Climbers from the Bend Endurance Academy (BEA) team competed in the USA Climbing National Championships in Reno, Nevada, July 13-18.
BEA qualified nine climbers for the events, which included each of the three disciplines of competition climbing: Lead and top rope, speed, and bouldering.
Bend’s Shae McCarl, 13, was crowned national champion in bouldering, earned a silver medal in lead and top rope, and finished 12th in the speed discipline. Her combined results gave McCarl second place overall in her age category. The combined results format is the same format being used for climbing’s Olympic debut next week at the Tokyo Games.
“I felt prepared, both physically and mentally, going into the finals, but you never know what will happen at nationals,” McCarl said. “All of the competitors were so strong so I felt like anyone in the finals could have won.”
“It’s impressive, really impressive,” said Mike Rougeux, executive director at Bend Endurance Academy, who now has produced three national champions in climbing over the past three years. “We had so much uncertainty this season around if and when we would have events, or if the gym was open for us to train, which makes it even more special for our whole team to see one of our athletes take the top step on the podium.”
The USA Climbing National Championships included more than 80 climbers per category, coming from across the U.S. to compete.
Bend Endurance Academy climbing team programs will start back up for the fall season in September at the Bend Rock Gym, and interested athletes can explore team options at www.bendenduranceacademy.org.