The Castle sent 9 members of the Comp Squad to the national lead climbing championships, this year held in Sheffield on Saturday the 5th of October. Although this was the first national final for many of the 9 climbers, we still qualified 4 for the final with Yasmin Roberts missing out on her final by the narrowest of margins. Of special note, in the highly competitive Youth B male category, Castle Squad members (Jim Pope, Cameron McLoughlin and Stan Harris) made up half the final. That’s saying something considering that three of the finalists regularly compete and place highly in international competitions. Jim had actually tied for second place but was awarded third place on time. Jo Neame was our 4th finalist having topped out both of her qualifying routes and finishing third on the day.
The national championships are a chance for our Squad to measure themselves against the best young climbers in the country. The Comp Squad was originally set up to encourage young climbers to compete in the BMC’s Youth Climbing Series, but given the talent that has grown over the years we’ve now set our goals higher with the aim of enabling climbers to earn places on the British Team. The BLCC’s are a key stepping stone towards that. To make the team climbers must also perform well in Open Youth Events (usually held in December and March).
In addition to lead climbing, our Squad also competes in bouldering competitions and you can see them in action in the Blokfest series (first round is on Sunday 20 October). In January, those who are not on the British Team will be competing in the BMC’s Youth Climbing Series (January – March). Our aim this year is for each team member to earn a place in the national final held in Scotland in June.
The Castle Comp Squad is coached by Juan Avendano, Ben Levey, Jamie Ashman, Olly Archer, Chellie Carroll and me (Audrey Seguy). We congratulate all the climbers on a fantastic performance and thank the parents for their ongoing support.
Jim Pope (captain) – Youth B male – 3rd place
Jo Neame – Youth B female – 3rd place
Cameron McLoughlin – Youth B male – 5th place
Stan Harris – Youth B male – 6th place
Yasmin Roberts – Youth C female – 7th place
Grace Spence-Green – Youth A female – 9th place
Eugenie Lee – Youth C female – 10th place (joint)
Zoe Ramsden – Youth A female – 12th place (joint)
Alex O’Neill – Youth C male – 13th place