It can often take years for a sports team to meld and develop a winning dynamic.
For Northeastern’s rock-climbing team, it took only a few weeks.
The 13-member team formed, began practicing, and then placed second at the Collegiate Climbing Series national championship—all within less than a month last spring.
But ascending to great heights is nothing new for the team’s members, many of whom have been climbing since childhood.
“It’s a workout, but it’s fun,” says team president Evan Goldfinger, E’18. “You’re practicing with a bunch of people, so it’s social. The climbing community is very tight and supportive.”
This year, Northeastern’s team has doubled in size as it gears up for another national championship. Members practice at two rock-climbing gyms in the Boston area and hope to someday see a rock-climbing wall installed on campus.
The sport is exciting because it tests not just speed, but agility, strength, and endurance, Goldfinger says. Climbers compete in three disciplines, which are executed at different heights, so they need more than just upper body strength and bulging biceps.
The team wants to win but has a broader goal in mind, according to Goldfinger: to build the sport’s regional popularity and encourage more students to try it.
“Ten years ago, you didn’t really hear about anyone climbing. Now a lot people have done it once or twice, so the interest is out there.”