American Cloe Coscoy Leads into Final at Canadian Nationals - Gripped Magazine

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American Cloe Coscoy Leads into Final at Canadian Nationals – Gripped Magazine

The Canadian Lead National Championships continued this afternoon with the conclusion of its semi-final event. 26 men and 28 women approached today’s competition after yesterday’s qualifying round

Between the two categories, only one climber managed to Top both of their qualification routes: Olympian Sean McColl. Despite a rough return to bouldering at the 2021 Boulder National Championships, McColl looked on-form this afternoon with a secure lead above the competition.

The 42-move semi-final route featured numerous gibbed volumes and a plethora of holds from the Ontario-based grip producer: Grizzly Holds. Qualified athletes squeezed through larger plates before kicking back onto Olympic Oval’s 40-degree angle. The 18-metre wall put pressure on athletes’ forearms and provided sustained resistance-based routes.

Of the eight men heading into the final round of competition, three have spent the last two months training in Salt Lake City, Utah. Victor Baudrand, Oscar Baudrand, and Sean Faulkner have all been training in America’s climbing capital alongside some of the best in the world. The question of a Canadian National Training Centre continues to circulate as one of the more pressing matters in Canadian Competition Climbing’s progression. Still, the many millions of dollars required to make the facility have not yet appeared.

In the competition itself, BC’s Finn Battersby, who also spent a portion of the last two months training and climbing in the United States, climbed his best Lead round ever, looking strong and composed through the 29th hold. Earning the plus alongside Uchida, Battersby showed the results of his months of effort training and setting on Vancouver Island.

Victor Baudrand followed with a compelling result, but the historically endurance-proficient athlete appeared pumped coming out of hold 33. The gibbed volume required grip strength that Baudrand could not provide.

The McNamee twins took fifth and fourth with Kindar earning 34+ to Guy’s 35+. Both climbers moved well, although Guy moved with a little more urgency than Kindar in their pursuits of the top. The twins often climb at a slower speed, but Guy’s pacing may reflect a bouldering focus or a tactical decision based on the pump of the wall.

The top three contenders in the men’s field provided the most to talk about as they each have had interesting years preceding this event. Oscar Baudrand earned third with a performance that he will try and replicate in this evening’s final. In the past, the younger Baudrand appeared to fall more because of mistakes than fitness, and his result today showed the extent of that fitness in his execution.

Maintaining between rounds has historically challenged Baudrand so it will be interesting to see if he can hold off the rest of the field to remain on the podium. Conversely, Sean Faulkner appeared ready to earn himself gold in any of these upcoming competitions with consistent results in both US Lead Nationals and Canadian Bouldering Nationals. He took fourth and second respectively. While his progression speaks well of this evening’s final competition, it will be difficult to dethrone Canadian Olympian Sean McColl.

McColl nearly slipped lower on the route, but he overcame a nearly missed hold and relaxed back into the following moves. A shaking head expressed his heart’s pace at the nearly-dropped move, but, recollected, McColl went on to climb up until the final move of the route. Lead is McColl’s strongest discipline and beating him, will be difficult for any climber to do. With that said, any of the athletes have the capacity for a strong showing in finals.

Although Uchida’s heel slipped to bring him down to seventh position, he climbed nearly as well as McColl in the qualification event.

10 women will head into this evening’s final. Although eight is the normal cut off, an exception has been made as two of the qualified athletes are American. This differs from the manner by which USA Climbing carried out their National Championships. In the Men’s final of their recent Lead National Championships, Canadian Sean Faulkner qualified but the event still only took eight competitors into the final round.

Although this difference exists, National-level competitions in Canada and the US afford the top ranked athlete of their country the National title even if a foreign national wins. This is pertinent as American Cloe Coscoy concluded the semi-final round in first place. She climbed four holds head of the Oval North American Cup Series winner Indiana Chapman.

Like Faulkner, Coscoy has posted progressively better results over the last twelve months. She qualified for the US National team last year and pushed into finals in Lead at the US National Championships. Although Coscoy is incredibly skilled, she has not yet surpassed American Olympian Kya Condie. That may change this year.

Alongside Coscoy, American Sienna Kopf qualified in seventh place, up four places from her 11 placed position in the qualification event. Kopf is an incredibly strong boulderer that has the capacity to climb well through to the podium, but a strong Canadian field will prove challenging for both Americans.

At the bottom of field, 10 and 9 placed Madison Fischer and Paige Boklaschuk climbed 24 and 24+ earning good scores for the boulder-focused women. Endurance appeared to be the issue for both climbers, but given a punchy, bouldery sport route, these bouldering strong ladies could push into the upper portions of the field.

Joining them in contention, Sophie Buitendyk and Babette Roy earned eighth and sixth respectively. The correlation between strong boulderers and lead climbers in the women’s field is notable. It shows that many of Canada’s best competitors do not stay within a discipline.

Finally, Becca Frangos, Emi Takashiba, and Alannah Yip pushed above the 34-hold threshold, placing fifth, fourth and third respectively. Yip has spent a lot of time training on this wall. She could become even more contentious for gold given a physical route. Frangos may not be in the top three, but she could have the most endurance out of the field. Indiana Chapman seems to have consistency over all other Canadians in Lead, but whether she can out climb Coscoy, a woman who moved four holds further than the Canadian, will be something to perceive.

1 – Sean McColl (CAN)

5 – Kindar McNamee (CAN)

6 – Victor Baudrand (CAN)

7 – Lucas Uchida (CAN)

8 – Finn Battersby (CAN)

Women Advancing to Final

1 – Cloe Coscoy (USA)

5 – Becca Frangos (CAN)

8 – Sophie Buitendyk (CAN)

9 – Paige Boklaschuk (CAN)

10 – Madison Fischer (CAN)

Featured image of Emi Takashiba by Philip Quade of Rock Digital Marketing

This content was originally published here.