2014 SCS Youth National Championships
The Vertical World climbing team flew to Atlanta Georgia for the 2014 SCS Youth National Championships. Just as the last 4 years the event was held at Stone Summit Climbing Gym which is the largest gym in the country: boasting walls that are 65 vertical feet and 85+ linear. Not only do they have the most varied terrain but also an official IFSC speed wall where you will see some of the fastest climbers in the world.
The event consists of 2 qualifier days on Thursday and Friday with routes ranging from 5.11c-5.13a. each age category has one route a day. This round is whats known as flash format. The competitors have a chance to watch a forerunner on their route along with all the competitors that go before them. This takes the pressure off of the kids and allows for them to focus on the climbing. The real test comes on the weekend. After the qualifiers the field gets knocked down from 36+ per category (there are 10 age and gender categories) to 16 for the semi final to be held on Saturday. The Vertical World climbing team qualified 23 members for the event. Most of the team moved on to the semi final which is considered to be the toughest round of routes across the board. Routes were ranging from hard 5.12-5.14. From there, 9 team members moved on to the final on Sunday which consisted of the top 10 from semifinals.
The national speed championships are held at the same time as difficulty. Most all of the team members competed in both disciplines. With new found enthusiasm for this side of the sport the VW team had its best performance ever in speed. Head speed coach Alex Fritz and assistant speed coach Chris Trinidad have taken our program to a new level for speed. Their knowledge of the proper training and execution has made a huge difference for the kids. But most importantly their devotion to this aspect of competition climbing has made all the difference.
The team qualified 7 kids for the speed final on Saturday. 6 out of the 7 received an invitation to join the US national team by placing in the top 4 of their category. notable results were Lil Sid Trinidad in 1st place, Corbin Miley in 1st place, Sean Bailey in 4th place, Justin Frank in 4th place, Lucas Kepl in 8th place, Charlotte Howell in 2nd place and Coco Mar in 3rd place.
Sport climbing finals started on Sunday morning. The best in the country took over the isolation area for one final go. This round is the big show. The routes are usually the “showiest” and the most fun for the kids. This year was no different. Lots of big whips and fun climbing. After it was all said and done, the VW team had a great result. There have been quite a few changes from the coaches this year, focusing on final execution and fine tuning. The performance this last weekend shows that it’s working and the kids are getting close to hitting their potential. Notable results for sport were, Sean Bailey 1st, Lil Sid Trinidad 1st, Melina Costanza 2nd, Drew Ruana 2nd, Lucas Kepl 4th, Leo Costanza 8th, Charlotte Howell 9th, Corbin Miley 9th.
Overall, the team placed 3rd out of 71 for the championship. A very proud result!
The next step for the team is Youth World championships which will be held in New Caledonia, near Australia. Melina Costanza, Justin Frank, Lucas Kepl, Drew Ruana Lil Sid Trinidad and Sean Bailey will be attending the event. Then, after that is the Youth Pan Am Championships: November 26-30, 2014 Puebla, Mexico. We will see quite a few of our members attending that as well.
Vertical World would like to thank all the Parents, team members, supporters and coaches. We have one of the biggest and best support groups in the country. Our team members are climbers, just like all the members in our gyms. They are one of you and you are one of them!
Full results can be seen here: