Auburn duo climbing to the top

Fast-learning rock climbers are nationally ranked, look to compete for U.S. team
By: Journal Sports Staff
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Erica Steppig and Hannah Donnelly are steadily making their way to the top of the U.S. rankings in girls rock climbing. When Mike Rommell first opened Gritstone Rock Club in 2007, Steppig and Donnelly were two of the first girls to join. They’ve quickly progressed from beginners to nationally ranked climbers. Steppig is in position to land a spot on the U.S. national team if she’s able to perform well at the American Bouldering Series National Championships next February in Colorado. The 16-year-old Placer High student won two events in October, including a second place overall showing at a competition in Logan, Utah. Steppig has two second-place finishes this month taking 10th overall in Santa Cruz and third overall in Mountain View. Steppig competes in the Youth-A division (for climbers born in 1992-93) and is ranked No. 2 in California. The points accumulated through competitions throughout the season put her tied for eighth nationally. Donnelly is also making a splash on the national scene. She is tied for 18th in the U.S. in the Youth-C division (1996-97) and is ranked fifth in California. Donnelly’s recent results include a second-place finish in the Youth-C division in Mountain View and a fourth place finish in Santa Cruz. Gritstone will host its own ABS series event on Dec. 6. For more information, call (530) 885-7625.