CC Climbers Take on Nationals

Zach Levy

In its first year of existence on campus, the CC Climbing Team boasts 30 athletes on the team roster, even before climbing is officially recognized as a club sport, which begins in Fall 2018.

“It was a way bigger turnout for the team than we had expected, and we were very pleasantly surprised,” says Zach Levy ’21.

This season, the team has competed in two local USA Climbing competitions against other Colorado teams — one in Boulder and one at the U.S. Air Force Academy. “The competition in Boulder was a blast! Although it was the first collegiate climbing competition for almost all of our team members, we performed very well,” says Levy.

Two climbers, Kat Gentry ’19 and Levy, advanced to the final round of the competition with Levy taking home the win in a field of 80 men, beating the CU Boulder team on their home turf. At the USAFA competition, three CC climbers placed in the top 10. Then, at the end of Spring Break, the team competed at USA Climbing’s collegiate regional championships in Fort Collins. CC’s team had 14 climbers compete and seven climbers advanced to the national championships by placing in the top 20.

CC had five top ten finishers: Piper Boudart ’21, Allie Kreitman ’21, Gentry, Claire Bresnan ’19, and Levy, then three climbers who made it to finals, Gentry, Bresnan, and Levy, and one regional champion: Gentry for sport climbing. The team placed third in the region for bouldering and fifth in the region overall out of 16 teams.

This weekend, five CC athletes will head to Houston, Texas, to compete in USA Climbing’s Collegiate National Championships. In this competition, collegiate students from schools all around the country will compete for a spot on the U.S. Climbing Collegiate National Team and an invitation to the University World Championships. “Our team has been working hard to train for this competition and we are ready to test our skills on the national level,” Levy says. “We are extremely excited to climb hard, meet new people, and have a blast this weekend.” You can track the team’s progress at the championships here.

“Climbing gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself regardless of how good you are or how long you have been climbing,” Levy says of one of his favorite parts of the sport. “There is endless room for improvement when it comes to climbing, whether in technique, core strength, balance, or brute power. This allows a climber to have goals that can range from being able to perform a single foot movement to winning a national championship.

He says being able to set continuous, progressive goals as a climber keeps him driven and focused. “Climbing challenges you on an individual level, and you are able to push your limits as much as you wish. This makes climbing an amazing sport for beginners and pros alike.”

He also says that climbing provides the opportunity to meet new people and create lasting friendships, providing a competitive environment that is welcoming and encouraging.

Levy says the most challenging aspect of competitive climbing is staying focused. “It is very easy to be distracted by the performance of others and then become discouraged about your own climbing. While it is nice to know how well your competitors are climbing or how well you must climb to beat others, this often takes your focus off of the only thing that you have control over: Your own performance.”

Levy says he’s excited to see the interest in climbing and the climbing team grow at CC. “With climbing being in the Olympics in 2020, the sport is likely to become more mainstream. We hope that this climbing movement leads to a bright future for our team and the sport in general.”

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