The Canadian Bouldering National Championships concluded this evening at Délire in Quebec City. The three round event took place over the last two days, providing upset after upset in what will be remembered as one of the greatest events in Competitive Canadian history.
Six women and six men approached the field in this anticipated event with fans unaware of the spectacle to come. It was incredible.The night belonged to one 15-year-old Evangelina Briggs who, despite competing in her first Open Nationals, found consistency amid a challenging assortment of problems. After qualifying in first position alongside Olympian Alannah Yip in qualies, Briggs found a sustained W2 pushing her into fifth position heading into finals.
Retaining her cool, Briggs approached finals with a single-minded determination that provided one of the greatest victories in Canadian history. Briggs quickly flashed the first two final problems before finding a challenging W3. Forgoing the set beta, Briggs ran through a press, snatched a crimp and pressed into the volume every other athlete would use as a foot.
Arresting her momentum, Briggs performed her second seamless match of the night and pressed higher into the problem. Going feet first through the final series of sloping holds, the bold athlete maneuvered her way to the finish in a manner reminiscent Guy McNamee’s ascent of M4 from the Kanata North American Cup Series (NACS) event.
Ontario’s Madison Fischer pressured this lead with another ascent of W3. Though leading by attempts, it would all come down to W4.
Standing firm on the mats, Briggs appeared to recognize that she had a good chance of scoring high on the podium. Moving her way through the resistant, spanned problem, Briggs found herself atop W4 with a flash. As the second athlete out for the round, the impact of her ascent was definitive: Briggs had become the new National Champion.
For those that have followed the open circuit, Briggs name may appear new, but her silver medal at a USA Climbing Youth Nationals spoke long ago to her potential. Tonight, she showed her experience and presented herself as one of Canada’s Olympic hopefuls.
Her victory stunned, but her performance was not the only one worth noting. Although Yip wouldn’t walk away with the win, she flashed each of the three boulders she ascended. To that effect, a tricky W2 pushed Yip away from the top spot as she was unable to negotiate a technical traverse. Yip remains one of the strongest climbers in the country.
To that effect, Madison Fischer climbed a well-executed competition, taking bronze after a season of progressively better results. While she may have wanted to earn the gold herself, Fischer has time to show how strong she is on the international field.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this competition is the number of strong climbers in the female category. Babette Roy did not podium today, but she earned four tops heading into finals and fought through uncomfortable first boulder problems to climb W3 on her sixth attempt. She then flashed W4. This control showcased her ability to climb well under pressure.
To that effect, Paige Boklaschuk climbed well through the final, just failing to secure a top on W1 and W4. Her consistency in these last months more than speak for themselves, and show that she is one to watch in 2022. She is on the up and up.
Similarly, Indiana Chapman found creative solutions to challenging problems. She also flashed both W1 and W4. While she was unable to stick Zone on W3, she made a smart move to secure Zone on the slabby W2. Chapman took and unconventional approach knowing she could not finish the climb. The crux, for Chapman on W2 appeared to be a stand up on a recovering left knee. Chapman has battled this knee injury in and out of competition for months, and to post such consistency in and just-out of injury speaks to her ability as a competitor.
In short, each of these women are rising stars. The closeness of their scores shows a competitive field with many taking to the challenge that is competing at the National level and beyond.
1 – Evangelina Briggs
2 – Alannah Yip
3 – Madison Fischer
4 – Babette Roy
5 – Paige Boklaschuk
6 – Indiana Chapman