The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

24 Huskies rock climb in club


By Jodie Ng, news staff

Despite having started only last year, the Northeastern Rock Climbing Club has already made strides toward making an impact on campus.

Co-founders sophomore Evan Goldfinger and junior Josh Levin began building the foundation for the team last fall,  which started with 13 climbers and now has 24 members. Approximately 50 Huskies tried out for a spot on the team this semester.

“It was an idea fall semester,” Goldfinger said of his inspiration in 2013. “Then, closer to the end of fall semester, we really started pushing forward with it and into spring [2014] semester, it finally started.”

As for Levin, he’s still occasionally surprised by how far the club has come.

“The fact that we could go from essentially nothing to being a huge part of campus culture today blows my mind every time I think about it,” Levin said. “[It] makes me really proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time.”

When Goldfinger, president of the club, and Levin, captain of the team, were initially recruiting members, it was a mere two weeks before regionals and a month before nationals. Due to the nature and size of the sport, a team gets an automatic bid to nationals if they compete in regionals.

Even with a completely new squad, the Huskies climbed their way to second place.

“I thought we were going to do well but I didn’t know what well meant,” Goldfinger said. “Second place was a surprise, but we were definitely psyched about it.”

The rock climbing team has experienced members who added to the unexpected finish.

“I wasn’t really sure at first what our team was capable of,” Levin said. “However, we had a couple of really strong contenders, including senior Olivia Metcalf who has been on the US National Team before, and a couple of others with strong competition experience.”

Levin attributed the Huskies’ success to strategizing beforehand and deciding “who should specialize in certain events.”

“I was really proud of the team for pulling off the second-place finish, but there’s still lots of room for improvement,” Levin said.

NU competes in the Collegiate Climbing Series (CCS) — a subdivision of US Climbing. The competition is broken up into three categories: bouldering, rope climbing and speed.

Many believe that rock climbing is based on time, but, in fact, speed is the only category where that is so. The other two disciplines are based on score and points can be earned depending on the route the climber takes. For bouldering and rope qualifiers, climbers can earn a higher score depending on the difficulty of the route they choose. For rope finals, there is one set route that is extremely difficult and the higher up the wall one gets, the more points they earn.

This year, both nationals and regionals are in mid-April. According to Foley, because the competition size in CCS is growing, these Huskies truly do not know what to expect. Last year, there were just over 220 competitors and, this year, that number is expected to rise.

“We have a really great team this year,” Goldfinger said. “But I’m not sure what the competition is going to be like this year compared to last year.”

Regardless, the team is determined to cruise its way to victory and, at the moment, the club is focusing on climbing and physical exercise with Head Coach Mike Foley to help them.

“I’m sure our increased training regimen will help us step it up to the next level this year,” Levin said.

Rock climbing is not only about getting to the top. It’s more than just scaling rocks and mountains, and according to Goldfinger, it’s definitely a sport that is easy to underestimate.

“People are getting more excited about climbing which is really awesome,” he said. “It’s fun, but you also get a huge workout. It’s a lot harder than it looks.”

Photo courtesy Northeastern Rock Climbing Club


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