LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Nine-year-old Sienna Perez of Larchmont might be tiny, but she's tough and pretty fearless.
Especially when it comes to rock climbing.
Thursday and Friday, the Chatsworth School student is in Utah climbing to new heights as she competes in the USA Bouldering Youth National Championship that is being live streamed on the web.
"It's so much fun and I'm so excited to be here," Sienna said from Utah as she was getting ready for her first match.
Sienna fell in love with climbing when she was just six years old and went to a summer camp that had a climbing wall. It was love at first sight.
Now, a member of Team Rock at the Rock Club in New Rochelle, Sienna couldn't believe it when she was recently moved from the junior team to the competitive team with members mostly in their teens and made it all the way to the big event in Utah as the youngest member.
"It's just so cool," she said. "I've worked hard. But's it's something I love doing and think about all the time."
She's not sure what drew her to the tall walls of rock with complicated courses, but she does know it's something she plans to do for years to come and maybe even try professional rock climbing.
Currently, she spends up to three hours a day, at least four days a week practing her climbing. Sometimes she is afraid, especially when she high off the ground with only a mat beneath her. But that's part of the fun, she said.
"I really like being part of Team Rock, we help each other and root for each other," she said.
And while some might think this type of rock climbing and bouldering is easy, think again. The competition is intense with climbers only have four minutes to read and try a boulder climb. And, the courses are complicated, it's not a straight climb to the top, there's plenty of twists and turns and different size grips.
During recent competitions, Sienna tied for second in regionals and placed third in Divisionals last month. She also recently qualified for a spot in the finals of the National Youth Ninja League, created by top athletes from American Ninja Warrior.
Thursday and Friday, the young girl is ready to compete against the 50 best from across the country and come home with a win.
"I'm nervous, but can't wait to be able to compete," she said.
And, of course, win.
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