Basalt High girls finish third in Grand Junction indoor climbing competition
The indoor climbing season continued this past weekend with the second Western Slope region qualifier, held Saturday at Grand Valley Climbing in Grand Junction. The Basalt High School girls stood out, finishing third as a team behind winner Colorado Rocky Mountain School and runner-up Montrose.
For the Longhorns, junior Grace Harrington led the way by finishing sixth in the high school girls’ division. Battle Mountain’s Aiden Manning was first, while a pair of CRMS climbers in Willa Schendler and Emrys Taylor finished second and fifth, respectively.
“Grace is an even-keel climber and she seems to just be in the moment without a lot of emotion around her climbs. She generally sees a climb that looks aesthetically interesting or fun and just goes for it — and often she does great,” BHS coach Tanner Jones said. “Grace cruised up route 13, then sent 14 and 15 to round out her routes after struggling to finish 17 without reaching the top.”
Roaring Fork’s Zella Benson, who competes and trains with the BHS team, was seventh, with CRMS climbers dominating much of the remaining top 20 on the girls’ side.
“Zella is new to our team this year and certainly feels the stoke around indoor competitions,” Jones said. “She is a great addition to our group and I appreciate her energy around climbing and her desire to get stronger and better. She’ll jump on any route and give it a try.”
In the high school boys’ division, CRMS rolled to the team win, followed in second by Montrose and in third by Ridgway. Roaring Fork finished fourth, while BHS didn’t have enough athletes to record a team score.
Ridgway’s Chente Anderson won the individual competition, with CRMS’s Keller Friesen coming in second and his teammate, Devin Bush, coming in third. Roaring Fork’s Cameron Hermes was fifth and his RFHS teammate, Hank Cerrone, was ninth.
“Cameron did well, even though he was a bit frustrated by the boulders,” Jones said. “He sent boulder 20 and struggled to find another couple of boulders near that number. The same held true for his route climbing.”
Returning to action this past weekend was BHS senior Connor Wolfe, who finished 13th. Wolfe missed the first qualifier due to illness.
“Connor has been with the team since he was a freshman and has been bit by the climbing bug, for sure,” Jones said. “He hasn’t been able to train or practice for a couple of weeks, but he was determined to compete. I told him to just take it easy and enjoy the comp without putting pressure on himself to climb hard. As the season progresses, Conner will get his climbing fingers back in shape and look to improve on his standings.”
The BHS team will take most of this week off because of Thanksgiving, with its next competition scheduled for Dec. 4 in Eagle.
The Basalt High School football team only needed one half to put away visiting Grand Valley on Friday night, winning 42-6 in the league opener on a wet BHS field. It was also homecoming for the Longhorns.