Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
August 13, 2013, Central Saanich, BC (ISN) – With 25 percent of Team Canada’s 28 young athletes calling the Boulders Climbing Gym home, the Canadian National Youth Climbing team is hoping that home field advantage will give their climbers a leg up on the competition at this week’s International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) 2013 World Youth Climbing Championships.
Team Canada was at the facility Monday for their final training session prior to the championships, and they look ready to impress the world on their home turf.
“We are extremely excited that seven climbers who train with us here at the Boulders have made the Canadian team,” said Kimanda Jarzebiak, Boulders Chair. “They have been training hard over the past few months, and with their knowledge and familiarity of our facility, they have that extra level of confidence that will allow them to perform to their best on the world stage.”
The Boulders climbers to watch out for at the Worlds include:
Alison Stewart-Patterson – Alison is competing in both the lead and speed categories in the Junior Girls age category. This will be her 6th and final World Youth Championships as she is transitioning to the open (adult) circuit. She is the number one ranked female speed climber in the country and is coming off first place finishes in both speed and difficulty at the BC Provincials, a first place finish in difficulty at the Western Regionals and a first place finish in speed at the Nationals. She also just set a new unofficial Canadian women’s record of 12.96 in speed at the 2013 World Games in Colombia. Alison has represented Canada at a number of international events, including the Briançon, France stage of the Lead World Cup in 2012.
Brother and sister Robert and Alison Stewart-Patterson, who moved to Victoria from Kamloops to train at the Boulders, hope that home field advantage will provide them with a leg up on the competition this weekend at the World Youth Climbing Championships (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Elan Jonas-McRae – Elan is competing in the lead climbing category at his fourth World Youth Championships. He is presently the top ranked Junior male climber in Canada and is coming off recent wins in the Junior categories at both the BC Provincial championships and the Western Regional championships, as well as an impressive sixth place finish at the US Open Nationals and a second place finish at the Canadian Nationals in May.
Boulders climbers Elan Jonas-McRae (left) and Ryder Hoy (right) will both be competing this weekend in the very competitive Junior Boys division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Robert Stewart-Patterson – Brother of Alison, Robert took first in the Junior Boys Speed Climbing category at the BC Provincials and placed an impressive 4th at the speed climbing event at the US Nationals. Robert has represented Canada at a number of open events, including the World Championships in Paris, France in 2012, in Singapore at the World Youth Championships in 2012 in lead and speed, and at the Briançon Lead World Cup stop in 2012. Robert currently holds the Canadian Men’s speed record of 9.6 seconds.
Ryder Hoy – This is Ryder’s sixth and final World Youth Championships. He will be making the transition to the open circuit over the next year. Ryder had a fourth place finish in difficulty at the Canadian Nationals and recently competed in the lead world cup stop in Briançon France (July 2013). He also placed third in speed and second in difficulty at the BC Provincials in March.
Tristen Gosselin – Tristen will be competing in the Youth A boys category for both lead and speed. Recently, he won first place in speed and sixth place in difficulty at the Canadian Nationals, as well as first place finishes in both categories at the BC Provincials last March. He has represented Canada in all disciplines in Chile at the Pan American Championships in November 2012, and in speed at the World Youth Championships in Singapore in 2012.
Tristen Gosselin will be competing in both speed and difficulty at this weekend’s World Youth Championships (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Cameron White – This will be Cameron’s first time at an international competition, and he will be competing in the speed category. He finished second in speed at the Canadian Nationals, losing to teammate Robert Stewart-Patterson in the finals.
Elena Moss – This will also be Elena’s first time competing in an international event. Elena turned 14 on July 30, and is competing in the speed category. She was the top Canadian in her category at the national championships, and won the bronze medal (the first two places on the podium went to American speed climbers). She posted a first place finish in her age group at BC Provincials in March.
