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On a roll

Lutheran youth are logrolling champions

Whoever came up with the saying "Easy as falling off a log" never met Tina and Darrell Salzman.

The brother and sister, members of First Lutheran Church, Hayward, Wis., took first in the logrolling competition at the Louisiana-Pacific Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward.
The brother and sister, members of First Lutheran Church, Hayward, Wis., took first in the logrolling competition at the Louisiana-Pacific Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward.

It was the first world title for Darrell, 19, who prefers to be called JR. Tina has won four championships.

Tina, who teaches 11th grade English in Lake Geneva, Wis., took to logrolling when she was 11, which is late for the sport.

"Kids tend to start when they are 5 and 6," she explains. "It's so much easier to learn when you are just developing your coordination."

Now a veteran at 24, Tina says she is a smarter logroller than she was in her early years, where she depended more on her aggressive nature and energy to knock her opponent off.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, logrolling developed from the days when men would ride on the logs to break up jams as they floated down the river to the mill.

Her students are impressed that their teacher is a lumberjack champ, Tina says. She helped create logrolling as a water sports unit of gym class and gave a demonstration.

Both JR and Tina train hard for lumberjack events, which run through summer and early fall. JR, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, spends hours each day logrolling and running several miles.

Money won from events has been used to help pay for their schooling.

Tina and JR compete for the love of the sport, but they may soon become household names as an appearance on The Tonight Show later this year is in the works.


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