Benjamin Dantas excels at climbing championships | VailDaily.com

Benjamin Dantas excels at climbing championships

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Benjamin Dantas of Avon recently competed in the USA Climbing National Championships in Salt Lake City. Dantas finished just out of a spot in the finals.

VAIL — Benjamin Dantas of Avon, continues to excel at the national competitive level of rock climbing. Dantas recently attended his seventh straight USA Climbing National Championships, which this year was held in Salt Lake City.

This three-day event is host to the best 500 youth climbers from across the U.S. and is a spectacle of strength and technique, which was showcased at the Salt Palace Convention Center. These athletes climb on the same World Cup competition wall that is used to host the World Cup event in Vail, as part of the GoPro Mountain Games every June.

Dantas has been climbing since he was five. He began with private lessons to learn all of the basic techniques and safety elements. Dantas now climbs with the competitive team at the Vail Athletic Club.

gymnastics, big jumps, focus

"Benji has had several extremely talented coaches to work with over the years, and has been influenced as well as inspired by many of his peers on the team," Vail Athletic Club Climbing Team Head Coach Larry Moore said. Dantas began climbing at competitions five years ago and has advanced to the National Championships for the past four years, in both the bouldering and sport climbing disciplines.

The recent event in Salt Lake City was bouldering, which involves climbing closer to the padded surface, without ropes. Bouldering includes gymnastic moves, big jumps, focused balance and powerful movements made above the safety of a three-foot-thick padded flooring system. USA Climbing posts video of the National Championships through its website, http://www.usaclimbing.org.

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Although he had been ill the entire week, Dantas managing to qualify for semifinals. One of 48 athletes in his age group, he finished 21st. The results for semifinals were based on a flaw in the scoring system, and Benji finished a respectable 12th, missing qualifying for finals by one place.

Special thanks to the entire Vail Athletic Club coaching staff and route setting crew that supports the climbing team. For more information, email Moore, larry.atgi@gmail.com.

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