CRMS climbers cruise through Eagle meet, Basalt High girls third in latest qualifier

Basalt High School junior Grace Harrington competes at a high school climbing competition on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Eagle. Courtesy photo.

Area climbers returned from the Thanksgiving break on Saturday, with Colorado Rocky Mountain School easily winning the third Western Slope regional qualifier of the season, held in Eagle.

CRMS won the girls’ high school division behind six top-10 finishers. Eagle Valley’s Reese Manley won, but right behind her were CRMS’s Willa Schendler in second and Scarlett Kerr in third. Roaring Fork’s Zella Benson, who trains with the Basalt High School team, was fifth.

“I really liked this comp. I loved competing, and I have never been to this gym before, which makes it more challenging,” Benson said. “There was one climb that would have been really awesome to get, but I couldn’t quite finish it. The climbing style was crimpy, and that’s a style that I just haven’t worked on much recently, but overall it was really fun.”

The CRMS contingent also included Angelika Minoli (sixth), Makaya Mackie (seventh), Morgan Karow (eighth) and Lily Jones (10th). Basalt’s top finisher was Grace Harrington in 15th.

“This comp didn’t go as well for scoring, but it was still fun, for sure,” Harrington said. “I kept trying to get that Route 15, so I felt proud of my effort, at least, but a little disappointed I couldn’t top out. … I feel like I did well with many of the crimp routes at the beginning, but for me, the bigger moves are more difficult.”

Behind CRMS, the Montrose girls were second, Basalt was third and Gunnison was fourth.

CRMS also rolled to the team win on the boys’ side, followed in second by Ridgway. Gunnison was third, Vail Mountain was fourth, Roaring Fork was fifth and Coal Ridge was sixth. With only two climbers, Basalt did not record a score.

CRMS’s Devin Bush won the boys’ competition, while his teammate, Jackson Turner, was second. Ridgway’s Chente Anderson was third and CRMS’s Max Seitel was fourth.

Gallery caption: Photos: High school climbing in Eagle

“This was a great competition for some of our promising younger climbers,” said Dave Meyer, who coaches the CRMS boys. “Max Seitel had the best comp of his career with his fourth-place finish. He has worked incredibly hard this fall and overcome significant adversity. It is great to see that hard work pay off. Devin is a gifted ninth grader who just posted his first overall win. Both boys are humble, kind and incredibly enthusiastic about climbing. We look forward to great results from them in the future.”

Connor Wolfe led the Basalt boys by finishing 13th.

“The comp went OK. I still don’t have the endurance that I use to, so I got tired pretty quick on these longer routes and couldn’t climb things that I could usually,” Wolfe said. “I feel like I can do the power climbs now, but the endurance takes time to come back from.”

CRMS’s next competition is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 8 in Montrose. At the moment, Basalt does not plan to compete again until Jan. 22 in Grand Junction.

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