As climbing moves toward the Olympics, USA Climbing paired up with the US Olympic committee this year to host the Open and Youth Bouldering National Championships in Colorado Springs, CO. The Open competition was held on February 24th and 25th. This was easily the strongest depth of field of any Climbing National Championship to date, with the outcome going down to the last attempts on the day. Touchstone member Ethan Pringle looked to win the comp but dropped to 2nd place as Daniel Woods pulled out the win in the dying moments. Touchstone Zero Gravity Climbing Team members did well in this strong field with four of the six participating qualifying for Semi-Finals. Joshua Levin 16th, Cicada Jenerik 17th, Jacquelyn Wu 21st, Sera Busse 23rd, Will Roderick 47th, Rick Gentery 50th.
The Touchstone Zero Gravity team returned the next weekend of March 2-4 to compete in the USA Climbing Youth Bouldering National Championships. The team had a solid performance and took 3rd place in the Team Standings. Cicada Jenerik and Mirko Caballero absolutely dominated the competition and were National Champions. Jacquelyn Wu and Dylan Barks won the Silver medal, Natalia Grossman the Bronze, Joshua Levin 4th, Matt Gorssman 7th, Charlie Andrews 8th, Rick Gentery 14th, Dylan Meyerhoffer 15th, Courtney Ceran 22nd, Connor Everton, 24th, Will Roderick 23rd, Hanna Grossman 24th, Hannah Le 24th. Cicada, Mirko, Jacquelyn, Dylan and Joshua were all selected for the US National Team.
As amazing as the individual and team performance were, an even bigger honor was bestowed on Joshua Levin as the recipient of the North Face Young Gun award. This award, presented by the North Face and USA Climbing, recognizes a young climber who is the epitome of sportsmanship, exceptional climbing ability, and an all around amazing ambassador for the climbing industry. Prior to receiving the award, Joshua commented” just to be nominated is the biggest honor of my life” His coach Scot Jenerik felt the same way when it was announced that the three nominees were all athletes that he coaches on the Touchstone Zero Gravity team. Congratulations as well to nominees Dylan Barks and Charlie Andrews.
Many of the Touchstone Zero Gravity Open category competitors will head back to Colorado, April 6th and 7th for the USA Climbing SCS (ropes) Open National Championship.
A few of the team from Left to Right- Rick Gentery, Sera Busse, Joshua Levin, Will Roderick, Cicada Jenerik, Jacquelyn Wu