Vertical Earth Club

Red Rock
Officer Ben Blackburn Sending the Gnar
Group Picture in Las Vegas

Club Information & Plans

Grand Valley State University's Vertical Earth Climbing Club is a student-run organization that is held in the Fieldhouse Climbing Center on Grand Valley's Allendale campus. The club climbs several times throughout the week along with numerous trips to outdoor locations such as  Red River Gorge in Kentucky, Horseshoe Canyon in Arkansas and Red Rock Canyon in Nevada . Club members are encouraged to expand their knowledge and their ability within the sport of rock climbing. Our meeting times are Sundays and Wednesdays 7-10 p.m. 

  • President: Clint Ivory
  • Vice President: Josh Tinkham
  • Financial Officer: Ben Blackburn
  • Public Relations: Hannah Zylman
  • Risk Manager: Conrad Wilmers

Club E-Mail: [email protected]

Training Schedule

Practice times

Wednesdays: 7 pm - 10pm  

Sundays: 7 pm - 10pm 



$40 per semester 

$70 for the year



GVSU Climbing Center located in the Fieldhouse

2022-2023 Roster

First Name

Last Name

Previous School/Team








































Thiebaut Near
































Oakland University

Northwest High School

Grand Valley State University


Interlochen Arts Academy


Lakeshore High School


Grand Valley State University

Utica Eisenhower

West Chicago Community Highschool



Hoffman Estates High School



Oak Park 






Saint Joseph High School



Ohio Virtual Academy


Dexter Community High School

Vertical Earth





Grand Blanc High School

Social Media


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Men's Club Volleyball Wins GLMVC Conference Championship

The weekend of March 16th-17th was a very successful one for GVSU Men’s Club Volleyball’s A team. The team traveled to Davenport University for the second round of the Great Lakes Men’s Volleyball conference tournament. Sitting in first place without dropping a single set, the team ended up losing their last match to Bowling Green Saturday night. The Lakers started bracket play Sunday with two large margin wins against Ferris State and Western Michigan. The championship was set for a rematch against Bowling Green. After winning the first set 25-23, the Lakers fell to an eight point deficit to start the second set. After battling back, they dropped the second set 25-21 forcing another three match game. A back and forth battle found the Lakers tied 10-10 in a first to 15 race. A serving run by Greg Janes put them up 14-11. A beautifully placed serve by Jack Norkiewicz finished off with a block from Paden Rousseau gave the laker men’s club volleyball team their first conference championship since 2017. 

The Laker Men’s Volleyball team had multiple award recipients for all conference honors. First team all-conference team included junior setter Jacob Fiandalo, senior middle blocker Paden Rousseau and freshman middle blocker Michael Uldrych. Both graduate students Greg Janes and Sam Szarowicz earned second team for outside hitter. AJ Zanders, Easton Upton, and Mack Tyrell earned honorable mention awards. 

Special shoutout to all the parents who bring food, drinks, and endless support to our team as well as our friends. The success of this program would not be possible without them, our coaches, and club sports. 

We look forward to trying to repeat next year!

April 1, 2024

Rising Resilience: Grand Valley State University Club Wrestlers Show Out at 2024 NCWA National Championships

The wrestlers representing Grand Valley State University displayed an impressive blend of determination and skill during the 2024 NCWA National Championships held at the Brookshire Grocery Arena in Shreveport, Louisiana, from March 14 to March 16, 2024. Despite encountering formidable opponents from renowned collegiate wrestling programs nationwide, the GVSUWC athletes exhibited unmatched resilience and prowess. Their performance highlighted their profound devotion to the sport and the university, evident in their steadfast determination and unyielding quest for achievement. As they navigated through demanding matches, each member of the GVSU Wrestling Club exemplified the culmination of extensive training and preparation, garnering recognition and respect for their exceptional performance on this esteemed national platform.

In a gripping match against Alexandria Green from Texas State University, 116-pound wrestler Isobel Wharff displayed her skills, engaging in a fierce battle until the 3:41 mark, ending with Green securing the victory. However, Wharff's determination remained unwavering as she prepared for her next challenge against Angelina Walker from Ottawa - Arizona. Despite a valiant effort, Wharff faced a quick defeat, with Walker claiming victory in just 17 seconds.

"In moments like these, we witness the essence of our team's ethos: show up, be prepared, and understand that every match begins at 0-0," said Head Coach Ryan Lancaster. "Isobel exemplified this spirit in her recent encounters. Against Green, she engaged in a gripping battle, showcasing her skills until the final buzzer. Every match presents an opportunity to score bonus points, not just on the scoreboard, but in character and grit."
In the 125-pound weight class, Zack Koenig of GVSUWC exhibited exceptional prowess, navigating a series of challenging matchups with remarkable skill. Koenig started his campaign with a dominant technical fall victory over Gabriel Matamoros of Rutgers WC, followed by another impressive triumph against Brennan Garate-Flores of Pacific Lutheran. Continuing his winning streak, Koenig secured a major decision victory over Luis Barajas of Grays Harbor, showcasing his tactical proficiency on the mat. In a closely contested about against Joseph Jimenez of Sacramento State, Koenig demonstrated his resilience and determination, clinching a hard-fought decision victory to advance further in the tournament. Despite facing a formidable opponent in Dominic Ciolli of Ohio State, Koenig displayed unwavering determination and fought bravely, ultimately falling short but leaving an indelible mark with his stellar performance.

