CENTRAL SAANICH — The Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC) held a local Difficulty and Speed Competition at The Boulders Climbing Gym last Saturday and local athletes came away with medals and record times to show for their efforts.
Czech climber Libor Hroza, who came to Boulders in December to train, set a new gym record of 6.038 seconds last Saturday while winning the Open Male category.
Hroza’s time was impressive, as it was just 0.16 seconds off the world record of 5.88 seconds set by Russian climber Evgeniy Vaytsekhovskiy in 2012. It is also the second quickest time posted by Hroza during competition, his best being that of 5.99 seconds that earned him a first place finish at a Speed World Cup event in Arco, Italy in 2013.
At just 26 years of age, Hroza is one of the top speed climbers in the world, currently ranked second behind Stanislav Kokorin of Russia.
He had silver medal performances at 2013 Speed World Cup events in Chonqing, China, Perm, Russia and Mokpo, Korea and a third place finish at the 2013 Speed World Cup event in Ekaterinburg, Russia. He also won the 2013 European Speed Climbing Championships in Chamonix, France.
Perhaps even more impressive than Hroza’s time Saturday is the influence he is having on other speed climbers that train at The Boulders.
All Boulders’ climbers who competed Saturday posted personal best times during the competition and Boulders’ climbers swept gold in 13 of the 15 age categories in the Speed competition.
This includes brother and sister duo Robert and Alison Stewart-Patterson of Kamloops.
Robert won first in the Junior Male category and in the process, set his own personal best time and a new Canadian men’s record of 7.550 seconds, bettering his previous mark of 8.06.
Alison was victorious in the Open Female category and set a new Canadian women’s record of 12.28 seconds with one of her climbs, bettering the mark of 13.38 she set at the 2013 IFSC World Youth Championships.
Other Boulders’ climbers with first place Speed finishes included Brennan Doyle (Youth D Male), Sylvie Mayhill (Youth D Female), Aidan Doyle (Youth C Male), Elena Moss (Youth B Female), Aaron DiLallo (Youth A Male), Catherine Kavelaars (Youth A Female), Evelyna Trottier (Junior Female), Nate Corsi (Recreational Male), Athena Fowler (Recreational Female) and Jeremy Moss (Experienced Male).
Boulders’ climbers were also successful in the Difficulty categories at Saturday’s competition, taking gold in five categories.
Leading the way was Nanaimo’s Elan Jonas-McRae who won the Junior Male category, topping both routes climbed during the competition.
Other Boulders’ climbers with first place finishes in Difficulty included Brennan Doyle (Youth D Male), Mathias Bell (Recreational Male), Alison Funk (Junior Female) and Marina Steele (Recreational Female).
Silver medal finishes for Boulders’ climbers in Difficulty also went to Aidan Doyle (Youth C Male), Nate Corsi (Recreational Male), Christina Compton (Recreational Female) and Alison Stewart-Patterson (Open Female).
Saturday’s competition at The Boulders was the second of four sanctioned Difficulty and first of two sanctioned Speed competitions that will ultimately lead to the SCBC Provincials in both at The Boulders on April 5.
Next up will be a Difficulty competition at the Richmond Oval on March 14 and a Difficulty and Speed competition at The Rock Wall in Maple Ridge on March 22.
— Submitted by Christian J. Stewart/Boulders