TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Five members of the competition rock climbing team from Rocks and Ropes, a local Tucson climbing gym, will be competing in USA Climbing's Indoor Sport Youth National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia July 13-16.
Brodie Hendrick (home-schooled), Molly Urbon-Bonine (TUSD), Laurel Falk (Catalina Foothills High School), Spencer LaFoley (University High School) and Davin Teegerstrom (Mountain View High School) qualified for the national competition after finishing in the top of their groups at the recent Division 4 competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Division 4 includes teams from New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona.
More than 200 climbers from these states competed in Albuquerque. Only the top six climbers in each age group progress to compete in Nationals.
Youth climbing groups are divided by gender and age for climbers from as young as 5-to-18.
To reach the Divisional competition, climbers had to finish in the top 10 in their age and gender group in the Southwest Regionals (Arizona and New Mexico), held in Scottsdale, AZ. Twenty climbers from the Tucson Rocks and Ropes youth team qualified to complete at Divisionals.
"The Tucson youth climbing program is one of the strongest in the country" says Jon Mavko, Head Coach. "In the past 8 years, more than 80 members of our teams have competed in Divisional and National championships. It's a huge honor for Tucson to send five climbers to the youth Nationals."
Team members compete in both Sport (roped) and Bouldering (free climbing) seasons.
"Gym-based rock climbing is a safe and exciting sport for girls and boys in middle and high school, which many continue on into college. Climbing builds strength, agility, balance, confidence, responsibility, analytical abilities, and teamwork," says Mavko.
The youth team practices three times weekly year-round at the Rocks & Ropes climbing facility downtown, and at The Bloc, an eastside climbing gym devoted to bouldering.