Team Canada Assistant Coach Sean McColl (left), provides some advice to speed climber Elena Moss at Monday’s training session (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Team Canada Assistant Coach Sean McColl (the current overall Men’s World Champion) is confident that the Canadian climbers will fare well, “Canada is definitely a developing nation in terms of climbing, but we have an amazing youth team with us here that I feel will do very well.”
“Our climbers, especially those that train here regularly, will definitely have an advantage and know what to expect,” added McColl. “To have the opportunity to climb where you will have your qualifying, the semi-finals and the finals for the competition is the best thing for training and one of the reasons we brought the whole Canadian team here early. We made them climb every angle multiple times and get comfortable with every panel. That familiarity will benefit them considerably during the competition.”
Other members of Team Canada that will be competing at the IFSC World Youth Climbing Championships this week include:
Youth B Female: Beth Vince (Ontario), Eva Thompson (Alberta), Mika Hosoi (BC), Julia Massullo (BC), and Remington Irwin (Alternate)(Alberta).
Youth B Male: Lucas Uchida (Ontario), Kyle Murdoch (BC), Ben Hughes (BC), Simon Yamamoto (Alberta), and Tosh Sherkat (Alternate)(BC).
Youth A Female: Amy Sutley (Alberta), Pia Graham (Ontario), Caitlin Wu (BC), Sara Frangos (Alberta), and Audrey Larochlle (Alternate)(Quebec).
Youth A Boys: Dmitri Karaman (Alberta), Charles Sirois (Quebec), Nathan Smith (Ontario), and Andrew Funk (Alternate)(Alberta).
Junior Girls: Iyma Lamarche (Ontario), Alyssa Weber (Alberta), Elise Sethna (Alberta), and Allison Vest (Alternate)(Alberta).
Junior Boys: Marc Eveleigh (Alberta), Ian Branda (BC), Loick Martel-Magan (Alternate)(Quebec), and Francis Bilodeau (Speed)(Quebec).
Team Canada Assistant Coaches Dung Nguyen (standing, left) and Dennis Mimeault (standing, right) brief Team Canada climbers during Monday’s training session (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The IFSC World Youth Climbing Championships take place August 15th to 19th at The Boulders Climbing Gym adjacent to Stelly’s Secondary School in Central Saanich. Opening Ceremonies take place Thursday August 15th at 8:00 pm and will feature an amazing aerial dance performance by the Aeriosa Dance Society.
Climbing gets underway with qualifying rounds for the lead/difficulty climbing category taking place all day Friday and Saturday beginning at 9:30 am, while the speed competition runs all day Sunday. Semi-finals (9:30 am) and finals (4:30 pm) in difficulty take place Monday, with the awards and closing ceremonies at 7:30 pm. Admission Thursday through Sunday is free, while there is a $5 admission for the semi-finals and finals on Monday.
About the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC)
The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) was created in 2007 and is a non-governmental international association with a non-profit-making purpose of international interest. The principal purposes of the IFSC are the direction, regulation, promotion, development and furtherance of international climbing competitions (Lead, Speed and Boulder). The IFSC fosters links, networks, and friendly relations among its members, their climbers and officials. The IFSC is recognised by the IOC and is member of ARISF, SportAccord and IWGA. For more details, please visit the IFSC web page at http://www.ifsc-climbing.org
About the Boulders Climbing Gym
The Boulders Climbing Gym is a not-for-profit society, with the mandate of making climbing accessible for everyone, regardless of ability or ability to pay. With over 13,000 square feet (1,208 square metres) of climbing space, The Boulders Climbing Gym is a community facility and a unique social enterprise, providing adaptive recreation and rehabilitation programs, youth recreational and competitive programs, as well as facilitating a climbing academy at Stelly’s Secondary School. All instructors are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. See www.climbtheboulders.com for more details.
Home of the 2013 IFSC World Youth Climbing Championships, August 15-19, 2013
Twitter: @bouldersclimb Hash Tag: #wych2013