The Missouri University of Science and Technology women’s mucking team won the 38th Intercollegiate Mining Competition held March 30 through April 3, the team’s third consecutive international title.
The students traveled nearly 1,500 miles to Butte, Montana, to defend their title in events based on old-fashioned mining techniques generally known as “mucking.” Missouri S&T men’s Team A finished in fifth place among 15 teams, and the men’s Team B was 14th.
Students competed in seven timed events: gold panning, surveying, hand-mucking, hand-steeling, track-standing, Swede sawing and jackleg drilling.
“The best thing about winning this year was we had a lost a lot of the veterans that helped teach and had great times in the events,” women’s team co-captain Jennifer Holloway says. “These teams were new, and some people had never competed before. Being able to come out with a win was a great feeling.”
Preparation is key, with many hours spent honing techniques before heading to a competition.
“I think we tend to win because of the goals we set during practice,” Holloway says. “The times we are striving to reach almost guarantee a win if we can all get there.”
First held in 1978, the games were created to honor 91 miners who died in a fire at Idaho’s Sunshine Mine in 1972. The competition celebrates traditional mining practices and helps create a global community of mining students. Mining colleges and universities around the world rotate hosting the Intercollegiate Mining Competition.
The following students represented Missouri S&T:
Katherine Beardslee of O’Fallon, Missouri, a senior in mining engineering
Paige Cochran of Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, a junior in mining engineering
Caitlin Darnall of Danvers, Illinois, a senior in petroleum engineering
Ruthie Macke of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, a senior in chemical engineering
Abby Pfaff of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, a junior in mining engineering
Nichole Wescott of Rolla, Missouri, a sophomore in mining engineering
Men’s Team A:
Thabiso Boleban or Ramotswa, Botswana, a senior in explosives engineering
Clayton Mears of Portage, Ohio, a junior in mining engineering
Trent Mitchell of Eldorado Springs, Missouri, a senior in mining engineering
Jared Proctor of Collinsville, Illinois, a junior in mining engineering
Josh Williams of Fillmore, Illinois, a junior in mining engineering
Men’s Team B:
Patrick Cahill of St. Charles, Missouri, a senior in mining engineering
John Follmer of O’Fallon, Missouri, a junior in mining engineering
Ben Hall of Omaha, Nebraska, a senior in multidisciplinary studies
John Marcana of Rolla, Missouri, a sophomore in mining engineering
Roger Taylor of St. Louis, a sophomore in mining engineering