The Transylvania Times -

By Patrick Veilleux
For The Transylvania Times 

Climbing Club Seeks Official Designation – Brevard NC


Members of BCC are front row left to right: Travis Gray, Davis Jones Ross Smith; middle row left to right: Dillon Brown, Zach Baker, James Whaley, Jacob Parker; top row from left to right: Molly Ledford, Elyse Santorso, Brianna Bangle, Olivia Fawcett, Misty Mitchell. Members not pictured: Eleana Reynolds, Annalise Williams, James Smith, Michael Jonsson, Harrison Davis, Zif Clark.

Brevard College, already well-known for its excellent outdoors programs and national championship-winning cycling team, may soon be adding a school-sponsored Rock Climbing team thanks to senior Travis Gray.

Gray, president of Brevard College Climbing (BCC), is seeking funding for the club to become the college's official climbing team.

"We're in our club phase right now, but we are trying to transition into becoming a recognized team - similar to our school's cycling program," said Gray, who helped form BCC this semester as a Student Government Association-sanctioned club.

An integrated studies major who is studying art history and Wilderness Leadership and Experient-ial Education (WLEE), Gray has been Rock Climbing for 10 years. Last year, he represented BC at the Collegiate Climbing Series National Champ-ionship in Boston. This year, he represented the college in Melbourne, Fla., where he placed 15th in the nation for the indoor climbing competition. As an individual climber, Gray is sponsored by Evolv, a performance climbing and outdoor footwear company.

Motivation within the team is high according to Gray.

"The team members have, of course, been the driving force behind this," he said, "They are motivated and dedicated, and this couldn't happen without them."

The club currently has 18 members who are required to buy their own memberships in the USA Climbing: Collegiate Climbing Series.

"It's an investment that shows interest in being a part of a team, and that's what we're building up to," Gray said.

The team has mandatory practice sessions twice a week, and enjoys seeing other BC students at the Brevard Rock Gym - especially on the free climb nights sponsored by the BC Campus Activities Board and the BC Outing Club.

By endorsing BCC, the college would be playing to one of its strengths – the outdoor programs, said Gray.

"It would be cool to have WLEE represent us, but we really want to represent athletics," he said. "We don't want to limit ourselves to students just interested in WLEE. We want a variety of people to see what we're doing, join us and support us. As fun as this is, I want people to see our team and recognize that it's also a serious sport."

Brevard College Direc-tor of Athletics Juan Mascaro has been tasked by the college's Executive Leadership Team to perform a sports study on the creation of BCC to learn what it would take to fund the team.

As a college-sanctioned team, BCC would compete with other school-sponsored teams such as Belmont Univer-sity, Appalachian State University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and others. In addition to participating with teams in the Southeast, the team would also represent Brevard College at national climbing events.

(Veilleux is a student at Brevard College.)


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