Monday, February 12, 2001

Climbing competition visits Miami

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        OXFORD — Climbers flexed their mental and physical muscles in an American Bouldering Series competition at Miami University's Recreational Sports Center Saturday.

        Climbing without ropes, more than 120 competitors followed routes marked with colored tape on three climbing structures.

[photo] Climbers from all over Ohio came to Miami University for Saturday's bouldering competition.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        The object was not to scale the heights, but to complete the course.

        While participants climbed no higher than 12 feet, jutting simulated rock faces and tricky angles posed plenty of difficulty.

        “The biggest challenge is finding out the best place to put your feet,” said K.C. Fischer, 14, of Pleasant Ridge. K.C. recently returned from a national climb ing competition in California, where she ranked 16th.

        “It takes more than upper body strength; a lot of it is endurance, flexibility and technique,” explained Julie Versteeg, assistant director of the center's Outdoor Pursuit Center.

        Miami senior Art Kumpf watched the competitors pit their strength and wits against the courses he helped design.

        “It took us about three days to set the problems,” he said, “but about a month to plan them. I love watching to see if people climb them the way I would. There's a lot of ways to get to five using one, two and three.”

        After three hours, each participant's five best scores were totalled to determine male and female winners in beginner, intermediate, advanced and youth divisions.


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