Evangelina Briggs, Finals 4, The only problem she didn’t flash the whole weekend. Photo by Stephen Briggs

CEC Youth Bouldering Nationals were held this past weekend at Bloc Shop in Montreal. If it wasn’t clear before, it is certainly clear now that Canada’s youth climbers are better supported and more organized than ever before and that the future of competition climbing in Canada is very bright.

There were over 250 young athletes competing over the course of 3 days. There was a live stream of both semi-finals and finals on Sports Canada TV, with emcees Pete Woods and Phil Lanthier. The climbing was top notch, as was the setting. Indeed, much credit is due to the setters. The amount of hours of setting that goes into an event with three rounds, four age categories (sometimes overlapping boulders), male and female, is more than impressive when you really think about it. And it’s not just the time, but the wear and tear on the body.

The setters at this comp did a phenomenal job. Boulders got topped, but not too few and not too many. There was often perfect separation of closely matched competitors. Congratulations to: Simon Parton (Chief), Loick Martel-Magnan (Assistant Chief), Fred Charron, Mathieu Elie, Alannah Yip, Nicolas Vouillamoz, and Nathan Smith. These folks make competition climbing possible.

Of course the young climbers deserve a round of applause as well. They trained for months, they showed up and they tried hard. Below are some highlights, results and photos.

Juniors

At 17-18 years old, the Junior climbers are often well-known from the Open competition circuit, as was the case this weekend. After a tough semi-final round for the Junior girls, Bronwen Karnis and Bea Evans were in a close first and second place. In finals, Evans pulled ahead of Karnis with the only send of problem two. Karnis secured her second place with a top of boulder one and flashes of three and four. Yinki Ying came third, also with three tops.

Sometimes a competitor is on fire throughout a competition; other times, there’s a weak round. But if you’re going to have a weak one, you’d prefer it not to be the last round. Sean Faulkner managed it the right way around this weekend.

Faulkner, who came 5th at Open Provincials, squeezed into finals by one attempt on his only top in semi-finals, while the other finalists finished two and three problems. But he turned it around in finals, which is not always easy to do after a mental hit. Faulkner was the only competitor to top all four problems and thereby earned himself the title of Canada’s Junior Youth Bouldering Champion 2019. In a very strong field, Manh Ellis and Zach Richardson, each with three tops, ended up in second and third, respectively.

Podium Junior Female / Male
1. Bea Evans / Sean Faulkner
2. Bronwen Karnis / Manh Ellis
3. Yinki Ying / Zach Richardson

Youth A

The B.C. team dominated the category Youth A boys; every finalist was from British Columbia. Ben Newman took the top spot with four tops, Brennan Doyle and Guy Mcnamee both did three with Doyle ahead on the podium because of attempts. For the girls, Indiana Chapman (ON) swept the final round with four flashes. Paige Boklaschuk (AB) and Maggie Hammer (USA) looked strong with three tops and four zones. Boklaschuk came out ahead of Hammer with one fewer attempt.

Podium Youth A Female / Male
1. Indiana Chapman / Ben Newman
2. Paige Boklaschuk / Brennan Doyle
3. Maggie Hammer / Guy Mcnamee

Canadian Ranking
1. Indiana Chapman / Ben Newman
2. Paige Boklaschuk / Brennan Doyle
3. Riley Galloway / Guy Mcnamee

Paige Boklaschuk (left), Indiana Chapman (middle), Riley Galloway (right). Photo by Matt Chapman
Paige Boklaschuk. Photo by Tia Yakimovitch

Youth B

For Youth B girls, Sydney Park came back from a slightly less strong semi-final round and to top three boulders and four zones in finals. Getting a fourth zone, which only one other competitor did, moved her up from third to first. For the boys, Oscar Baudrand dominated semi-finals, as the only competitor to finish all four problems. But the final round would go to Dylan Le, getting one more top than Baudrand.

Podium Youth B Female / Male
1. Sydney Park / Dylan Le
2. Nora Chi (FN) / Oscar Baudrand
3. Tula Sherkat / TJ Foley

Canadian Ranking
1. Sydney Park / Dylan Le
2. Tula Sherkat / Oscar Baudrand
3. Mateja Vukojevic / TJ Foley

Lea Latour, finished 5th. Photo by Stephen Briggs

Youth C

The only one to top all finals problems, Evangelina Briggs won the Female Youth C division. In fact, there wasn’t a boulder in the competition that Briggs did not top. Taylor Galloway came in second with one top shy of a clean sweep, followed by Jil Couture.

Podium Youth C Female / Male
1. Evangelina Briggs / Emmanuel Derima
2. Taylor Galloway / Augustine Chi (FN)
3. Jil Couture (FN) / Zachary Hammer (FN)

Canadian Ranking
1. Evangelina Briggs / Emmanuel Derima
2. Taylor Galloway / Adam Edwards
3. Alexa Vanier / Cole Macleod

Evangelina Briggs in Semis. Photo by Stephen Briggs
Cole McLeod. Photo by Stephen Briggs

For full results see CompSeason.com

Overall, there were 267 youth competitors (129 female, 138 male)
21 Junior Female/35 Junior Male
35 Youth A Female/38 Youth A Male
36 Youth B Female/33 Youth B Male
37 Youth C Female/32 Youth C Male

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