Climber Amanda Martino is a team of one
In a school filled with numerous varsity sports teams, great achievement in Montclair State University athletics could come from a team of just one.
Senior Amanda Martino has her eyes set on the biggest stage rock climbing has to offer at the college level. Although technically not an officially registered team in Montclair State, Amanda has represented the Red Hawks in sports and has now achieved the incredible feat of competing in the USA Climbing Collegiate Nationals in Bridgeport, PA.
To reach such a high level as Collegiate Nationals, Amanda had to devote immense time and effort to perfecting her craft. The eldest started her climbing journey when she was 12 years old.
“I did a camp in a gymnasium in [Fairfield, New Jersey], and I’ve been climbing all summer and really enjoyed it,” Amanda said. “I was trying to dance competitively at the time, but I really liked rock climbing, so I tried out for a team in September and was successful.”
This instant attraction to the sport would be the start of a journey and a training program that would shape her as a person.
“Today I train four or five times a week,” Amanda said. “Usually people train with their teams, but since Montclair State doesn’t have a team, I do all of my training on my own.”
Amanda was on a formal team when she attended the University of Vermont, but transferred to Montclair State after one semester.
“Being able to live at home; train more, because with my car, I could drive to my gym; and being part of this community that I was so close to for a while was just better for me athletically and academically,” Amanda said.
Amanda’s dedication to her climbing has also given her essential qualities off the wall. Her mother Annie Martino and her father Bob Martino are proud of what their daughter has accomplished in the sport.
“For me, it’s her dedication, her leadership, the way she achieves while training and training – it’s just a part of her now,” Annie said.
Her father said sports are a motivation for Amanda.
“I think it’s an inspiration to her and a confidence builder,” Bob said. “It makes her very proud and creates a lot of goals for her that she is always striving to achieve.”
With all of these skills and life attributes acquired along the way, Amanda now sees them all come to a head as she aims for collegiate national championships.
The competition is a milestone achievement for the years of hard work and discipline she has put into the sport.
“To be able to participate in this competition is an extremely proud moment for me,” said Amanda. “I’m really excited to compete at the highest level.”
Although this competition is the end of the road for Amanda at the collegiate level, the senior does not foresee her climbing journey ending after this. Amanda also spends time working out at the Gravity Vault Gym in Montclair, New Jersey.
“I’ve been coaching for a few years now and it really means a lot to me to coach,” Amanda said. “I’m very close to a lot of my former coaches and have very important relationships with them, so it really means a lot to me to build those relationships in my team and help them achieve their goals.”
Amanda’s drive and dedication to her sport and to representing the Montclair area is something that cannot be understated, and she hopes to do everyone proud as she embarks on this major competition.
The collegiate national championships will be held April 20-24. Amanda is looking forward to taking the next step in her journey and making her school a champion, registered team or not.