Urban Youth Squad at Vic State Titles

This past weekend saw the Victorian State Lead Titles go off with a bang down in Melbourne. We saw the typical comp blur of route setting, psyche, whippers, tops, tears, and tantrums. All told, more than 100 competitors turned out to vie for the title across a range of categories.

Three of the Urban Climb Youth Squad made the journey down to kick off their 2018 competition season. As ever, Finn McCallum Packham, Flora Froese, and Liam Botting represented Urban Climb with distinction. Liam (Youth B) and Finn (Youth A) both took first in their categories, with Flora coming in a close second (Youth A).

At the event, each climber must attempt two qualifying climbs, with the points being awarded the higher the competitor gets on the route. The top 8 qualifying athlete’s then progress into a final round, consisting of 1 climb – with the climber who gets highest on the wall leaving with the victory.

Flora Froese rock climbing

Flora climbing at the Victoria State Lead Titles

Attention now turns to upcoming events in NSW, WA, and SA, before the Urban Youth Squad take part in the Queensland Lead Titles in April.

Full event results

Comp report: Flora Froese

On the weekend of 10/11th February I had the opportunity to travel to Melbourne alongside Urban Climb athletes, Finn and Liam, to compete in the Victoria State Lead titles. It is always great to travel to interstate events to gain higher level competition experience, compete against different competitors and try out a different gym.

The Victorian State Lead Titles were held at North Walls, Brunswick and were hosted by Sport Climbing Victoria. It was an exciting comp for me as it was my first time competing in Youth A and my first opportunity to step up into Open A. Finn has also moved up to Youth A this year and Liam has moved up into Youth B although the boys had competed a few weeks ago in Tasmania so it wasn’t their first comp. I had had a pretty soft off season traveling in the states, so I had to work hard on my strength and endurance in the lead up to this event. I felt confident going down there but I wasn’t sure what to expect.

With qualifiers in the morning I managed to top the first climb which gave my confidence a solid boost but a sequencing oversight on the second climb saw me fall about 4 holds from the top and put me in third place going into finals. Due to a small field, I knew that all Youth A girls would make finals so this took the pressure off somewhat. Finn and Liam also put down solid efforts in their quallies and both comfortably made the finals in their categories. Following a short break we were back up for the qualifying climbs for open A. I was intimidated, but I was also able to approach the Open A event with no expectations so I didn’t feel pressure. I just went out and enjoyed the challenge of some new climbs. Again, I topped the first qualifier as did every other woman, but fell earlier than I should have on the second, just scraping in to the finals.

Finn rock climbing in Melbourne

Finn working his way to a top.

North Walls is well situated in Brunswick with plenty to see and do nearby but there was limited time to rest before we were herded in to isolation for the afternoon. Viewing the Youth A finals route, I was able to sequence most of the difficult looking moves and identify some spots to rest. Iso was pretty relaxed and I worked through my warm up moves and felt focused and ready when it was my turn to climb. I worked through my sequence once I was on the wall and near the top committed to an uncertain and biggish move to the final hold, a pocket I hadn’t felt before. Almost before I knew it I was clipping the top anchor! A top in finals felt pretty good and despite my awkwardness, I even managed a wave to the audience on the way down. Because of Open A finals, I had to go straight back into isolation after my climb. It turns out that myself and local legend Oceana Mackenzie were the only ones to top the final for Youth A! It sure felt pretty good to be up with her in the results. Viewing the Open A finals climb had me really intimidated. Every move looked really hard and my psyche got the better of me and wasn’t sure if I was even going to get to the second clip. I was first out due to my qualifying position and while I did manage better than I expected, I fell early and finished the Comp in eighth place. All in all this was a great start to the 2018 completion season for me. I finished second in Youth A and made finals in open A. Both of those in an incredibly strong field. Finn finished first in Youth A male and twelfth in Open A male and Liam nailed first in Youth B male. Strong results from the Urban crew! I’d like to give a big shoutout to Sport Climbing Victoria for putting together an entertaining competition, the setters and judges and the Mackenzie family for putting me up for the weekend. I also want to thank my sponsors Pinnacle Sports for their ongoing support and Urban Climb for providing such high level coaching and facilities to allow us to come down and crush at interstate comps.

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