Rollin’ for a decade

Alumna shares passion for log rolling with community

Katie Rick, ‘08 & ‘12, shares her love of log rolling with the community through an annual log rolling competition in Onalaska. Ellie Davenport, left, and Meredith Ingbretson compete in the women’s final during the event. Photo courtesy of Aperture by Steve Davis.

There’s no denying Katie Rick has a love for UWL. The 2008 and 2012 alumna is back on campus teaching students accountancy.

But to talk about Rick’s passion, one would have to go out of the classroom and into the water. Rick has been participating in log rolling since she was six years old.

Now a few years older, she’s rolling better than ever. In July, she competed at the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wisconsin, placing fourth in the boom run.

Three Rivers Roleo

Before competing in Hayward, Rick was running a different kind of balance act. She is the director of Three Rivers Roleo, an annual log rolling competition in Onalaska.

Over the past decade, the event has grown from an amateur competition to bringing in some of the world’s best competitors and broadcasting it on TV. “I told my brothers I wanted this on TV because when I was growing up, I was able to compete on TV,” says Rick. “So I started this and I wanted it to grow so everyone had something to look forward to and compete on TV.”

Rick organizes the roleo, along with another competition in Illinois, through her company Krick. Krick also trains people to be log rolling instructors — something she carried with her from her time in college.

“At UWL, I managed Wittich and Mitchell Pools,” explains Rick. “As a water safety instructor, I taught people how to teach swim lessons and with a few simple adaptations, we created a curriculum on how to teach log rolling.”

She hopes one day that curriculum could be adapted into a course at UWL and that many of her fellow log rollers consider finding their way to be students on the campus.

“I keep trying to get the log rollers to consider UWL,” says Rick. “I loved it. Actually, I loved it twice. And I guess I’m working there, so I still love it.”