Westminster College's First-Ever Intercollegiate Climbing Competition

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Highlights from the comp on Nov. 18, 2008. Photo by Tom Bear / www.westminstercollege.edu

Highlights from the comp on Nov. 18, 2008. Photo by Tom Bear / www.westminstercollege.edu

On November 18, 2008, in Salt Lake City, Utah, college students — with focus and determination — from across the state competed for the title of “best boulderer” at Westminster College’s first-ever climbing wall competition.

Tye Watkins and Lizzie Nielson, both students at the University of Utah, took first place honors in the men’s and women’s divisions beating out more than 30 other students. Teams from Westminster College, Utah State University, Weber State University and the University of Utah competed on Westminster’s 46-foot climbing wall - the tallest on any Utah campus.

The competition included problems up to 15-feet high at various angles. Marvin Seale, Westminster’s director of fitness, wellness and recreation, explained that despite the fact that the facility also has roped climbing areas, this competition was focused on bouldering or un-roped climbs. During the qualifying round, competitors tried to accumulate the highest point total they could, with values based on difficulty and fewest falls, not speed. The highest scoring climbers proceeded to the finals where they climbed new and harder routes.

Lizzie Nielson from the University of Utah took first place in the women

Lizzie Nielson from the University of Utah took first place in the women

Niels Tietze of Westminster College on a problem during the men

Niels Tietze of Westminster College on a problem during the men

“We were very excited to host the first-ever climbing competition,” said Liz Rogers, director of Westminster’s outdoor recreation program. “We are hoping that this will create camaraderie among the schools and set a path for future intercollegiate competitions.”

The first place winners received a pair of Mad Rock climbing shoes as well as bragging rights.

Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience.

For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu.