Rock climber places 19th in international competition

By Bo Lee

Rock climber Charlie Andrews ’13 finished 19th in the Male Youth A Speed event while representing the United States at the International Federation of Sports Climbing World Youth Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland on Sept. 10.

Andrews missed qualifying for the finals in this event by 0.3 seconds.

“It’s the highest level of competition that a minor can reach,” Andrews said.

There were 430 competitors in the tournament.

Thirty-nine different countries took their best youth rock climbers to compete in the World Youth Championships, Andrews said.

“I was fortunate enough to qualify for the U.S. team this year, having placed second at nationals,” he said.

Andrews is ranked second in speed climbing, third in bouldering, and 10th in sport climbing on the U.S.A. Climbing national rankings list after competing at the Youth National Championships in Atlanta in July.

“Over the summer, I spent hundreds of hours training to qualify and then to compete in the World Youth Championships. I took two separate trips to Atlanta, Georgia, where I received coaching from the U.S. team coach and climbed in Stone Summit, the best indoor climbing facility in the U.S.,” he said.

Though an initial injury nearly prevented him from participating in competition, Andrews received clearance from his physical therapist who said that competing wouldn’t risk another injury.

“I sustained an over-use injury to my rotator cuff, which took me out for four weeks from late July to early August,” Andrews said. “The four weeks I spent recovering did not fully heal it, so I was technically walking on thin ice by competing. Now, I need to take six to eight weeks off as recovery before I can begin preparation for the next season.”

Andrews has made the national team annually for the last six years one of the top four best climbers in at least one of the disciplines of rock climbers for his age in the nation each year.

“There’s always a lot to gain from competing internationally, especially for the mental aspects of climbing and competing,” Andrews said.

This year is the third time that Andrews has been able to compete on an international level.

He first competed internationally in a Continental Boys’ Youth Championship in Mexico City in 2004.