Freshman Charlotte Berliner Qualifies for Climbing National Championships


Charlotte Berliner attempts a tricky move. Photo submitted by Berliner.

With her fifth-place finish at the New England Divisional Competition, freshman Charlotte Berliner earned herself a place in the National Championship in the boulder climbing discipline. 

Berliner is one of six climbers from the MetroRock Climbing Gym in Everett, and the only one from Malden High, who will be competing in the USA Climbing Youth National Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah this July. This will be her first time at the championships. 

Charlotte Berliner climbs an artificial boulder. Photo submitted by Berliner.

To get there, Berliner had to first qualify for the Regional Competition and place in the top 13. This year, she did so handily with a third-place finish to mark her third consecutive year being invited to the Bouldering Divisional Championship. Then, at Divisionals in West Hartford, Connecticut, Berliner placed third in the qualifying round to secure her spot in the finals. Now, she only needed to place sixth or better to qualify for the National Championships. After completing all but one of the four boulders, and completing the first two on her first attempt, Berliner placed fifth, earning her a spot in the National Championships. 

Berliner’s fifth-place finish also helped the team win their first overall team Divisional Championship in seven years. “There are a lot of teams that are much bigger than ours and have a lot more kids competing, but our kids climbed really well this year,” explained MetroRock Everett Assistant Head Coach William Tabosa, adding, “We’ve been putting in a lot of work.” 

In addition to climbing for MetroRock, Berliner is also looking to start a climbing club here at Malden High. She has teamed up with Teacher and Advisor Brian Wong to hopefully plan trips to Rock Spot, Malden, which is just a 10-minute walk from the high school. “We’re trying to raise attention toward the sport of rock climbing and offer students an opportunity to try a new up-and-coming sport for a cheaper price than one would see anywhere else,” Berliner explained. Those interested in joining, regardless of experience and skill, should fill out the interest form

Berliner began climbing at six years old when her parents enrolled her at a summer camp at MetroRock. After returning to the camp in the following years, Berliner was invited to join the climbing team. Berliner has now been a part of the team for four years: “The people here are awesome. I have amazing coaches and competitors that back me up and help me out. The community is really supportive here,” adding that she enjoys “getting to meet a bunch of new people [...] and getting to look at how other people are doing and learn off them.” 

Tabosa echoed this sentiment, “We’ve created an environment where the kids encourage and support each other. They all love climbing so much and everyone gets along so well.” 

Coach William Tabosa provides a rundown of the day's training session. NATHAN DEAN.

During her time on the team, Berliner has competed in both the bouldering and lead climbing disciplines. The lead-climbing season has only recently begun. Berliner has not yet qualified for the National Competition in this discipline but was able to qualify for the Divisional Championships with a ninth-place finish in the Regional Competition that was held on May 11th. She hopes to perform well in the upcoming Divisional Competitions to qualify for Nationals in both disciplines.

To practice for upcoming competitions, the team meets for three-hour practice sessions four times a week. The team spends their time conditioning and practicing challenging movements. Tabosa also emphasized the importance of maintaining a good headspace during competitions. “It is so easy to let everything around you take your focus away from the climbing that you're doing, so we spend a lot of time talking to the kids about practicing different ways to bring your focus back.” Looking toward the upcoming National Competition, Tabosa expressed the significance of avoiding placing too much expectation and pressure on the kids for that very reason, “We try to teach kids to let go of those expectations and focus more on the training and learning new things to broaden your skills.” Berliner expressed that this is one of her biggest strengths, “I go in open-minded. I try not to think about the results or compare myself to others. I just go in and try to have some fun.” 

So, remember to check out the USA Youth National Championships which are scheduled to take place from July 7th-15th this year, and keep an eye out for Malden’s own Charlotte Berliner. And in the words of Coach William Tabosa, “Let’s go Charlotte”. 

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