The University of West Georgia (UWG) Climbing Team has made some serious strides this year to compete in various competitions. During their second season at UWG, the team has made an impact on the climbing world and has made a name for itself.
The rock climbing club sport is still relatively new at UWG. Coupled with the club is the competitive team that now competes in various events throughout the southeast. Many students walk by the rock wall every day when they go to the Campus Center, never truly realizing just how much work is being put into the climbing team.
“We come in here almost every day and are practicing on our own and we try to go to other gyms where we can get our best workout,” said Ashley Bailey, captain of the climbing team.
Bailey is the only returning climber from last season’s team, she said that there were a lot of students who graduated and others who left the team due to lack of interest in making climbing a competitive sport.
It can be misleading at first, not generally interpreting climbing as a team sport but there is actually a lot that goes into it.
“You don’t have to rely on your team member as you would in other sports but everyone is there cheering you on,” said Steven English. “Normally everyone will take a small break to look at your teammate climbing on the wall and cheer them on while they are going through a tough problem.”
English has been one of the top performers for the UWG Climbing team, placing first in the advanced male division at a competition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) earlier in the semester as well as placing first in the intermediate male division at the competition at Georgia Technical Colllege.
Other results from the UAB competition include Austin Cross placing second in the beginner male division, Bailey placing second in the advanced female division, Sydney O’Brien placing first in the beginner female division while Margaret Tatum placed second. Derek Collins placed first in the beginner male division as well.
“I see us continuing to place, and I actually see our team being the highest ranked team in our region,” said Bailey.
UWG also had some good results from their most recent competition at Valdosta State last weekend. Bailey placed first overall in the female crate stacking and climbing while also placing second in the beginner female division, Tatum followed up in third in the same division, while Cross was able to place first in the beginner male division.
“The competition scene is a different look,” said Austin Haedicke. “A lot of our climbers climb outside but competing is a whole different animal, it’s cool to meet different people and go to different schools.”
There are a few more competitions for the team before they send their four top climbers to the national competitions in Florida.
“I just want to see our team to continue to strive and continue to get our name out there because people actually know who we are now,” said Bailey. “We are the people everyone tries to beat now.”