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The NC State Timersports Club traveled to Starkville, MS, for the Forestry Conclave and the Stihl Timbersports Southern Collegiate qualifier. For the second year in a row, Griff Wilson, a senior in the College of Natural Resources, won the qualifier and will go on to compete against seven other athletes from around the country at the National Championship in June 2015 in New York City. This is the fourth year in a row that NC State’s competitor has won. Griff’s outstanding accomplishment was featured in the News & Observer:

“In the qualifier, Wilson took first in three events out of four: underhand chop, stock saw and single buck.

For the underhand, he stood on top of a chunk of pine, held horizontally by a pair of braces, and hacked his way through in 48 seconds, using an 8-pound ax. The key: accuracy over strength. It’s a science. You look at the position of the knots and the heart.

“Get up there with no technique, no accuracy and just whale,” he said, “and you’ll never get through it.”

The stock saw requires cutting an upward and downward slice through a flat log using a Stihl with a 20-inch bar. The crucial strategy here is to apply enough pressure so the saw pushes through quickly, but not so much that the motor stalls. His time in the qualifier: 14 seconds.

“You have to listen to those motor RPMs,” Wilson said.

For the single buck, Wilson pulls a 6-foot crosscut saw through a pine trunk. The trick here is keeping a constant angle on the blade so one of the teeth doesn’t hang up on the wood.

“You want to pull the whole 6 feet full of teeth,” he explained.”

Read more about Griff and the Stihl competition at