Eleven young athletes from Climb Iowa’s Youth Adventure Climbing (YAC) Team represented Iowa at USA Climbing Nationals in Atlanta, Ga. on July 4-6.

USA Climbing is the governing body of competitive climbing in the United States. This past week, two types of climbing were featured: sport and speed. Sport climbing focuses on technique, endurance and strength, and ratings are used to represent the difficulty of a particular climb. Winners are ranked based on the number of points they score. Speed climbing, while involving a certain degree of technique and strength, is a timed event. The winner is the one who reaches the top of the wall the fastest.

Competitors at the national level are selected through a series of local, regional and divisional competitions, with the top seven in each of ten age divisions advancing to the next level.

Six Iowa youth competed in the sport climbing division: Cole Skinner, Simon Hibbeler, Kyle Kuper, JT Anderson, Josh Ingham and Claire Sevenich. Eight young climbers competed in the speed division: Jordan Romig, Jason Wittmuss, Claire Sevenich, Makayla Bertlshofer, Josh Ingham, Mckenna Horstman, Taylor Francis and Kyle Kuper. Wittmuss, of Waukee, finished 14th in his division. Anderson, of Minburn, was 30th in his.

Head coach Matthew Creason is very proud of his team. "These individuals represented Des Moines and the Midwest on a national level last week. Many of the athletes at the national level have the advantage of being complete immersed in a climbing culture, and our own Iowa youth challenged them for national rankings. The entire team has worked hard this season, and I’m already looking forward to next season."