Experienced members lead Bearden climbing team, welcome new members


Caroline Rogers

Junior Michaela Crenshaw climbs in a recent competition at RiverSports.

Zoe Evans, Staff Writer

Michaela Crenshaw sees the Bearden climbing team as a place of camaraderie, a safe place to get away.

“Climbing to me is just my second home,” the Bearden junior said. “It’s the place I go to get out of my own head.

“When you’re there with all these people who love to do what you do, there is nothing better.”

The Bearden climbing team meets every Sunday from 2-5 p.m., but some of them climb even more frequently. They’ve gained around a dozen new members this year.

“I am really impressed,” senior Evan Hill said. “All of the new climbers are super committed.”

One of the team’s main goals right now is getting the “newbies” into shape.

“We have a lot of newbies which is always great because the ‘vets’ get to teach other people to love and appreciate climbing,” Crenshaw said.

There have been two competitions so far this year, and the team feels good about both of them. Bearden has another competition Tuesday night at RiverSports.

“Competitions are set up by a points system, as you continue up the climb, you receive a set number of points for every hold you use,” senior Andrew Quigley said. “At the end of the competition, a person’s individual points are added up, and that’s your score.

“Then all individuals on a team’s points are added up for a team score.”

The Bearden team competes against all local high school teams, such as Farragut, L&N STEM Academy, West, and Halls, for whoever has the highest total points.

The climbing community isn’t all about competition, though.

“We literally ask our competition for help on routes,” Crenshaw said. “We’re just one big happy family; it doesn’t matter who you climb for.”

This season of climbing looks bright so far, in all aspects: team effort, athletic talent, and fun.

“I’ve been a part of the team since freshman year and I’ve seen our team grow in size and ability every year,” Quigley said. “I believe this will be a strong season for Bearden climbing.”