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Kai Lightner and Delaney Miller Win the SCS 2015 Nationals

The Sport Climbing Series National Championships are taking place in Boston’s Central Rock. Canadian Elan Jonas McRae finished in sixth place as the only international climber in the finals.

Qualifications took place on Friday at Central Rock. America’s best indoor lead climbers went head to head on some steep and difficult route.

For the men, Matty Hong, Kai Lightner and Carlos Traversi finished in first, second and third. For the women, Grace McKeehan placed first, Alex Puccio in second and in third was Margo Hayes.

On Saturday, the top climbers from qualifications took on the very steep and hard semis route. The men’s route had a definite crux two thirds of the way up that required some trickery and was followed by a series of pinches and a sloper no one stuck. Kai Lightner climbed very smooth and finished in first followed by Matty Hong.

For the women, Delaney Miller was the only one to finish the route that had most falling off at the final lip before a number of slopey holds. Alex Puccio who is comp favourite fell below the difficult upper section. Nevertheless she finished semis in second behind Miller.

In the finals, Kai Lightner climbed to the highest point on the men’s final route, but no one topped out. At only 15 years old and competing in his first open nationals, Kai walked away champion. After his climb, he walked over and gave Delaney Miller a big hug then continued over to give his mom a big hug, a class act. In second was the very strong Jesse Gruper and in third was Matty Hong. Carlo Traversi, who just sent Kryptonite 5.14d, placed fourth.

Kai Lightner on the final men's route.  Photo Mike Barron
Kai Lightner on the final men’s route. Photo Mike Barron

Delaney Miller won her third open nationals in a row. She climbed fast and in control. Bouldering superstar Alex Puccio, who hadn’t competed in a rope comp in years, finished in fourth behind second place Margo Hayes and third place Claire Buhrfeind.

Rope comps are always full of action and it was a treat to have the production company Louder Than Eleven bring the event to us live.

Full Results Here

Delaney Mill on the final women's problem.  Photo Mike Barron
Delaney Miller on the final women’s problem with Kai in the background. Photo Mike Barron