Katie (Rick) Burke Log-rolling

Lecturer Katie Burke competes in the Lumberjack World Championships

Watch out UW-Green Bay accounting students. You never know what might roll your way… especially if UW-Green Bay Associate Lecturer, Katie (Rick) Burke is your instructor.

Katherine (Rick) Burke

Katherine (Rick) Burke

Burke competed this summer (2019) at the Lumberjack World Championships, Lumberjack Bowl on the shores of Lake Hayward in Hayward, Wis. She has been among the most accomplished contributors connected to the sport of logrolling for the past 17 years, working as a professional log rolling promoter and coach and competing as a professional log roller during that time.

Lumberjack World Championships athletes compete in 24 events, including, logrolling, boom running, sawing, chopping, axe throwing, and speed climbing. Logrolling is a unique sport that involves motor skills, athleticism, body awareness, endurance, concentration and balance. Rick has introduced this sport in Green Bay at several logrolling programs at Green Bay recreation centers.

Burke has been a lecturer at UW-Green Bay since fall 2018 and teaches Audit, Accounting Information Systems, and a Principles of Accounting classes. After working in the private sector for a few years, she began working as a lecturer at UW-La Crosse before accepting the position at UW-Green Bay.

Her passion for logrolling dates back much further. At the age of 6, while in swim class, she watched her brother take a logrolling class and insisted on signing up. She is now in her 27th year of rolling and 18th of boom running (racing across floating logs).

It’s a second full-time job.

“I train 5-6 days a week in season and log roll a day or two a week during the academic year and cross train via lifting, spinning, swimming, plyometrics, sprints, etc… I always take a day off so it depends a little on which competition is on the weekend,” she said. The training has paid off.

“I compete in the logrolling and boom running (see her compete in this video) and was selected as a boom runner for the team relay. I took sixth in the boom run and log roll at the Lumberjack World Championships.” With more than 4,000 in attendance and live streamed on ESPN 3, she upset Meredith Ingbretson, the No. 3 seed, to make it to the semi final against Ellie Davenport, St. Paul, Minn.

As logrolling is relatively new to Northeast Wisconsin, Burke trains with the Oconomowoc Log Rolling Club at least two days a week under Coach John Hallett. She also pulls a bit from her experience as an educator, and coached her teammate, high school student Anthony Polentini of Arrowhead High School, to the men’s logrolling championship against another teammate, Tanner Hallett (John’s son).

“Life is about balancing,” she says, “whether it be debits and credits for a balance sheet, or on a log.”

Katie Rick Burke running across floating logs

Katie (Rick) Burke boom running at the Lumberjack World Championships. Photo by Richard Magnone.

Burke will be instructing a try logrolling class in Green Bay at the Kroc Community Center on August 20, 2019 and all are welcome to sign up. Contact the Kroc to register. Lessons are available at the Green Bay Downtown YMCA and the Kroc Center. She will also be assisting the The Kroc Center, with KRICK, LLC., to host the first log-rolling competition in Northeast Wisconsin for amateurs and adult novice on Sunday, October 6, 2019.

Photos by Richard Magnone.