Teen rock climber brings home national title

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- An Arizona teenager brought home a national championship title in rock climbing.

Clay Gordon, 13, has been training for five years. All of that hard work paid off when he competed recently in the 2014 Sport Climbing Series Youth National Championships in Atlanta.

Clay brought home the top prize in the sport climbing competition, which focuses on difficulty. He also placed fourth in the speed contest.

3TV's Heidi Goitia talked to Clay about his experience.

"I was going to finals in first … so I was super psyched. I was confident" he said. "I was super nervous, though. If you ask my coach, I was a mental head case."

Clay is part of the AZR Ascenders climbing team. Members range in age from 8 to 19.

Coach Kody Alsadi heads up the team.

He said Cody trains about 15 hours per week.

While Cody is young, Alsadi said there are team members who started climbing with their parents when they were just 4.

Alsadi said rock climbing is a great sport for families, explaining that kids as young as 6 can join the AZR Ascenders.

"It's a great activity to come and bond with your parents, and just climb and trust each other on the walls," he said.

One of Cody's teammates, Giacomo Mendel, received an invitation to join the US team and will compete at the world competition in New Caledonia.

As a whole, the AZR Ascenders ranked No. 7 in the country this year, winning both the regional and divisional titles.

AZ on the Rocks has activities for all ages and skill levels, even first-timers.

"Everyone can climb," owner Kevin Berk says in an AZ on the Rocks introduction video. "We mean everyone. If you can walk up stairs, you can climb. We've had as young as 18 months and all the way up to 88 years on the wall."

AZR Ascenders on Facebook

AZ on the Rocks
16447 N 91st Street, Suite 105
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
480-502-9777
AZontheRocks.com