Thundering Herd Finishes Strong, Awaits Regional Qualifier Announcement

Adelaide Keeports attempts a climb during a USA Climbers Regional Qualifying event at Rock Mill in Akron, Ohio on Nov. 19, 2022. Photo submitted.

AKRON, Ohio – The Goat Fort Thundering Herd climbing team closed out its regional qualifying competition with another strong showing at Rock Mill Climbing in Akron, Ohio on Nov. 19.

All 11 climbers finished in the top 25 in their respective divisions. While some were competing for the first time, many were looking to solidify their spot as a USA Climbing regional qualifier.

Lily “Smalls” White makes a climb at Rock Hill in Akron, Ohio on Nov. 19, 2022. Photo submitted.

“Our athletes have been steadily improving this season, and this was our best result yet,” Thundering Herd coach Dana Harrington said. “There is one more event in Chicago on Dec. 3 that can impact the final rankings, so we’ll have to wait to see who qualifies. Nonetheless, The Goat Fort Team has performed well this season and we expect to be sending most of The Herd to the Regional Championships in January.”

Harrington said first-year climber Adelaide Keeports “provided the highlight of the weekend.” Her performance earned an 8th-place finish, her best of the season, and could have secured Keeports a spot in the Regional Championships.

“Adelaide made quick work of her first two boulders, earning two tops in only three tries,” Harrington said. “Then, she faced a difficult climb that many other climbers had struggled with. Unlike most of the other climbers, Adelaide climbed it on her first try. This rocketed her up the rankings.”

Henry Gillies climbing at Rock Hill in Akron, Ohio on Nov. 19, 2022. Photo submitted.

While “veteran” climbers Isaac Sheldon (9th), Lily “Smalls” White (5th), Chase Long (7th), Natalie Muntz (6th), Henry Gillies (12th), and Audrey Gillies (4th) all turned in top 12 finishes, Harrington had high praise for those newcomers to the sport.

“In their first competition, Marshall and Neola Harrington tackled their boulders with confidence and achieved a great first result,” Dana Harrington said. “In only their second competition, Kinzlea Chase and Eloise Harrington both improved upon their first outing. Plus, our veteran climbers: Isaac Sheldon, Lily “Smalls” White, Chase Long, Natalie Muntz, and Henry and Audrey Gillies, who have already posted great results this season, were on form and likely secured their spot at the Regional Championships.”

Thundering Herd athletes finished as follows:

Male Youth A
– Isaac Sheldon – 9th

Male Youth C
– Henry Gillies – 12th

Male Youth D
– Chase Long – 7th
– Marshall Harrington – 20th

Female Youth B
– Adelaide Keeports – 8th
– Kinzlea Chase – 24th

Female Youth C
– Lily White – 5th

Female Youth D
– Audrey Gillies – 4th
– Neola Harrington – 5th
– Natalie Muntz – 6th
– Eloise Harrington – 8th