Local high-schoolers compete at state climbing championships
Icy roads and long drives could not keep the finest high school climbers in the state from representing their schools at City Rock Climbing Center in Colorado Springs on Feb. 25-26.
The 43-foot walls and steep boulder problems challenged climbers from 25 Colorado high schools at the state climbing championships.
Colorado’s best climbers were crowned after three hours of intense competition, dramatic falls and sore fingers. With shouts of encouragement still ringing in their ears, the results were tallied and local climbers represented the Roaring Fork Valley well.
While it did not qualify enough climbers for a full team score, Glenwood Springs High School’s fledgling program held its own in its first trip to the state competition. Junior Jessica Gerstner took 11th and sophomore Jenna Pearce finished up in 14th place.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School took a more experienced team to the Front Range.
The girls’ strong performance culminated a season that began in late October. Led by senior Maria Mork of Carbondale, the girls captured second place as a team.
Mork missed last year’s state finals with a broken arm, so her ninth-place finish marked a fitting end to her career.
Supporting Mork’s effort were Mollie Podmore of Glenwood Springs (10th place), Giuliana Sheldon of Seattle (17th), Kim Clary of Basalt (21st) and Torrey Sanson of Carbondale (26th). On Friday night, sophomore Lea Linse of Carbondale handily won the girls junior varsity competition.
The CRMS boys also climbed well. The competition was fierce but the boys earned a fifth-place team finish behind some strong performances.
Senior and team captain, Tobin Sanson, was the leader. The Carbondale resident finished 13th.
Right on Sanson’s heels was sophomore Sammy Martin from the Caribbean island of Antigua. Rounding out the team was Mason Cazedessus of Costa Rica in 35th.
As the days lengthen with the impending arrival of spring, Roaring Fork Valley’s young cast of climbers will likely next turn toward the local rock for outdoor excursions.
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The Forest Service plans to replace the Carbondale Aspen-Sopris ranger district station with a newer, larger facility.