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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Bringing professional experience to the club logrolling team

Marquette club logrolling team head coach Tess Stumvoll competed in the 63rd Lumberjack World Championships in July. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Among all the club sports Marquette has to offer, there is one that is different from the rest.

Logrolling is a sport that has been ingrained into American culture since the 1800s, when logging was crucial for settlers. As loggers would send logs down rivers, they stand on the logs to keep them from blocking the river.

As a way of entertainment and to escape the hard condition they had to live under, workers would challenge each other to see who could stand on the floating log the longest without falling. This is where competition formed.

The history not only dates back to the early years of American history, but for the early years of professional log roller and Marquette club logrolling team head coach Tess Stumvoll.

“They had it at the YMCA where I grew up, and I saw it when I was younger and thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Stumvoll said. 

As she became more experienced, Stumvoll decided to challenge herself to reach the pro level.

Not only did she graduate from Marquette in May 2023, but she also competed in the 63rd Lumberjack World Championship in July.

She previously competed four other times in multiple different events at this competition. 

“I have done boom running, which is where they string the logs up end to end and you have to run across them,” Stumvoll said. “I am so bad at that event. I spiked myself really bad this year on a practice run and I have like five huge scars on the back of my leg, so I’m retiring from that.”

This year, she competed professionally in regular logrolling and although it might not have been the outcome she predicted, she said she came off the weekend with a positive attitude after losing in the first Women’s Logrolling round against Maggie Bulk.

“It was very stressful, I did not do very well, but that’s okay,” Stumvoll said. “Rookie season, it’s fine.”

Alec Randall, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said he couldn’t believe that this sport was real when he first saw it.

“I went one time, and ever since, I’ve been hooked,” Randall said. 

Being that logrolling is more of an individual sport, Randall said that having Stumvoll as a leader has been key to each player’s success. 

“Having a professional coaching us is one of the greatest assets we could have as an individual, and as a team. She’s filled with knowledge,” Randall said. 

Ethan Jacoby-Henrickson, a senior in the College of Communication, said that Stumvoll’s extensive experience is what makes her a great coach. 

“It’s really good because she’s very effective in telling us what to work on when we’re on the log,” Jacoby-Henrickson said. “You can hear the authority and the experience in her voice, but it’s mostly through action. She has been on the log and has shown her superiority in that way.”   

Stumvoll said she came back to Marquette to coach because of the relationships she has made.

“I made a lot of really close friends on the team,” Stumvoll said. “So it was one of those things where I’d like to come back and hang out with all of them and keep giving that extra coaching.”

She said she also wants to grow the awareness of the sport, and being a part of a college-level team helps grow the program.

Randall said that Stumvoll reminds the logrolling team to remain level-headed when logrolling. 

“If there’s one thing Tess has taught me, it’s that if there is one thing that you can get right, no matter what sport you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what kind of athlete you are, all you need is a calm and cool temperament, as long as you desire that success to succeed, you can do whatever,” Randall said. 

Jacoby-Henrickson said he hopes more people join, even if it’s just to try it out. 

“Bring your swimsuit and a towel, and we’ll have some fun,” Jacoby-Henrickson said.

After all, who wouldn’t want to learn from a professional? 

This story was written by Raquel Ruiz. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @raquelrz15.

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About the Contributor
Raquel Ruiz
Raquel Ruiz, Sports Reporter
Raquel Ruiz is a first-year student from Mundelein, Illinois studying digital media and is a Sports Reporter for the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys playing volleyball, volunteering in her local community, spending time with friends and family and binge-watching tv shows. She is excited to learn from different people and explore what it is like to be a journalist in the media field.

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