Freshman Gracen K. solved three very difficult climbing problems, motivating several of her teammates to also solve them, scoring a personal record of 30 points, and sparking the Varsity Climbing Team to its first ever victory last Tuesday.
Gracen’s performance also inspired teammate Josie N. to a personal best, 30-point performance as the two freshmen led Foxcroft to a 134-119 victory over the Bullis School. For her efforts, Gracen was named Foxcroft’s Athlete of the Week for the period of Jan. 20-26, Climbing Coach Josie Ross announced Monday.
Gracen, who is new to climbing, scored 14 points by solving the most difficult 5.11 top-rope route, but it was in the bouldering part of the competition that her skills truly shined, solving a V3 and a V4 route for seven and nine points, respectively. Climbers earn points by successfully completing routes. In the case of bouldering, a successful climb is characterized by staying on route (only using the designated hand and foot holds), not touching the ground, and “topping out” with two controlled hands on the top of the route. Different point values are assigned based on the difficulty of the route.
“The most difficult route a girl on our team has completed is a V4, and only after several practices to work on it,” said Coach Ross. “During Tuesday’s 90-minute competition, Gracen worked and solved a V4 that she hadn't seen before. Because she was able to solve it, Josie also felt confident enough to try it and she solved it, too!”
Gracen’s V3 route included a “dyno” — a dynamic move where both hands and feet leave the ball and the climber moves from one set of holds to another. “The V3 route is technically less difficult, but it had a big dynamic move in it that the girls haven’t practiced much,” Coach Ross said. “Gracen successfully completed the dyno and solved the route, inspiring Nia D. to do the same.”
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.