Log rolling team logging hours in the Rec Plex pool

The+Marquette+Log+Rolling+Team+became+a+club+sport+this+past+semester.+The+team+practices+inside+the+Rec+Plex+pool.+

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake

The Marquette Log Rolling Team became a club sport this past semester. The team practices inside the Rec Plex pool.

When one thinks of logrollers, you might imagine them to be wearing flannel shirts on a lake up north. However, if you walk by the Rec Plex pool in Straz Tower you will see Marquette students practicing their logrolling skills. 

Logrolling is one of the newest club sports on campus and given Marquette’s location in downtown Milwaukee, the most surprising offering.

Club president Tess Stumvoll, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she has been an active competitor in logrolling for the last 10 years.

Stumvoll, who competed in the 2019 and 2021 Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wisconsin, said bringing the sport to Marquette was as natural to her as climbing up on a log.

“My main goal has been to start a logrolling club here because I knew a couple of other universities had teams,” Stumvoll said. “I did the work, I put up posters that had a lumberjack joke with the idea of the flannel-wearing lumberjack .” 

While COVID-19 has brought setbacks to the club, Stumvoll said she was determined to get the club up and running this year.

“I had the mindset to get out there and make this happen,” Stumvoll said. “So I started doing flyers again along with meeting with Scott Anderegg who runs club sports to see what I needed to do.” 

While planning for the club, she said that having a real wooden log “became unrealistic.”

“Marquette didn’t want a real log in the pool so instead we have a Key Log which is a log that’s plastic on the outside and foam on the inside,” Stumvoll said. “You fill it with water and it’s like a real log.” 

With enough members signed up, the club officially got underway this semester with 12 active members and a roster of 26 all together. 

Mary Brown, a sophomore in College of Arts & Sciences, said she joined the club after seeing one of Stumvoll’s fliers. 

“I thought it’d be a quirky thing to have on a future application and aside from this being a unique sport, it takes a lot of physical fitness,” Brown said.

Over the last few months, the team has spent many hours in the pool studying techniques and learning how to log roll. Brown said keeping a balance is the most challenging part of it all.

“Keeping your feet moving is the key to balance,” Brown said. “Tess always reminds us to “pitter-patter” it makes balancing on the log a million times easier.”

Ethan Jacoby-Henrickson, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said being part of the club has provided him and other members with stories to tell others due to its unusual environment. 

“It’s something unique that will make you one of the most interesting people in the room at all times,” Jacoby-Henrickson said. “When I started, I fell off in less than a second but by the end of the night, I had a good three to five seconds that I could stay up on the log.” 

Nash Kent, a first-year in the College of Communication, said the competitive nature of the club is what drew him to it.

“I wanted competition back in my life and logrolling is more like a process where it will all click together at one point,” Kent said. “It still hasn’t really clicked altogether for me yet (though).” 

In addition to wanting to bring additional awareness to the sport, Stumvoll said she would like to see Marquette get involved with other universities for competitions. 

Currently, the only active student log rolling clubs in Wisconsin are at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She said she is working on bringing a tournament to Marquette with UW-Madison, as she worked out with the Madison team in the past. 

“Having an active program seems to be the issue and we are definitely one of the only active ones right now,” Stumvoll said. “My goal is to start a college logrolling circuit and have that included as a part of the United States Logrolling Association.” 

This article was written by Catherine Fink. She can be reached at catherine.fink@marquette.edu.