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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Mania at PEIF competition

While strength training and rock climbing may not seem like a match made in heaven, the PEIF is bridging the two Saturday, April 12 to provide patrons and non-members alike the opportunity to compete in their respective passions. Rec Sports Mania is a day to bring together different fitness activities through the Superior Climbing Competition and the Great North Strength Competition.

Katie Stumman/NW Senior outdoor recreation major Laura Sabourin climbs the PEIF wall, which is the competition site.
Katie Stumman/NW
Senior outdoor recreation major Laura Sabourin climbs the PEIF wall, which is the competition site.

“Literally the entire spectrum is being covered in one weekend,” Fitness and Informal Recreation Manager Katie Theut said. “I really hope people take advantage of the opportunity. I think it’s unique. There’s nowhere else in the [Upper Peninsula] that does a strength competition. We want to provide these opportunities for people who are into their niches.”

The event is three-fold, spanning the whole day. A children’s climbing competition will begin at 9 a.m. at the PEIF Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC), followed by an adult competition.

The wall will be rerouted and the competition will include all skill levels based on the Yosemite system.

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“People are into climbing,” Theut said. “Why not offer programs that are specific to our members?  The ORC kids are working on the climbing competition. I think it’s a really unique opportunity for them.”

Junior earth science major Colten Moore is a facilitator at the ORC and will be preparing the rock wall for Saturday.

“We take off every single hold and scrub them,” Moore said. “We set new routes that no one has ever seen before, so it’s fresh for everyone. We do beginner, intermediate and advanced for men and women. We have a kids’ competition, so we have to set some easier routes for them. But the majority are students.”

Moore said the competition is a good opportunity for fun, competitive spirits.

“It’s a hang-out atmosphere,” Moore said. “We have music and people can come and do as many routes as they want. I think it will drive more people to the PEIF on that particular day.”

The strength competition will begin at 4 p.m. and will include maximum squat, maximum bench and a combination of the two based on individuals’ weight classes and genders.

“It’s not for hardcore people,” Theut said. “You come in here and do a squat, that’s it. We’re not looking for people who have trained for this for months at a time. We offer it to meet the needs of people who are interested in [strength].

“If you’ve never seen a strength competition, it’s fun to watch. To watch somebody who’s going ‘Alright, I’m going to push the most amount of weight I can once,’ it’s intense.”

Only a handful of people have signed up for the strength competition so far. The PEIF is keeping registration open until then in hopes that more people will feel comfortable competing.

Sophomore geomatics major Jannis Bartning works the front desk at the PEIF.

“I’m getting people to sign up if they want to,” Bartning said. “I hear people talk about it, but no one has really signed up. There are signs hanging that say the first 30 people to sign up will get free stuff.”

The events’ sponsors, from GNC to Patagonia to Down Wind Sports, will be providing prizes for event winners based on their respective recreational hobbies. Prizes go to the best competitors in their individual competitions.

Senior social work major Melissa McCraren will be competing in the climbing competition.

“I like that you’re kind of competing against others, but it’s an individual sport,” McCraren said. “You want to better your climb every year. You can focus on yourself, it creates a different kind of excitement. I really like the atmosphere. You’re showing people who don’t climb what the sport is about.”

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