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Waldorf Rocks the Wall

Popp, Knoop and Sparks post amongst the rest of the Waldorf Rock-Climbing Club

By Diana Humble

Intramurals such as basketball, volleyball and dodgeball can be found on most college campuses, but not many can say they sponsor an intramural rock-climbing club. Waldorf University can.

Senior business marketing and management major, Jacobi Popp, started rock-climbing as a high school exchange student in Japan. When she returned, she asked Waldorf’s former residential marketing manager, Audrey Sparks, if there was anywhere to climb locally. The pair settled on the Albert Lea Rock Gym in Albert Lea, Minnesota and began climbing there weekly. Sparks suggested it be turned into a club and school sponsored event, and thus the rock-climbing club was born.

“Sometimes there’s two of us, and sometimes there’s eight. But we’re a consistent, loyal group,” said Popp.

Students joined the rock-climbing intramural for a variety of reasons.

Dallas Knoop, a senior history major, had no prior rock-climbing experience.

“Audrey Sparks had set up a booth at the Taste of Forest City,” Knoop said. “So one time I was like ‘ah, I have nothing going on—might as well go.’ So I went, and it was just awesome. I was kinda hooked after that.”

“I wasn’t able to wrestle anymore, so Dallas convinced me to start climbing to fill that void,” said Rachel Dreeszen, a senior history major. “It really works your legs.”

Junior communications major, Austin Case, is no stranger to the rock wall. “I like being on elevated surfaces,” he said. “Any opportunity to rock climb, I normally take.”

“The gym environment is super welcoming and friendly,” said Popp. “There will be people that don’t even know you at the bottom of the wall cheering you on the whole way up.”

“Everybody should come check it out,” Knoop said. “It’s super fun, and it’s free.”

The intramural rock-climbing club leaves from the Campus Information Center every Tuesday at 5 p.m. to climb, and returns to Forest City around 10 p.m. All Waldorf students are welcome to climb free of charge.