A few nights every week at Berkeley Ironworks, a young girl in zebra striped pants crushes the lead cave and in the Wave boulder at the Touchstone gym. "Zebra Girl", Touchstone desk staff's nickname for Kat Gentry, made a big impact recently when she won the Touchstone Rope Series comp.
Gentry, a 16 year old junior at Head-Royce school in Oakland, lives in North Berkeley and began climbing just a few years ago. "I bouldered at the gym and trained unofficially with Zero Gravity a year prior to joining to show my parents I could handle the commitment. So I started climbing regularly and seriously about 3 years ago," said Gentry, whose older borther Rick also spent time climbing with Zero Gravity.
Gentry trains maniacally. "During the summer and training for Nationals I was at the gym 5-7 days a week pretty consistently. Now that school has started, I train 3 days a week (at least two of them with a coach) from 4-7pm. I also try to climb on the weekends as much as possible."
At the gym, Gentry runs intervals, picking three problems- an easy, medium, and hard climb. Gentry spends 1 minute for each climb doing the easy medium hard hard medium easy and then rests for five minutes, performing these interval trainings for 6 rounds. Gentry continues by campusing, doing suicides, burpies, L-hangs, leg lifts, ring push-ups, and frenchies. At times, Gentry hangboards and does routines on the campus board for finger strengthening.
Gentry's commitment to climbing has paid off. Recently, Gentry won $700 in the Touchstone rope onsight finale. She plans on spending half her money to pay for her Zero Gravity training and the other half on a new pair of climbing shoes, she's worn through 4 pairs of climbing shoes in the past season. "I am really glad I won the money because I was broke and beginning to stress about staying on the team-- babysitting isn't a very steady income!"
Gentry talked about her upcoming goals. "Right now my goal is just to train as hard and consistently as possible while still finishing my homework. More specifically, I really want to go to my first Bouldering Nationals, compete in TBS, try my best at local competitions and then Regionals and Divisionals. I'm confident I can make it to Nationals if I try. Short-term I have a bunch of V8 projects at Ironworks and want to top my 5.13a when rope season comes around. Long-term-- who knows? I'm going to stick with climbing hopefully my whole life. I really want to get outdoors more."
Gentry will definitely be climbing more at Ironworks soon. Next time you're there, look out for the girl in the zebra pants
Tags: Kat Gentry, women climbing