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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

April 25, 2015, Central Saanich, BC (ISN) – Day 1 of the Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC) Provincial Championships at The Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich is complete and after qualifying rounds in both Lead and Speed, the favourites in the various age categories will all be moving on to Sunday’s finals.

Sienna Mothus competes in the Youth B Lead division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Leading the way in the Lead competition is Nanaimo’s Elan Jonas-McRae, who effortlessly reached the top of both of his routes Saturday to finish atop the Open Males category. He was not alone however, as he is joined by Jesse Taplin and Youth A leader Kyle Murdoch, who also topped both their routes. Ryder Hoy and Matthew Wellington sit 4th and 5th after qualifying and will push the leaders to be perfect in their climbs Sunday.

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Nanaimo’s Elan Jonas-McRae would top both of his routes Saturday to lead the Men’s Open Division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

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Jesse Taplin (left) and Kyle Murdoch (right) are tied for first with Elan Jonas-McRae for the Open Division title (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In Women’s Open, Youth A upstart Melina Costanza and Delaney Miller, both from the U.S., topped both their Lead routes Saturday and sit atop the leaderborad. Tiffany Melius and Alison Stewart-Patterson each topped one of their routes Saturday and sit 3rd and 4th respectively.

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Delaney Miller would top both her routes Saturday to sit tied for the lead in the Women’s Open category (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In Junior Lead, Matt Hendsbee and Tristen Gosselin were the top two male climbers while Hannah Block and Evelyna Trottier were the top two women, with Caitlin Wu not far behind.

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Tristen Gosselin (left) and Hannah Block (right) are the top two Junior climbers heading into Sunday’s finals (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the Youth A category, the aforementioned Kyle Murdoch and Melina Costanza hold down top spot for the men and women respectively. Murdoch is followed by Tosh Sherkat and Ben Hughes, while Julia Massullo and Mika Hosoi will be pushing Costanza for gold on Sunday.

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Tosh Sherkat will have a chance to medal in the Youth A category as he sits second after two qualification runs on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

There were no surprises in the Youth B category as favourites Aidan Doyle for the men and Sophie Buitendyk for the women, are leading the pack after their two climbs. The same can be said for the Youth C males, as favourite Brennan Doyle, Aidan’s brother, topped both his routes Saturday. Brennan is in tough company however with Guy McNamee, who also topped twice.

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Aidan Doyle (left) and Sophie Buitendyk (right) are leading the way in the Youth B division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Youth C female category sees perhaps the only potential upset of the weekend, as favourite Stephanie Chow finds herself in a tie for third with Pauline Gesret and Brielle Zacharias, all behind leaders Lola Rabinovitch and Sonya Colliander. All five climbers topped at least one of their routes Saturday, so Sunday’s finals in this division could be the closest of all age groups.

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Pauline Gesret finds herself tied for third in the Youth C division after successfuly topping one of her routes Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Finally in the Youth D Lead division, Connor Jones, Leo Costanza and Quinn Ofrancia are in a dogfight, tied for first for the males, all having topped both their routes Saturday. On the female side, favourite Tula Sherkat is in third, behind Emi Takashiba and Nicole Mar, who are tied for first after topping both their routes.

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Tula Sherkat, here negotiating a volume on one of her climbs, sits third in the Youth D division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the Speed competition, as expected, Czech climber Libor Hroza, a former world record holder, set the blistering pace with a qualifying time of 5.754 seconds (0.154 off the current world record of 5.6), while Robert Stewart-Patterson finished second with a time of 6.667. Stewart-Patterson’s time is a new Canadian Men’s record, besting his previous time of 6.670 by 3/100th of a second. It is entirely feasible that Stewart-Patterson will break this again during finals on Sunday.

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Canadian record holder Robert Stewart-Patterson (left) and former world record holder Libor Hroza (right) head up the wall during the speed competition Saturday. Hroza blasted a top qualifying time of 5.754 seconds, while Stewart-Patterson estabished a new Men’s Canadian record of 6.667 seconds (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Also on the Men’s side, Tristen Gosselin leads the way for the Juniors with a time of 7.721, while Magnus Einarsson follows closely with a time of 8.885. Other age category leaders for the males include Jacob Dorion (Youth A), Aidan Doyle (Youth B), Brennan Doyle (Youth C) and Quinn Ofrancia (Youth D).

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Connor Jones competes in the Youth D Speed competition where he sits third after qualification (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

On the female side, Iranian climber Farnaz Esmaeilzadeh leads all women with a time of 9.02 seconds, followed by Canadian record holder Allison Stewart-Patterson with a time of 11.551 seconds, just .010 seconds off her Canadian record mark of 11.541 seconds. Other age category leaders for the females include Evelyna Trottier (Junior), Elena Moss (Youth A), Sonja Johanson (Youth B), Stephanie Chow (Youth C) and Nicole Mar (Youth D).

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Iranian climber Farnaz Esmaeilzadeh (left) set a quick time of 9.02 seconds for the women, while Canadian record holder Alison Stewart-Patterson (right) just missed setting a new mark during speed qualifying Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Climbing continues on Sunday at The Boulders with finals in Lead beginning at 9:30 am and running to ~ 11:30 am. Speed finals will follow from 12 Noon to approximately 1:00 pm, with the Awards Ceremony scheduled for 1:30 pm.

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Devon Duquette (foreground) heads up the wall during speed qualifying on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Boulders Climbing Gym is located at 1627 Stelly’s Cross Road in Central Saanich on Vancouver Island, attached to Stelly’s Secondary School. Admission to the finals on Sunday is free of charge.