This past weekend, BoulderHouse in Victoria, British Columbia, hosted the 2019 Western Bouldering Regional Championship. The competition is a precursor to the Canadian National Bouldering Championships held in January. On Saturday, a field of 59 competitors, 36 men and 23 women, took to the mats.
Western Regionals was a tight competition. The ranking between rounds came down to number of attempts.
Of the eight male competitors that qualified for Finals, only Sean Faulkner topped four boulders, while the remainder of the field, excepting Ethan Hoffman, topped three with five zones. Hoffman entered finals with three tops and four zones.
View this post on Instagram
Took home the gold this weekend at CEC Western Regionals! Thanks to the whole CCC team for cheering me on last night. You guys are all amazing! Congrats to all the competitors this weekend, especially to @paigeboklaschuk and @lilyclimbs for some strong Alberta performances in finals! Here is a video of W1 from finals. Thanks @sceveleigh for the videos! . Thanks to my sponsors for the continuous support! @calgaryclimbing @movetomove @lasportiva @metoliusclimbing
Because six competitors were only separated by attempts, the energy was high at BoulderHouse. The finals round maintained that energy as Ivan Luo and Tosh Sherkat were only separated by attempts in the final round, each achieving three tops and four zones. Jaxson MacDonald ultimately took third.
For Luo, this win meant a lot. He said, “It felt amazing, probably one of the bigger wins in the open circuit for me.” Luo has competed for over a decade, but even still, he did not expect to walk away with the win. Luo said “my mental game is something I need to work on more.” Though he is a happy climber, maintain focus between boulders is a challenge that each competitor faces each time they step up to the wall. Luo credits a conversation with his coach, Christian Core, with helping him in the finals round.
For the women, the competition was equally exciting. Coming out of qualifiers, Paige Boklaschuk led the pack with four tops and four zones. She was the only female competitor to top for boulders. Alyssa Weber qualified with three tops and five zones making her the only athlete to exit her category with five zones.
The rounds featured a variety climbs. Boklashcuk said, “The boulders were a range of difficulties; the easiest boulders felt similar to a local competition while the hardest felt ones were comparable to how I imagine the boulders at open nationals will feel.” With such a variety of difficulties and styles, technical slabs to powerful climbing, the competition worked as an opportunity for athletes to test themselves before nationals.
View this post on Instagram
What a finish for the CEC Western Regionals! Congratulations to all the athletes that participated and thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and spectators that supported the event. We couldn't have done it without you! Here are the final results. – OPEN WOMEN: 🥇 Alyssa Weber 🥈 Paige Boklaschuk 🥉 Maki Koci OPEN MEN: 🥇 Ivan Luo 🥈 Tosh Sherkat 🥉 Jaxson Macdonald – 📸: @miko__photo #boulderhouse #bouldering #bloc #climbing #rockclimbing #climbing_videos_of_instagram #climbinggym #indoorclimbing #routesetting #regionals #boulderingcompetition #uplify @mec @flashedclimbing @patagoniavictoria @pearl.healthcare @fernwoodcoffee @fernwoodpizzacompany @valhallapurevictoria @west.coast.resoles @boulderdenim @cainexerciserehab @cec.athletes.commission @climbcanada
Though Nationals is on her mind, Boklaschuk said, “This year I am hoping to compete at Youth World Championships as well as bouldering world cups.” Though Boklaschuk has difficulties with the powerful climbing of bouldering competitions, she has worked hard to strengthen herself by climbing with powerful climbers. In conjunction with her technical and intuitive style, this additional strength will only lend the athlete greater opportunities in the coming months.
In the Finals round of the Regional competition, Weber came back hard, taking first with four tops and four zones. Boklaschuk climbed well, but only secured second with two tops and three zones. This upset only lent additional stoke to the competition. Maki Koci finished up in third place, completing the podium.
Bouldering Nationals will take place on Jan. 11 and 12 at Altitude in Ontario. Results below, for full results click here.
Eastern Finals Men/Women
1. Seb Lazure / Madison Fischer
2. Sam Tiukuvaara / Sydney Park
3. Zach Richardson / Riley Galloway
Western Finals Men/Women
1. Ivan Luo / Alyssa Weber
2. Tosh Sherkat / Paige Boklaschuck
3. Jaxson MacDonald / Maki Koci