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Incoming freshman competes in World Rock Climbing Competition

Monday, July 28, 2008   (0 Comments)
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Incoming Oklahoma Christian University freshman, Alex Alderson, is in Sydney, Australia competing in the World Rockclimbing Competetion.  We are excited to see the different talents and experiences our incoming students will bring to our community!

from HS Game Time, by Matt Wixon

Study Hall: Gaining a Foothold
Argyle senior steadily rises in rock climbing competition

We’ve all seen people taking on climbing walls. Sometimes at gyms, sometimes at sporting goods stores, sometimes as part of “extreme” birthday parties.

That is not what Alex Alderson knows as rock climbing.

“Most people think it’s just recreational,” the Argyle senior said. “They don’t know that there are competitions and you can go places.”

Alex Alderson says his cross country experience and endurance he’s gained from distance running have helped him in rock climbing competitions.

Places such as Sydney, Australia, the site of the 2008 International Federation of Sport Climbing’s World Youth Championship. That’s the goal for Alderson, who is also a member of the Argyle cross country team that will compete in the Class 3A Region I meet this weekend in Lubbock.

Alderson cuts back his climbing training during the cross country season, but when it’s over, he’ll be climbing for three hours a day, four days a week. He trains at several area gyms, including Exposure Indoor Rock Climbing in Carrollton, the home of his Team Texas climbing group.

In July, Alderson finished sixth in the 18-19 age group at the Sport Climbing Series Youth Nationals in Ann Arbor, Mich. A top-four finish would’ve qualified him for the IFSC World Youth Championships in Ibarra, Ecuador.

The disappointment of not making it is now motivation, nearly four years after he got into climbing. Alderson started at an open tryout for a climbing team.

“It was pretty cool because I’d never really done climbing before, just at birthday parties,” he said. “It was pretty intense.”

Then he waited for the call to see if he made the team.

“I remember sitting by the phone for like four days waiting for the call,” he said. “It was like college, waiting for the acceptance letter.”

Alderson made the team, and as he’s improved, he’s advanced to higher-level teams. Two months ago, he joined Team Texas, the defending national youth champion. He hopes to help it win a fifth straight title next year as he battles for a chance to compete in Australia.

Getting there will require intense training, but that’s nothing new for a cross country runner. And when Alderson’s muscles get tight in the middle of a climb and he feels like he can’t hold on to anything, he can rely on a lesson from distance running.

“To not give up,” he said. “You’ve always got to keep that in mind. Each time you try to do better.”

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