Whitties shed pre-finals stress during weekend competitions

Matt Tesmond

Credit: Faith Bernstein

Last weekend, with less than two weeks before finals begin, Whitties got out their stress by climbing, playing volleyball and getting fierce on the soccer field.

In Sherwood Athletic Center this past Saturday, Whitman hosted the 20th annual Sweet Onion Crank. With over 150 competitors from 10 different colleges, the Crank was the largest ever held at Whitman.

“The energy in the place was amazing. I’ve never seen the gym that packed before,” said event organizer and sophomore climber Kemper Brightman.

The Northwest Collegiate Climbing Circuit event provided a place for climbers to compete, yet the main goal seemed much simpler: enjoy climbing and the other people at the wall.

Credit: Faith Bernstein

“The crank is really about bringing people together. . . Having climbers from different schools converge and motivate each other creates an incredible atmosphere that unifies the collegiate climbing community,” said Brightman.

Also taking place on Saturday was the Whitman Volleyball Grass Doubles Tournament. The tournament, intended to be a fundraiser for the team, included about 20 teams of eager Whitman students.

“Overall [the tournament] was a great success. This is the third one we have put on, and I think that this year was our best tournament yet,” said participant and junior volleyball player Rachel Shober.

In its third year, the tournament finally got a key element it had been missing in the past two contests.

“It was actually sunny the whole day for the first time,” remarked Shober.

Credit: Faith Bernstein

Following the full Saturday of activity, Sunday featured the Whitman Women’s soccer sponsored Barefoot Soccer Tournament. Like the volleyball tournament, the 3 vs. 3 soccer tournament is intended to raise funds for the Women’s Varsity Soccer Team.

The tournament, however, was about more than raising money.

“A soccer tournament on Ankeny is a great way to get people outside in the spring and bring different people on campus together through a sport,” said sophomore soccer player Sara Sonnenblick.

The competitors of the tournament soaked up the sun that served as a fitting end to the weekend with finals looming in the near future.

“People looked like they were having lots of fun. The friendly competitive side came out, which made the games that much more fun to watch and I’m sure intense to play. . . The music and the great weather just added to the festivities,” summed up Sonnenblick.