The chainsaws were screaming from the first cut Friday night and the competition never slowed down until the U.S. Trophy was determined by a single chop on Saturday, leaving the crowd and fans at home speechless during the first U.S. events of the 2023 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® competition series. Reigning U.S. Trophy Champion, Jason Lentz, of Diana, West Virginia, successfully defended his STIHL TIMBERSPORTS U.S. Trophy gold medal on an epic Saturday in Virginia Beach.

Matt Cogar, Jason Lentz and Nate Hodges celebrate on the podium in Virginia.

In the first semifinal, Matt Cogar of Grafton, West Virginia, completed a comeback for the ages after accidentally stopping the chainsaw mid cut in the Stock Saw, hitting the kill switch, yet still managed to narrowly beat Matt Slingerland to advance to the finals. This set up another rematch of the childhood friends, adding to the Cogar and Lentz rivalry, following Lentz's win over Nate Hodges in the second semifinal match.

Lentz defeated Cogar in a race for the ages. Just when it looked like Cogar was on his way to his first U.S. Trophy win, Lentz caught Cogar in the Single Buck, saving his best cut for the right moment, fighting through the Standing Block to win by one hit and less than one second.

“Matt’s a hell of a competitor; he’s tough to beat in anything. I’m proud of this one,” Lentz said of his win Saturday. “I went pedal to the medal with everything I had.”

Jason will represent the United States in the World Trophy event in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on June 10, competing against 15 elite lumberjack sport athletes from across the globe, including Laurence O'Toole from Australia. Laurence and Jason spent six weeks training together this winter in Australia. After his win at the Australian Trophy event in early March, Laurence predicted Jason’s win at the U.S. Trophy.

Newcomer Gavin Brumbaugh tops all rookie competitors

One rookie reigned supreme at Mount Trashmore Park on Friday. 22-year-old, Gavin Brumbaugh, of Orbisonia, Pennsylvania, narrowly defeated defending champion, Andrew O’Connell, via a tiebreaker (total time).

Brumbaugh was steady throughout the competition, closing strong in the Underhand Chop, the final discipline of the evening, and securing the win in his first STIHL TIMBERSPORTS competition. This win earned him a spot in the Rookie World Championship, taking place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Friday, June 9.

Next Up: The Netherlands

USA Team Manager, Adam Wolff, is ready to head to the Netherlands, where the rookies, women and men will compete.

“We have our eyes set on three gold medals this year,” Wolff said. “I’m thrilled to accompany some of the best athletes in our sport to Rotterdam in a few weeks. They’ve put the work in and are ready to represent the United States against an intense field of international competitors.”

Latest News