Four time World Champ has been competing as a pro since the 1990’s and continues to be competitive. Made a run to the quarter finals at 2016 World Championships.

Taylor Biser – 2011 World Champion picked up two fourth place finishes (La Crosse Open/Namekagon) and finished eighth at World Championships in ’16.

Haley Penning – 2016 Semi-Pro World Champion could be the top rookie on the women’s side in 2017. Should make an immediate impact as a pro.

Katie Rick – Finished 2016 strong with a runner-up at Grand Marais.

Sam Hadley – Came in ninth at World Championships and cracked top 5 at the La Crosse Open in ‘16.

Claudia Duffy – Started 2016 with a fifth place in Chicago; cracked top 10 at World Championships.

2017 Professional Log Rolling Schedule

June 10 - US Log Rolling Open (Orland Park, Ill)
June 17 - La Crosse Open (La Crosse, WI)
July 1-2 - Midwest Log Rolling Championships (Madison, WI)
July 8-9 - Three Rivers Roleo (Onalaska, WI)
July 16 - Namekagon River Roll Off (Hayward, WI)
July 20-22 - Lumberjack World Championships (Hayward, WI)

*With the exception of the US Logrolling Open (June 10), each pro event will be accompanied by an amateur tournament. The Three Rivers Roleo Amateur tournament takes place July 9.

 

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