Coach Lancaster said, "Zack's journey through a series of challenging matchups showcased his remarkable skill and unwavering commitment to our team's philosophy. Each victory, whether by technical fall or a hard-fought decision, underscored Koenig's tactical proficiency on the mat and his resilience in the face of adversity."
The GVSUWC's Maria Potrero also left her mark on the tournament, engaging in intense bouts that showcased her talent and tenacity. Potrero faced off against formidable opponents such as Marinthia Mendoza from Grays Harbor and Carly Manning from Clemson. Despite experiencing both victory and defeat, Potrero demonstrated resilience and a fighting spirit that echoed throughout the tournament. One of the standout moments for Potrero was her match against Manning, where she dominated the mat, securing victory in 5 minutes and 26 seconds. 

"Win or lose, she exemplified our core values, demonstrating resilience and a relentless fighting spirit. Her decisive victory over Manning was a defining moment for her and our entire team," said Coach Lancaster.

Jack Sherman, representing GVSUWC in the 157-pound weight class, also performed remarkably throughout the tournament. Sherman kicked off his campaign with a commanding technical fall victory over Dominic Acosta of Central Florida, setting the tone for his subsequent matches. He continued his winning streak with a dominant major decision win against Brady Bollander of James Madison, showcasing his technical proficiency and strategic prowess on the mat. Despite facing a setback against Keaton Fischer of West Chester in a closely contested about, Sherman bounced back with an emphatic pinfall victory over Clay Queen of Lyon, displaying his resilience and determination. He followed it up with another impressive pinfall victory against Anthony Colavito of Montclair State, further solidifying his reputation as a formidable competitor. Despite facing a tough opponent in Mitchell Helgert of Washington State, Sherman fought valiantly but ultimately fell short, concluding his campaign with a commendable performance.

"From his commanding technical fall victory over Acosta to his dominant major decision win against Bollander, Sherman displayed skill and a strategic finesse that set him apart. Even in facing setbacks, like his closely contested about against Fischer, Sherman exhibited resilience, bouncing back with emphatic pinfall victories over his opponents," said Lancaster.

The final standings at the Nationals reflected the culmination of months of arduous training and unwavering dedication. West Chester emerged victorious with a narrow lead, followed by Ohio State WC and Clemson. However, the GVSUWC's remarkable journey captivated the attention of wrestling enthusiasts. With a total score of 15.5 points, the GVSUWC claimed a notable 16th position. While the team didn't clinch the top spot, its performance underscored the talent and resilience ingrained within its ranks.

"The GVSUWC adheres staunchly to our fundamental principles: show up, be prepared, score bonus points, and remember the score is always 0-0. Jack and Zack's commendable 4-2 record at Nationals exemplifies our commitment to these principles. Though not atop the leaderboard, the final standings reflect the culmination of months of relentless training and unwavering dedication. While West Chester ultimately seized victory with a narrow lead, our 16th position underscores our team's undeniable prowess and resilience," said Lancaster.

The GVSUWC demonstrated impressive perseverance and resolve at the 2024 NCWA National Championships. Their outstanding performance underscored the result of extensive preparation, unwavering commitment, and a relentless pursuit of greatness. Every wrestler gave their utmost effort, reflecting the team's embodiment of sportsmanship and unity, garnering respect from spectators and opponents. As the event concluded, the GVSUWC emerged as a dominant force, illustrating the resilience and enthusiasm characteristic of collegiate wrestling.

March 20, 2024

Grand Valley State University Wrestling Club Shines at 2024 NCWA Great Lakes Conference Championship

The wrestling warriors of Grand Valley State University Wrestling Club etched their legacy into the annals of the 2024 NCWA Great Lakes Conference Championship, a riveting spectacle hosted on March 2 at the hallowed grounds of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. The GVSUWC Lakers unleashed their determination on the rugged mat, earning themselves coveted spots in the upcoming NCWA National Championships in Shreveport, Louisiana, slated for March 14.

GVSUWC's femme fatales, 18th-ranked Isobel Wharff and 13th-ranked Maria Potrero ascended the podium with uncontested conference titles in their weight classes: Wharff in the 116-pound category and Potrero commanding at 143 pounds. Their triumph set an unyielding precedent, casting a formidable shadow over the competition.

On the men's battlefield, the journey through the tournament was a tapestry woven with intense clashes and unyielding competition. 16th-ranked Zack Koenig, grappling in the 125-pound weight class, fought valiantly to secure a 4th-place finish, showcasing a resilience that echoed through each pulse-pounding match.

Koenig's odyssey included a quarterfinal conquest over Alex Needham from the University of Dubuque, followed by a hard-fought semifinal duel with Damian Ryan from Bellarmine University. Ultimately, Koenig clinched fourth after a nail-biting third-place skirmish against Dominic Ciolli from The Ohio State University.

