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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

April 26, 2015, Central Saanich, BC (ISN) – It is one of the fastest growing sports around the world and after seeing the final results at the Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC) Provincial Championships that were held at the Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich this past Saturday and Sunday, it is easy to see why. Of the 26 main competition categories that took place at the event, international climbers took home gold in 10 of those and captured silver or bronze in six others.

Czech climber Libor Hroza reacts after winning the Men’s Speed competition with an unofficial world record time of 5.578 seconds, just one of 10 gold medals won by international athletes over the weekend at the SCBC Provincial Championships (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Although billed as the SCBC Provincials, the event is an open event and climbers from any region can compete. It is a true Provincial championship however for those BC climbers who have been competing at other SCBC events over the course of the season and the points they earned this weekend are counted along with their points from those previous competitions in order to select the BC Champions in each age division.

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With nearly identical form, the USA’s Delaney Miller (left) and Melina Costanza (right) took home gold in the Open Female and Youth A Female divisions respectively (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Leading the way for the international podium winners this weekend was a strong contingent of climbers from the United States who took home gold in eight categores. This included Delaney Miller (Texas) who took gold in the women’s Lead Open division, nearly topping what proved to be a difficult route for many others on her final climb Sunday. Standing alongside Miller on the Open podium, with a silver medal, was Seattle’s Melina Costanza, who also, as a result of her strong climb Sunday, took home gold in the Female Youth A division.

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Seattle climbers Nicole Mar (left), Jenna Tseng (centre) and Leo Costanza (right) all took home gold in their respective Youth categories on Sunday (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Other gold medal winners from the USA included double gold winners Nicole Mar (Youth D Female Lead and Speed) and Jenna Tseng (Youth B Female Lead and Speed), Leo Costanza (Youth D Male Lead) and Quinn Ofrancia (Youth D Speed).

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Nanaimo’s Elan Jonas-McRae (Open Male) and Laurence Philippsen (Masters) were gold medal winners Sunday (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Perhaps the biggest international winner of the day was Czech climber Libor Hroza who won the Open Male Speed competition, setting a new (unofficial) world record in the process by scurrying up the Peninsula Co-Op Speed Wall in a time of 5.578 seconds, .022 seconds better than the official mark of 5.6 that is held by the Ukraine’s Danyl Boldyrev (see video below).

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Czech climber Libor Hroza was focused on one thing Sunday, surpassing the Speed world record and winning gold in the Men’s Open division. He accomplished both (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)


Official world records can only be set at sanctioned International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) competitions and Hroza, who trains at The Boulders, will have to wait until the IFSC Speed World Cup at the Boulders in May, where, should he duplicate or better his time of Sunday, he will reclaim the official mark he lost to Boldyrev last season.

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Hannah Block (Junior Female) and Kyle Murdoch (Youth A Male) were gold medal winners Sunday (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Other international highlights in Sunday’s speed finals included China’s Ivan Luo, who took home gold in the Youth A Male division and Iran’s Farnaz Esmaeilzadeh, who took home silver in the Open Female division. Esmaeilzadeh, who Saturday in qualifying, blazed up the wall in a sub-nine second time, struggled Sunday and a small slip in the finals cost her the gold, losing out to winner Alison Stewart-Patterson, who despite an injury late last season, recovered just fine to defended her 2014 Provincial Speed title.

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Alison Stewart-Patterson (left) won Speed gold in the Open Female division and was BC Champ for both Lead and Speed.  Elena Moss (right) was a gold medal winner and BC Champ in Youth A Female  (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Of course the BC climbers competing at the SCBC Provincials also put on a pretty good display of climbing over the weekend. Top among those would be the aformentioned Stewart-Patterson, who in addition to her gold in Speed, took home bronze in the Open Female division and by virtue of her scores throughout the season, was named BC Champion in the Open Female division in both Lead and Speed.

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Vancouver’s Guy McNamee would take gold in the Youth C Lead competition (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Junior Male climber Tristen Gosselin, who finished with gold in Speed and with silver in Lead, was also a double BC Champion in those disciplines, as was Brennan Doyle (Youth C Male), Aidan Doyle (Youth B Male) and Connor Jones (Youth D Male). Brennan Doyle won gold in the Youth C Speed competition and finished second to Vancouver’s Guy McNamee in Lead, while his brother Aidan took home gold in Lead and silver in Speed. Jones earned his BC title thanks to his third place finish in Speed and second place finish in Lead.

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Tristen Gosselin would take gold in the Junior Speed division and also be named BC Champion for both Lead and Speed in that division (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

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Another double BC Champion was Aidan Doyle who took home gold in Lead and silver in Speed in the Youth B Male division at Provincials (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Other category winners on Sunday included Open Male Lead champion Elan Jonas-McRae who defended his 2014 Provincial title, as well as Kyle Murdoch (Youth A Male Lead), Matt Hendsbee (Junior Male Lead), Hannah Block (Junior Female Lead), Lola Rabinovitch (Youth C Female Lead), Kate Viner (Experienced Female Lead), Laurence Philippsen (Masters Male Lead), Elena Moss (Youth A Female Speed), Evelyna Trottier (Junior Female Speed), Ryan O’Neil (Youth B Male Speed) and Stephanie Chow (Youth C Female Speed).

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More gold medal winners on Sunday included Matt Hendsbee (left)(Junior Male Lead), Kate Viner (centre)(Experienced Female Lead) and Lola Rabinovitch (right)(Youth C Female Lead)(Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Additional BC Champions included Hannah Block (Junior Female Lead), Lola Rabinovitch (Youth C Female Lead), Elena Moss (Youth A Female Speed), Evelyna Trottier (Junior Female Speed), Stephanie Chow (Youth C Female Speed), Sophie Buitendyk (Youth B Female Lead), Julia Massulo (Youth A Female Lead), Tosh Sherkat (Youth A Male Lead), Lauren Larbalestier (Youth D Female Lead) and Teyha Rogers (Youth B Female Speed).

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Stephanie Chow would take home gold in the Youth C Female Speed competition, as well as a silver in Lead (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

One small disappointment on Sunday was the performance of Speed climber Robert Stewart-Patterson, who on Saturday, set a new Canadian Men’s record with a qualifying time of 6.667 seconds. Stewart-Patterson would not be so lucky on Sunday, slipping in his semi-final run and losing out to Tristen Gosselin. He would recover to capture the bronze medal, but will now need to wait until the IFSC Speed World Cup at The Boulders in May to take a crack at another Canadian record.

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The BC Champions pose with their hardware. Back row (L to R): Alison Stewart-Patterson, Evelyna Trottier, Elena Moss, Sophie Buitendyk, Aidan Doyle; Front row (L to R): Lola Rabinovitch, Stephanie Chow, Julia Massulo, Hannah Block, Connor Jones, Tristen Gosselin, Brennan Doyle, Tosh Sherkat, Lauren Larbalestier and Teyha Rogers (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

All eligible climbers will now get ready for the Climbing Escalade Canada (CEC) Lead and Speed National Championships which will be held at The Boulders Climbing Gym on May 16-18, 2015, along with the IFSC Speed World Cup on Sunday May 17th.

Full Results for the 2015 Provincial Lead Competition can be found at:

Full Results for the 2015 Provincial Speed Competition can be found at:

More images from the 2015 SCBC Provincials will be available at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/climbing