Written by Kadisha Aburub
So what exactly does it take to compete on the National stage?
Here’s a quick rundown of competitive climbing for those who are unfamiliar. (It can be a tricky/confusing space to navigate).
There are three disciplines of competitive climbing:
- Lead (14+ years old)/Top Rope (13 years old and under)
Each discipline has different seasons:
- Bouldering: October - December
- Regional championships are held in January
- Divisional championships are held in February
- Lead/Top Rope: January - March
- Regional championships are held in April
- Divisional championships are held in May
- Speed: October - May
- No regional/divisional championships. Athletes can compete at any qualifying event to achieve a qualifying time that makes them eligible to compete at the National Championships
A competitors rank is determined by their two best Qualifying Event performances. To qualify for Regional championships in either Bouldering or Lead/Top Rope a competitor must finish in the top 26 of their respective category.
From the 26 competitors per category at Regionals, the top 13 finishers advance to Divisional Championships.
From the 13 competitors per category at Divisionals, the top 6 finishers earn an invitation to compete in that discipline at the Youth National championships.
Long story short: a ton of hard work, dedication, and showing up to a lot of competitions. It is no easy feat. So we are incredibly proud of our athletes and coaches who have demonstrated an immense amount of commitment and grit to show up and rise to this occasion.
Here are a few highlights:
- Michael Hom is the 2023 MYA Speed National Champion, with an invitation to the Youth World Championships and a spot on the USA Youth National Team
- Logan Schlecht defended his National Champion title, with a spot on the USA National Team and an invitation to the Youth World Championships
- Maddi Haferling finished 5th in the nation with a new PB of 9.609 seconds and a spot on the USA Youth National Development Team
- Taede Mai finished 4th in the nation with a new PB of 7.319 seconds and a spot on the USA Youth National Development Team (first alternate for Youth World Championships)
- Silas Chang is the 2023 MJR speed bronze medalist, with a spot on the USA Youth National Development Team (first alternate for Youth World Championships)
- Silas Chang finished 18th in the nation in MRJ lead
- Silas Chang finished 20th in the nation in MJR bouldering
- Logan Schlecht finished 9th in the nation in MYB bouldering
- Samantha Lai finished 11th in the nation in FJR speed
- Yoji Bunnell finished 16th in the nation in MJR speed
- Marcus Yoo finished 19th in the nation in MYA speed
- Team Sender One SNA finished 3rd out of 61 teams in the team speed competition, and is the only team to be leaving the speed national championships with two gold medalists
- Logan Schlecht finished 25th in the nation in MYB lead
A special shoutout to coaches Christian Mercene, Laurel Melton, and Stella Pena who supported athletes at Nationals, to all the coaches who show up and give their all to practice, to all the parents who make an insane amount of sacrifices, and to our Sender One athletes who show up day in and day out.
Photo ID: Sender One stands as 3rd place National team Champions for Youth Series Speed
Photo Credit: Jason Chang (@theshortbeta)