NGU's Mac Daniel climbs to nationals

Lane Koch, Associate Writer

Every year, youth from all over the country travel to compete in the USA Bouldering Youth National Championships. This year, freshman outdoor leadership major Macullen “Mac” Daniel placed 27th in the national competition. Mac has been climbing since high school, when a National Geographic Cover inspired him to try the extreme sport. 

In fact, he has competed at nationals once before, where he placed twenty first. 

“It is surreal,” said Daniel. “It is a very high pressure competition, so you really have to keep your cool.” 

This year’s competition was held Feb. 5-7 in Madison, Wisc. The competition requires participants to study a climbing wall for four minutes and mentally map out a path to get them over. After their time is up, they must actually climb the wall.

The national competition involves several walls not revealed until the climber's turn. The physical and mental agility required makes this sport extremely difficult.

Those who hope to compete in the competition must go through regional and divisional competitions and other qualifying competitions. Daniel placed fourth in regionals and tied for first in divisionals which earned him a spot at nationals.  

Climbing consists of a strong community and has gyms tailored specifically for the sport. 

“I love the community and problem solving involved in climbing” said Daniel

Congratulations to Mac Daniel for placing 27th in such a high intensity competition.