For the third consecutive year, Canadian wunderkind Sean McColl took top spot at the Tour De Bloc Bouldering Championships this past weekend (May 18, 2008), having little challenge defeating a strong field of contenders. With McColl a bit under the weather prior to the comp, there was early reverberation that top Edmonton locals Terry Paholek and Marshal German might be able to dethrone McColl. Paholek's exceptional style and technique and German's pure power, grit, and determination earned them 2nd and 3rd respectively, topping two of five boulders each. But McColl could not be outdone, sending all the finals problems, with a stunning flash of the fifth and final boulder. The problem had seen most other competitors struggling through a pinch and heel-hook power section to reach a set up for a monstrous and incredibly difficult final throw, but McColl campused through the bottom, and dispatched the double-clutch jump with apparent ease — an awed and screaming crowd cheering the ascent.
In the Women's field, Vikki Weldon, National Champion of years past, and perennial Canadian contender Erin Ford-Zieleniewski were among the favorites, with the Edmonton locals betting the win would go to local strong girl Thirza Carpenter. With a difficult line up of boulders, most women in the field of 10 struggled their way through the middle sections of each problem, but could not top the finishes. In much the same form as McColl, Carpenter hiked all the finals problems with relative ease, leaving Weldon with a strong showing in 2nd, Sheena Osbourne in 3rd, and Ford Zieleniewski in fourth, chasing towards the end, with a near send of the final problem.
Hosted this year at Urban Uprising Climbing Complexin Edmonton, Alberta, the MEC Bouldering Championships, coordinated by the Tour De Bloc and sanctioned by Canada's CEC (Competition Escalade Canada), is the top level bouldering event in Canada. The competition had a turnout of 100 + competitors and over 300 spectators. With major support from Mountain Equipment Co-op, the TDB Nationals sported a $5,000 overall cash purse, and selected the National Team representing Canada in 2008-2009 international competition.
Check tourdebloc.com for complete results and more photos.
Top Ten Results
Bonnie de Bruijn
Date of Competition: May 18, 2008