Climbing the ladder, number one ranked Jack Sherman, the undisputed ruler of the 157-pound category, showcased his mat mastery. Despite putting up Herculean battles every round, Sherman finished fourth after facing a gauntlet of formidable opponents. His saga featured a commanding triumph over Logan Brown from Thomas More University in the championship's opening round, only to be met with a quarterfinal setback against Jake Gooding from Ohio State University.

Though he rallied with victories in the consolation bracket, a fierce third-place match against Gooding ended in a brutal defeat for Sherman. Anthony Coleman and Brandon Khnanisho, GVSUWC's representatives in the 235-pound class, personified determination and skill. Coleman grappled his way to a commendable 4th place finish, while Khnanisho, despite finishing 8th, showcased unwavering grit and commitment.

Coleman's quest included a swift triumph over Ethan Hrynkow from Ohio State University in the quarterfinals, followed by a semifinal tussle with Joseph Pineda from the University of Dubuque. A triumphant rebound in the consolation bracket against Gavin Wurm from Ohio State University preceded a fourth-place finish after a closely contested third-place showdown against Jacob Meek from the University of Toledo.

Khnanisho faced an uphill battle, losing in the quarterfinals to Pineda from the University of Dubuque and then to Hrynkow from Ohio State University in the consolation bracket. Despite the challenges, Khnanisho's journey illuminated his unwavering determination on the mat.

Head coach Ryan Lancaster beamed with pride: "We're incredibly proud of our wrestler's performances at the Great Lakes Conference. The caliber of competition, with teams like Bellarmine and Thomas More, speaks volumes. Despite the challenges, our athletes showcased skill, determination, and resilience. Qualifying all six wrestlers for the NCWA National Championships is a testament to their hard work and dedication. We're excited to continue our journey and prepare for the upcoming competition."

With all six Grand Valley State University Wrestling Club warriors clinching spots at the NCWA National Championships, the team now sets its sights on an arduous preparation regimen. As they hone their skills and devise strategies for the national stage, the GVSUWC wrestlers aspire to carve their names into the wrestling pantheon, bringing glory and honor to their university.

March 13, 2024

Friday's Spring Break Blogs at Clemson

Amelia Paulin

Today was the last day of our training trip in Clemson! It was a little cloudy with some rain, which was a nice break from the hot weather all week. Today, practice was in some small boats. This was our first time doing small boats all of break, so it was a much needed change of pace! I was in the Marco, a pair, and bow coxed. Other boats that were in our fleet were 2 other pairs, a double, and a single! Practice started off pretty chill as I took us across one of the race courses doing our warmup in order to get to the correct side of the lake. Then, we were notified that our coach’s launch was broken so we had to go with a women’s 8 for a bit! We followed the 8 into a little cove/island area that was around 6k away. At this fun little new spot, we did some drills in order to work on balance and togetherness. To start off, we did 3 bobs for timing, 3 bobs at arms away for balance, and 3 bobs at the pivot point for more balance. We successfully completed those, and it was time to turn around and row back in order to load the trailer. 

On the way back I had to play a little bit of minefield, as I had to dodge huge trees left and right. Then, to end practice off we did a 30 stroke burst at a high rate and took it then. After taking it in, we loaded the trailer. And to end the week off, the coaches got the whole team pizza. Yum!!


Josh Scotto

Hello! My name is Josh Scotto and today was the final day of our spring break training trip! We started off with an early morning at 5:50-6am after pressing snooze a couple times. After getting dressed for the day and going downstairs to stretch and walk on the treadmill I had a sizable breakfast of a plate of eggs and potatoes, double portion of oatmeal, a banana muffin, and two slices of toast. 

Moving to the water, while I had rowed the past couple days I decided to give my lower back a break and stay on land and de-rig/clean up the beach with a fellow teammate Reilly Forbes so the team could leave earlier. Taking about 2 hours to pack everything up onto the trailer after everyone docked we finally got on the road for home!

While most of the ride home was uneventful, there were a few fun moments. After about 13-15 hours on the road, shotgunning roughly 6 hours, and driving roughly 6 hours, we finally made it to Lot J where we unpacked the van and said our goodbyes while I waited for some of the other vans to get back to the lot. Unfortunately with limited sleep the next morning we went to return the lovely vans to Enterprise, then I went home and slept for another 6 hours and am just now finishing this blog!


Nikolai Stroemme

To start the day, I woke up to the sound of the favorite apple alarm. I proceeded to pack up everything I didn't need for the day then went down for the hotel breakfast. There was very little food as Temple ate most of it. We then packed up the vans and made our way down to the boat dock. once we arrived, me, Robbie, Tyler, Ryan, and Valley set up our 4 and made our way to the race course to start our AT day. It was 3 split up 2ks and we had tons of fun doing a proper start and racing the course. After we finished the AT, we came into the dock to de rig the boats and load up the trailer. Once that was done we had a pizza party on the beach then took a group photo to commemorate this spring break. Now we are doing the 15 hour drive back to the campus to sleep and eat.

March 11, 2024

Team History


Established in 

Page last modified March 20, 2023