May 20, 2014, Central Saanich, BC – It was a productive Victoria Day weekend for fourteen competitors who train at the Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich, as they attended the Canadian Lead and Speed Climbing Championships in Montreal and have returned with almost as many medals, pocketing twelve overall.
Boulders climbers dominated the Speed category, with every one of the twelve speed athletes earning a place in the finals, and ten out of the twelve landing on the podium. Boulders climbers contended in eight age categories, winning gold in seven, silver in three, and placing 4th in two others.
Boulders athletes (L to R) Claire Wagstaff, Alison Stewart-Patterson, Tristen Gosselin and Skye Irwin pose with their hardware following competition at the 2014 Sport Climbing Nationals in Montreal (Photo Courtesy Alison Stewart-Patterson)
The Boulders owned the top of the podium in Open Men (Libor Hroza 1st, Kevin Schaftlein 2nd), Open Women (Alison Stewart-Patterson 1st, Claire Wagstaff 2nd), Junior Girls (Skye Irwin 1st, Evelyna Trottier 2nd), Junior Boys (Tristen Gosselin 1st), A Boys (Aaron DiLallo 1st), B Girls (Elena Moss 1st) and C Boys (Aidan Doyle 1st). Jacob Dorion placed 4th in A Boys by 3/100ths of a second, and Catherine Kavelaars was 4th in A Girls by less than half a second. Both Dorion and Kavelaars achieved personal bests.
In the Lead category, five of eight Boulders athletes advanced into the finals on Monday (note some climbers participated in both Lead and Speed), and two emerged with bronze medals for their efforts.
Climbers advancing to the finals included Alison Stewart-Patterson, Alison Funk, Aidan Doyle, Elan Jonas-McRae and Tristen Gosselin. After a tough day of climbing Monday, it would be Stewart-Patterson (Open Women) and Jonas-McRae (Junior Boys) who emerged with bronze medals for their efforts.
Funk (5th place Junior Girls), Doyle (6th place, C Boys), Buitendyk (4th place, B Girls), and Gosselin (5th place, Junior Boys) finished off the podium. Other climbers participating in Lead included Jacob Dorion, Elena Moss and Evelyna Trottier.
The Boulders Speed Climbing Team, pictured here in Montreal, swept gold medals in 7 of the 8 age categories and took home 10 medals overall. Seven members were also named to the National Youth Team that will participate in the 2014 World Youth Championships (Photo Courtesy The Boulders Climbing Gym)
To top things off for the weekend, eight Boulders climbers were named to the Canadian National Youth team that will participate in the World Youth Championships in New Caledonia later this summer and at the Pan American Games in Mexico in November. Athletes selected included the entire Boulders Youth Speed Team of Elena Moss, Catherine Kavelaars, Aaron DiLallo, Jacob Dorion, Tristen Gosselin, Skye Irwin and Evelyna Trottier. Elan Jonas-McRae was also selected for Lead.
Boulders chair Kimanda Jarzebiak attributes the haul of twelve medals to the amazing coaching staff (including Andrew Wilson, Libor Hroza and Sebastian Powell), team-spirit, and the dedication and passion of the athletes themselves. “A great season of training has paid off, and for those moving on to represent Canada on the national stage, this past weekend will serve as great motivation. Our coaches and athletes should be proud.”
Jarzebiak thanked the organizers, athletes and coaching staff for the event. “We hosted Nationals last year, and we know just how much work goes in to it. Allez-Up, and the Federation of Quebec ME did an amazing job, and raised the bar for the next national championships. We really appreciate their efforts, and those of Climbing Escalade Canada.”
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.