PITTSBURGH – Seven of the 14 climbers finished in the top 10, and all were in the top 20 as the Goat Fort Thundering Herd climbing team competed in its second regional qualifier on Nov. 5.
In order to advance to the USA Climbing Region 62 Championships, climbers must finish in the top 26 of their category (based on age and gender). After two of their three qualifying events, Thundering Herd coach Dana Harrington is confident many of Goat Fort’s climbers will advance.
“The official ranking is pending,” Harrington said. “Nevertheless, we have a pretty good idea of who will be receiving an invite to the regional championships in January, and The Goat Fort Thundering Herd is looking pretty good. Many of our kids are going to be on this list.”
The 14 climbers who competed in Saturday’s qualifier at First Ascent in Pittsburgh represented a “new highwater mark” for the Thundering Herd.
“We’ve never had so many kids competing before, and had several first-time competitors,” Harrington said. “Thankfully, we have two new coaches this year, Dan and Diane Muntz, who work hard to make certain that each climber has someone on hand for guidance and to answer questions. Plus, our more experienced athletes also provide a tremendous amount of support and coaching.
“This is critical as there is a certain strategy to these competitions that is independent of understanding how to do the climb and executing the moves,” Harrington continued. “Being a good climber is half the game. The other half is a good competition strategy and being able to modify that strategy as the competition unfolds.”
For this qualifier, each category of climbers had six boulder problems (climbing routes) that they were permitted to try. They were limited to ten tries each and were given a window of three hours to attempt these routes as they wished.
“This format was beneficial to climbers as they could strategically optimize their session, but also overwhelming as there was no set running order,” Harrington said. “Individuals needed to decide which climbs to try and when; managing attempts and rest. All of our kids put forth an amazing effort, with several finishing in the top ten.”
Thundering Herd results follow:
Male Junior (17 – 18)
– Atreyu Laska – 15th
Male Youth A (15 – 16)
– Isaac Sheldon – 8th
Male Youth B (13 – 14)
– Jasper Gick – 16th
Female Youth B (13 – 14)
– Adelaide Keeports – 17th
– Kinzlea Chase – 23rd
Male Youth C (11 – 12)
– Henry Gillies – 9th
Female Youth C (11 – 12)
– Lily White – 8th
Male Youth D (10 and under)
– Chase Long (Male Youth D) – 9th
– Grant Criswell – 10th
– Coleman Miller – 16th
Female Youth D (10 and under)
– Elodie Criswell (Female Youth D) – 7th
– Eloise Harrington (Female Youth D) – 10th
– Audrey Gillies (Female Youth D) – 11th
– Natalie Muntz (Female Youth D) – 12th
The next qualifier is in Akron, Ohio on Nov. 19.