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Climbing Team Reaches New Heights in WAICL Championship

On February 6, 2022, the boys’ and girls’ climbing teams took center stage at the Washington Area Interscholastic Climbing League (WAICL) championship. This was the culmination of an undefeated season for the boys and an incredible one-loss season for the girls. The boys’ program walked away as champions, while the girls’ program finished an impressive second.

“The way we’re going to win is as a team,” Patrick Thompson, math teacher, co-director of Outdoor Leadership, and head coach of the climbing team, said before the event. Thompson has overseen the evolution of the program for the past 17 years. The team became a varsity program in 2013, when the league expanded to eight teams. Since the inception of the program, it has attracted everyone from veteran climbers to rookie standouts and outdoor enthusiasts.
Freshman Max Yang has been a major addition to this year’s team. Hailing from Shanghai, Yang is the reigning Chinese national champion for combined lead and boulder climbing events. At just 14 years old, he trains with Sportrock Climbing Center and plans to compete in the East Divisional USA Climbing Championships. Yang is projected to place high enough to qualify for the US National Championships later this spring.

On the boys team, Yang tied for first place, while Sam Lipschutz ’22 earned second place. Demetri Kearns ’22 and Stuart Knops ’23 finished in the top ten. On the girls team, Anna Scott Arnold '22 made the podium with a third place finish. Connie Lu ’23, Zoe Williams ’25, and Zoe Smith ’22 also landed in the top ten.
Congratulations to our boys and girls climbing teams for a great season and an even better WAICL championship performance!