The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

There’s More to Summit Sports than Football, Basketball and Soccer

Unique athletics continue to go unrecognized

Summit is widely known for its athletics programs and its frequent success throughout Oregon. However, there’s an unequal representation between unconventional sports and your average high school team sport. Well known, traditional sports like football, soccer, basketball are more common compared to these newer, individual sports causing them to receive more celebration. These sports that go unrecognized don’t get the same funding, support and community appreciation that popular athletics do. There’s a clear divide between the two at Summit and it’s the reason people are often surprised to hear about Summits rock climbing, surfing and biking clubs.


In Bend especially, there is a surplus of bikers. You can find trails in your backyard and the town is filled with Patagonia wearing outdoor enthusiasts. At Summit mountain biking is often forgotten despite its prominence in the community. 

[Biking] is such a big sport in Bend, I don’t understand why we don’t have a real team. We should be a school sport not just a club,” said Summit sophomore and avid biker Hazel Donnelly.

Donnelly has been biking for most of her life and is extremely committed to her sport. She races for both Project Bike and Cascadia Junior Cycling, and she is a loose member of the Summit bike club. However because of the lack of development and the newness of the club she wouldn’t call herself a dedicated member.

Part of the reason biking is a harder sport to have at a high school level is due to its costly attributes. Most decent quality bikes cost around $1,000, but the more advanced the biker the higher the price will be. However, expenses didn’t stop the Summit ski team from being prominent in the athletics department.

“It’s an expensive lifestyle, there’s a lot of money that goes into repairing bikes and for me traveling to races,” said junior Tyler Morgenson.

Morgenson has been biking since he was five years old and puts in around 10-12 hours a week. As a biker in Bend, there’s a decent variety of competitive programs for all ages. Morganson is a part of Cascadia Junior Cycling, similar to Donnelly.

However great these outside resources are, within Summit, we don’t see many options for teen bikers to compete. One of the great things about most highschool sports is that anyone can try out, no matter what level you are at. But, for bikers who are more serious about their sport, the few existing school clubs don’t offer the intensity needed.


Another popular activity for Summit students is rock climbing. Many choose to climb year round whether it be outdoors at Smith Rock, or inside at the Bend Rock Gym. Central Oregon offers a multitude of options but many experienced climbers choose to compete with Bend Endurance Academy, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy lifestyles through the outdoors.

“I just love the community of it and the people that do it,” said sophomore rock climber Belle Danigelis.

Danigelis has been climbing since she was five years old, and when she’s in season with Bend Endurance Academy, she climbs for over 10-12 hours a week. Danigelis also explained that even though there is a rock climbing club at Summit, it’s predominantly filled with guys.

“There’s a club that was started this year but I dont think it’s very serious, but other than that I don’t think [rock climbing] is very represented at Summit at all,” said Danigelis.

This is an issue seeing that the clubs are more recreational, leaving limited opportunities for serious athletes who want to compete for their school. However, some students have a more hopeful take on the situation, summing up this underrepresentation to their sport’s novelty.

“I would say that rock climbing is a sport that’s growing, but because it’s not that big right now it’s probably pretty accurately depicted by Summit,” said sophomore Gavin Ortiz, adding that, “As the sport continues to grow, I hope Summit will incorporate it more.”

Nonetheless, more school wide support couldn’t hurt these programs, especially when it comes to expenses. Rock climbing specifically can be costly due to memberships and extensive gear, so school funding would be beneficial to student participation.


While Central Oregon is nearly 200 miles away from the ocean, it has a surprisingly strong surf community. Thanks to the Bend Whitewater Park, a man-made river surf wave located in McKay Park, many Summit students partake in this sport competitively or just for fun. Recently, local ocean and river surfer Chip Conrad started a surf club for Summit students

The Summit surf team does not require a lot of commitment. We have occasional meetings and comps,” said junior Zari DeBrun. “What really has taken up the most time so far, is our river whitewater training in case we need to help out in a rescue. We do not have mandatory training, you can really just surf wherever you want.”

DeBrun is a passionate surfer and founding member of the Summit surf club. She has been river surfing for five years now, but has been ocean surfing since she was 9.  

I love the vibe of sitting out on the water on the board with the sun shining down knowing I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in that moment,” said DeBrun.

The club definitely hasn’t shied away from competitions, despite its location. In May the team traveled to Chelan, Washington to compete against Chelan High School. And while Bend isn’t necessarily a surfing hot spot–which may be the reason for its lower school popularity–this doesn’t stop students from enjoying the unique sport. 

“The school doesn’t help fund the club but I mean all you really need is a board to surf the wave,” said junior Sanjay Green.

Green has been surfing his entire life and has found a great outlet and community in the sport.

“I am hoping the club exists for longer and that the Summit students receive recognition for competitions down the line,” said DeBrun.

Currently the club has accumulated 14 members but are looking for more, so if you’re interested in joining, reach out via their Instagram page!

While this surfing program has set a good example for athletic clubs at Summit, the school is still lacking in the recognition that these sports deserve. 

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About the Contributors
Kepler Orton
Kepler Orton, Staff Writer

In her free time, Kepler enjoys wandering the halls of bookstores and trying (and failing) to teach herself how to play the guitar. If you can’t find her, simply follow the trail of yarn scraps and the scent of chlorine as she spends all her time at the pool playing water polo, and most of her time at home crafting. She is an avid tote bag hoarder, todo list maker, and music lover. Kepler can also be found in Summit's orchestra playing (mostly) all the right notes on her violin. She’s a sophomore, and as it’s her first year on the Pinnacle, she is excited to expand her skills as a writer.

Fiona Cooper
Fiona Cooper, Staff Writer

When she isn’t rotting in her bed munching on snacks, Fiona can often be found creating a to-do list of things that will never get done! She enjoys listening to music and nibbling on a chocolate croissant from Thump with an iced chai in hand. Fiona loves telling overly dramatic stories to her friends, watching stupid sitcoms and hating on spiders. She’s a first-time staff writer here at the Pinnacle and is looking forward to expanding her writing repertoire.

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