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Here Are Your New Canadian Boulder National Champions

Stiff competition in both the women's and men's categories led to gold being determined by the final problems of the night

Photo by: Evan Zucker

Quebec’s Babette Roy and British Columbia’s Guy McNamee are this year’s Canadian Boulder National Champions. The bouldering finals were tightly contested in both women’s and men’s categories, with podium placements being decided by the last problems of the night. Roy, 20, won gold after being the only woman to top two of the four problems. She is a member of Canada’s national High Performance Program (HPP), an elite group of athletes training to represent Canada in IFSC World Cup and Olympic competition. Roy placed fourth in last year’s Boulder National Championships.

McNamee took gold after flashing the final problem of the night, achieving three tops in total. He was followed closely by his identical twin brother Kindar, who won silver. Originally from Haiti, the 19-year-old McNamee brothers moved to British Columbia when they were two years old. They are both in the HPP, Guy for boulder and combined, and Kindar for lead. Guy also won gold at the 2020 Boulder Nationals.

The bouldering finals saw the top six men and top six women from the semi-finals vying for the titles of Boulder National Champions. Climbers in each gender category climbed four problems. They had four minutes to climb each one, with rest periods of approximately 25 minutes between problems. Tops were the primary points criteria in the comp. If competitors were tied in tops, their zones would then be compared. If still tied, attempts at top and zone were used to separate competitors.

Women’s Results

Babette Roy, Madison Fischer, and Chloe Earle all came out strong, topping the first problem of the evening, with Fischer getting a flash. Fischer was the favourite coming in to this comp. She was ranked first nationally in bouldering and like Roy, she’s a member of the HPP. Roy was ranked fifth nationally, Earle 11th.

The next two problems proved very difficult. Fischer and Anna Kelley reached the zone hold on these problems. Roy and Kelley achieved zone on the second problem, but they were both completely shut out by problem three. Kelley was unranked prior to this comp.

Podium ranks all came down to the fourth and final problem. With her flash and two zones, Fischer entered the round in the lead, followed by Roy and Earle. The final problem was very technical, requiring a sequence of sloper moves off a volume with bad feet. Fischer and Earle couldn’t get past this tricky section, only achieving zone. After a failed first attempt, Roy made it past the sloper section, piano matched on a crimp, threw to right slopey pinch, and finally grabbed the ultimate hold, topping the problem.

With this top, Roy won gold and became the 2022 Canadian Boulder National Champion in the women’s category. Ontario’s Fischer took second and BC’s Kelley took third, after topping the fourth problem. The women’s final results can be seen below:

  1. Babette Roy (2T3z 4 3)
  2. Madison Fischer (1T4z 1 7)
  3. Anna Kelley (1T4z 3 11)
  4. Sophie Buitendyk (1T3z 2 6)
  5. Chloe Earle (1T3z 3 6)
  6. Erica Velev (0T1z 0 1)

Several nationally-ranked climbers and HPP members did not compete in this year’s boulder nationals, including Alannah Yip, Indiana Chapman, Allison Vest, Paige Boklaschuk, and Rebecca Frangos. Evangelina Briggs competed, coming in eighth in the semi-finals.

Babette Roy in the boulder qualifiers. Photo by Jocelyn Sahli.

Men’s Results

After the first three boulders, Finn Battersby, HPP member Zach Richardson, and the McNamee twins all had two tops. All had three zones as well, except Richardson who had two. Like in women’s, gold was going to be determined by the final problem of the night.

The final problem was a wild one. A coordination jump start led to a big dyno to a jug. The athletes then had to perform a press-up mantle onto this jug with no feet for assistance. After securing a heel on the jug for balance, they could very delicately match the tiny final hold.

Battersby, ranked 10th nationally, topped the problem after two tries. Richardson, ranked fifth, couldn’t figure out how to match the final hold without slipping off and only achieved a zone. Guy flashed the problem to win gold. Kindar took three tries to complete the problem and took home silver. Interestingly, the top four finishing athletes all call British Columbia home.

This comp was quite the comeback story for Guy. In qualifiers, he placed surprisingly low at 18th. In the semis, he barely made the sixth and final spot to move to the finals. Prior to this comp, Guy was nationally ranked third in bouldering. His brother Kindar was ranked 18th. The men’s final results can be seen below:

  1. Guy McNamee (3T4z 7 8)
  2. Kindar McNamee (3T4z 9 10)
  3. Fin Battersby (3T4z 10 10)
  4. Brennan Doyle (2T3z 4 7)
  5. Zach Richardson (2T3z 6 5)
  6. Samuel Tiukuvaara (1T1z 4 4)

Several nationally-ranked climbers and HPP members did not compete in this year’s boulder nationals, including Victor Baudrand, Sean McColl, Sean Faulkner, Oscar Baudrand, and Lucas Uchida.

Upcoming Lead Finals

The Canadian Lead National Championship qualifiers are being held on Sunday November 27th. On the final day of the comp, Monday November 28th, the lead semi-finals and finals will wrap up the event. Many of the top competitors in bouldering will also be competing in lead including the McNamee brothers, Fin Battersby, Babette Roy, Madison Fischer, and Anna Kelley.

These three lead events will be livestreamed on Climbing Escalade Canada’s YouTube page. The YouTube livestream schedule is listed below:

Lead Qualifiers – Sunday November 27 – 9am EST (6am PST)
Lead Semi-Finals – Monday November 28 – 10:30am EST (7:30am PST)
Lead Finals – Monday November 28 – 5:30pm EST (2:30pm PST)

To learn more about the Canadian Climbing National Championships, including the favourites to win the lead event, read out previous article detailing the comp.

 

Lead photo: Evan Zucker