by Turner Blaufuss
The MSUM Rock Climbing Club competed at the North Dakota State University Wallman Wellness Center Saturday with multiple climbers advancing to the final rounds. In the second year of the club’s existence, the Dragons reached many milestones in the competition.
“Rock climbing is a fun sport and it’s one of those sports where if you try it once you’ll be hooked,” club president Brooke Kosloski said. “We competed very well— definitely a lot better than we thought we would.”
The rock climbers compete in five events this year and get in a lot of time practicing. Even when it’s not rock-related, the team still sticks closely together. What started as a group of 10 close friends with a hobby, has expanded into a 17-member family.
“We just said ‘Hey let’s make a club; let’s get T-shirts and lets get jackets— Let’s just go all out,’” Kosloski said. “We’re just a big family. We do everything together.”
NDSU’s competition included their team, MSUM, Bismarck State and University of North Dakota climbers. In a rock climbing competition there are 10 routes to climb and the athletes have three hours to do as many as they can. The three highest scorers advance to the finals round, which had never been done by a Dragon before Saturday.
Kosloski became the first Dragon climber to make it to the finals and place as she took home third place in overall competition to lead the Dragons.
“It was kind of shocking I got called in that I made finals,” Kosloski said. “I got white faced for sure. It was nerve- racking and it shows how much progress we’ve made in just two years of having a team.”
Kate Sullivan took home the gold in the women’s beginner division with Taylor Kasprzak finishing a spot behind. Kayla Middendorf and Ben Frericks picked up first place in their respective intermediate divisions. Michael Pittman rounded out the finishers with first in the men’s beginner finals.
“We definitely have a lot of talent on our team this year,” Kosloski said. “It’s great motivation to do this well and it’s a great fire under our butts to motivate us to keep trying to get better and place higher.”
The Dragons’ next competition is Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Grand Forks Mall.
The Dragons all got hooked on rock climbing at the wellness center on campus and encourage any and all students to come have fun on the wall and are always welcome to new teammates.
“We climb to have fun and have a lot of fun while we’re climbing,” Kosloski said. “Come climb the rock wall at the wellness center. Meet us and let’s have some fun.”