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Garrick Birdsong, left, of Onalaska and Shane Burns of La Crosse battle to stay on top of the log in a first-round match at Saturday's Three Rivers Roleo.

Professional log rolling made its annual return to Onalaska on Saturday for the 12th annual Three Rivers Roleo.

This year’s Roleo featured a field of 12 women and nine men competing in a double-elimination bracket.

The La Crosse area was represented well with three men and two women, including competition director Katie Burke. This was Burke’s first year competing in the Roleo after a five-year hiatus due to organizational and television needs.

“It was awesome to be back out there, and I am so happy to be back competing in the Three Rivers Roleo,” Burke said.

Burke had a strong showing in her Roleo return, losing a tough second-round matchup with defending champion Livi Pappadopoulos. The Holmen native has been unstoppable since turning pro last year. She is the defending world champion, defending Three Rivers Roleo champion and won the U.S. Logrolling Open earlier this month.

Roleo Crowd

A sizeable crowd gathers underneath the Great River Landing in Onalaska for Saturday's Three Rivers Roleo.

It’s no surprise that she was able to come back to the Roleo Saturday and repeat as champion. The competition was fierce but familiar for Pappadopoulos, who faced the same three opponents Saturday as she did at the U.S. Logrolling Open.

“I’m exhausted,” she said. “I don’t know how much longer I will be able to stand. It seemed like everyone was rolling better today than at the U.S. (Logrolling) Open.”

Pappadopoulos’s training partner and La Crosse resident Shane Burns also competed on Saturday, falling in the semifinals to eventual champion Tanner Hallett of Oconomowoc, Wis. Hallett, a Cornell engineering student, was quick with his feet and wore his opponents down in his three matches. He has been on quite a roll after winning the U.S. Logrolling Open and now the Three Rivers Roleo.

You can find results from Saturday’s professional competition at www.logroller.com.

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