On Saturday May 8, 2010, Urban Rocks Gym hosted the SCS Regionals Championship. This was the first competition of its kind in Chattanooga, and Urban Rocks was happy to support USA Climbing and the Sport Climbing Series. Emily Taylor, the southeast regional coordinator, worked in conjunction with Urban Rocks owners, Chris Gibson and Becky Robran, to put on the most exciting competition that we have had to date.
Saturday was a fun-filled day with strong youth climbers competing for a chance to go to divisionals and then on to nationals, which is scheduled for July 8-12 at Stone Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. By 8 a.m, competitors started arriving at the gym full of energy, all with positive attitudes looking ready to out-climb the competition.
The championship had two rounds of climbing: a difficulty climbing round and a speed climbing round. The difficulty round was an onsight competition, meaning competitors have no previous knowledge of the routes that they are to climb and climbers get called out by the announcer one by one to put their skills to the test. During the difficulty round, each climber had five minutes to climb each of the four routes. During the speed climbing round, four competitors climbed simultaneously with agility and light feet while pushing themselves to get to the top of the wall in the shortest amount of time.
Regionals championships can be very stressful for competitors, especially the younger ones new to the sport. Waiting in isolation, being called out one at a time, racing against a timer, and hearing the cheering crowd at your back can make for a very nerve-racking competition, but everyone had smiles on their faces and was ready to climb!
The competition had five different age groups and split start times. Youth C and D (competitors ages 13 and under) climbed in the morning, and Youth B, A, and Juniors (ages 14 – 19) competed in the afternoon. The afternoon consisted of Youth A, B, and Juniors as well as the speed climbing portion of the competition. Due to very competitive categories, the top climbers were required to climb head to head during a super finals round in order to break three ties that took place.
Climbing teams traveled from all around the southeast to represent their hometown gym at the Regional Championship. Team Adrenaline, Atlanta Rocks, Ascension, and Urban Core represented Georgia and Team Charleston, Stronghold, and Trailhead hailed from South Carolina. This was a very successful day of climbing and competing, and it was great to see that all the training and preparation had paid off.
These young competitors have been training for months now in order to bring their A-game to the competition. Parents and coaches have a lot to be proud of because every competitor in the gym was determined and performed very well. We look forward to seeing these kids move on to divisionals and nationals.
The Southeast region has such young, strong climbers, and we can attribute a lot of their success to the patient parents and coaches of these kids. A big thanks goes out to the parents of these climbers for supporting your kids and letting them do what they love.
We want to give Emily Taylor special thanks, as this was her last regional championship as regional coordinator. When Emily first became the southeast regional coordinator, there were only 24 southeast climbers competing in sanctioned USA Climbing competitions, five teams, seven climbing facilities with only four participating in USA Climbing in the southeast, and no major sanction competition venue. The southeast now has more than 200 registered USAC members, 10 teams, 13 climbing facilities, and, for the first time ever, the southeast is the host of the Youth National Championship.
This comp would not have been possible if it were not for our volunteers. Some came in the morning, staying until the very end, and others stopped by throughout the day. In either case, every volunteer that assisted during the competition was extremely helpful, and made the comp run as smoothly as it did.
And, of course, we want to give a huge thank you to our local sponsors Greenlife and Rock/Creek as well as the USA climbing sponsors: The North Face, Native Eyewear, La Sportiva, Clif Bar, E-Grips, Vibram, Climbing Magazine and Urban Climber Magazine.