Photo of Josselyn Allen, submitted by Dan Brynildsen.JERSEYVILLE - In any sport, it is rare for a 14-year-old to appear on the world stage. However, Jersey Community High School's Josselyn Allen will do just that this weekend in the World Axe Throwing Championships presented by Signarama at Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Downtown Appleton, Wisc. The tournament runs from Friday through Sunday.

Allen will perform with her coach Dan Brynildsen, owner of Riverbend Axe Throwing locations in both Jerseyville and East Alton, and Dan's wife. Brynildsen is currently ranked at the top of the world rankings in multiple categories. ESPN will tape the world championships and air sometime next week. Allen has already captured significant attention with an appearance on ESPN. Brynildsen is renowned in the sport.

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Josselyn's specialty is big axe throwing. Brynildsen said axe throwing is one of those sports that a person can do that doesn’t require a lot of strength.

"It is about precision and technique and Josselyn has both in her throws," he said.

Dan describes Josselyn as a sweet 14-year-old girl, but in the competitions, he admitted an almost different person comes to the table, with intense concentration who simply wants to win.

Josselyn also handles the pressure of big-time competitions like the champion she is and stays poised. On the surface, Dan said many think that axe throwing is for the big lumberjack guy, but it is also good for a 14-year-old like Josselyn who has such "strong natural skills."

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Josselyn practices most of the time at Riverbend Axe Throwing but also does some at home. She participates in leagues two nights a week.

"There aren't many sports that allow you to be this advanced until you are in your 20s," Dan said. "Most pro athletes are done by the time they are in their 30s and 40s, but in axe throwing, you can keep going with practice.

The Jersey freshman phenom recently went undefeated in a tournament in Ohio and plans to shine again this weekend at the world event.

Josselyn simply has "natural athletic talent," Dan said and she works hard at it.

Josselyn is a standout Panthers athlete and plays softball, volleyball and now basketball, he said. The young Jersey axe thrower is also learning every time she goes to top-level tournaments and the future is so bright for her, Dan said.

Note: will follow the axe-throwing performers after their weekend of action next week.

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