Logrolling: Madison's Shana Martin wins fourth Lumberjack World Championships titleIt had been four years since Shana Martin wore the mantle of world logrolling champion.
By: By Adam Mertz, The Wisconsin State Journal, Superior Telegram
It had been four years since Shana Martin wore the mantle of world logrolling champion, so the longtime Madisonian admitted to being a little thin-skinned recently when a national news organization proclaimed that the new guard was poised to replace the old guard in her sport.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of her demise proved to be greatly exaggerated.
Martin claimed her fourth Lumberjack World Championships title in women's logrolling this past weekend in Hayward, downing fellow Madisonian Taylor Duffy in the deciding round of the best-of-five finals.
"It feels absolutely amazing because I really do get scared being in my 30s now," said Martin, who has been a professional lumberjack for 15 years and last won the LWC logrolling title in 2008. "It's really nice to be able to do this, to know I still can -- especially because the competition is better than ever."
Martin won five matches in the winner's bracket to prevail in the 25-woman field, which culminated in the showdown with Duffy, a Hayward native who occasionally trains with Martin and once was her roommate.
Duffy drew first blood when Martin tried unsuccessfully to bob the log -- rock it back-and-forth -- and claimed a 2-1 lead before Martin rallied to win the final two rolls and claim the title.
"The entire finals was match probably the most exciting logrolling match I've ever been a part of," said Martin, a former Madison Memorial and University of Wisconsin athlete.
As a match progresses, competitors use logs of decreasing diameter to increase the degree of difficulty. The duo finished up on a No. 4 log, which is 12 inches in diameter, and engaged at a level Martin said is rarely seen in the women's sport.
"There was a lot of white water, bobbing the log, splashing, which is not normal," she said. "At times, we were going so fast I couldn't tell if my feet were landing back on there. It was pure adrenaline."
The weekend wasn't all for the old guard. In her first year of elite competition in the boom run, Madison Memorial student Gretchen Greene, 17, finished second -- ahead of Martin, her longtime mentor at Madison Logrolling.
Despite the satisfaction of winning another title, Martin doesn't intend to quit while she's ahead.
"I plan to logroll as long as I can -- even when not winning still keep competing," she said. "But I hope to keep that going as long I can."
(c)2012 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)
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