The UCF Rock Climbing Club has wrapped up another successful year, finishing the season strong at the Collegiate Climbing Series National Championship in Boston.
The team took home the second place overall team award, beating over 20 teams from around the country that attended nationals, as well as several individual awards. Some of the newest team members did exceptionally well with Jessica Jenkins achieving 6th place in the women’s difficulty category after an exciting finals performance, Ashley Norton taking home 3rd place for women’s speed climbing and Alex Velandia placing 10th in men’s speed.
Team member Jessica Jenkins states, “I enjoyed meeting all of the other climbers from different schools and being in an environment that we all like . . .I also love the competition setting, competing against other people from different states – you don’t see climbing all the time is fun. It helps me judge where I am at and what I need to improve on.”
The team is made up of 12 members of the Rock Climbing Club. Tryouts are held each year in early January and team members participate in a rigorous training schedule during the spring semester, attending practices twice a week at the Aiguille Rock Climbing Center in Longwood. Both practices and competitions are open to competitive team members and non-competitive club members alike, and offer UCF students the opportunity to push themselves mentally and physically, and connect with other climbers from UCF and around the state.
The club has participated in the Collegiate Climbing Series for four years now, and has won the regional competition every year, including the 2012 title, after going up against other Florida teams such as University of Florida and University of South Florida. For the past three years, the team has achieved first place at the nationals. Although extremely proud of the hard work that paid off in the second place award this year, the members are determined to reclaim their trophy in 2013.
Apart from the competitive team, club members also participate in community service activities, such as Coalition for the Homeless. The members introduce the sport of rock climbing to elementary-aged and work with them throughout the day.
The club also goes on two outdoor climbing trips a year. These trips offer students an exceptional opportunity to experience the outdoors up close and personal. This year trips included climbing experiences at Horse Pens 40 in Alabama and Red River Gorge in Kentucky.
The Rock Climbing Club is one of the many sports clubs that is offered at the Recreation and Wellness Center, a department of Student Development and Enrollment Services.