18-21 April 2013
20 members of the West Point Climbing team along with 1 coach and 1 OR flew out of Newark international airport early Thursday morning to Orlando Florida to compete in the 2013 Collegiate Climbing National Championship. The team arrived Thursday in the late afternoon to the hotel located in Melbourne Florida after getting bags and rental cars. The team had a low key night and woke up Friday morning ready to take on the competition. The climbers competed for 4 hours in their respective category that they felt strongest in, Sport climbing, bouldering or speed climbing. At the conclusion of the 4 hour qualifying round the team headed to blow of some steam at the beach and await the results which were posted around 8 pm that night. With results posted the team was happy to see that freshman Zhaina Myrzakhanova, ’16 qualified 4th in sport climbing and senior Mike Bernier, ’13 qualified 1st in speed. Both would compete in finals the following night. On Saturday the team hung out with other teams at a beach party sponsored by USA climbing. At 5 PM the finals started and the entire team was there supporting their fellow teammates. The two finalists competed hard against a stout competition and in the end Zhaina Myrzakhanova, ’16 finished 4th place in sport and Mike Bernier, ’13 finished 4th in speed climbing. The team as a whole took home the armed forces cup as they defeated Navy in the qualifying round. Early the next morning, Sunday, the team met flew out of Orlando Airport and headed back to west point with their heads held high. The team will now shift from a competition focus to an outdoor focus, teaching younger members of the team valuable skills that all rock climbers should know when heading to the crag outside.