Eagle County students shine at USA Climbing regional and American Scholastic Climbing League meet
Three qualify for USA Climbing divisional championship and Eagle Valley takes second in ASCL girls team competition
We knew the past weekend would be busy for area middle and high school climbers. Now, it can officially be described as successful, too.
Three members of the Eagle Climbing and Fitness team placed in the top-13 at the USA Climbing Region 41 competition in Denver last Saturday to advance to the Division 4 championships on Feb. 11-12 in Oklahoma City. Division 4 is one of nine divisions across the country. On Sunday, many of those athletes returned to the climbing wall to compete in the middle and high school divisions of the American Scholastic Climbing League regular season meet held at their home gym. The Eagle Valley girls placed second as a team in the high school division, led by Reese Manley’s sixth-place overall finish. It was the first competition for the Devils’ junior after a nearly year-long injury.
“Huge performance, physically and mentally, just to get back at it bouldering,” said Larry Moore, who is not only the gym owner and USA Climbing team coach, but also Eagle Valley’s ASCL coach.
The Devils’ other two scoring climbers were freshman Iris Sheldon in eighth and sophomore Mary Friery in 12th.
“The girls getting second in the Western Slope is a big deal. The Western Slope is super strong and typically has individual and team state champions. So, that’s a really good performance,” Moore said.
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Vail Mountain School placed fifth, with Zeme Braunholtz (ninth), Willa Grimsley (43rd) and Alaina Highum (44th) scoring for the Gore Rangers.
On the varsity boys side, Elliot Gray-Lopresti placed second overall to Devin Bush of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. Gray-Lopresti’s ASCL performance came one day after an eighth-place finish in the male youth A division at the USA Climbing regional.
“He’s probably our strongest athlete on the team,” Moore said of the Eagle Valley High School freshman, who has been competing for just two seasons. “And he’s just crushing it. He’s doing well in both leagues and had a great performance all weekend.”
Gray-Lopresti is the lone Devils climber, as was Nathan Rak (15th) for Battle Mountain and Nyko Callas (19th) for Vail Mountain School. Three athletes are required for a team score.
Climbers have two more regular season meets before the Feb. 4 Western Slope Region Championship, which will also be at Eagle Climbing and Fitness. To earn a trip to the state championship in Broomfield on Feb. 25, an athlete’s State Qualification Composite Score must put them in the top 10 of the region rankings. The best three in-region competition scores from the regular season meets, by percent, are averaged and count as 60% of the State Qualification Composite Score, with the remaining 40% coming from the regional. Twenty-four at-large bids from across the state’s four regions are also allocated for state.
USA Climbing regional recap
Eagle Climbing and Fitness had three athletes qualify out of the regional 41 championships on Saturday with Gray-Lopresti’s eighth-place finish in male youth A, Dylan Hewitt’s eighth-place finish in male youth C and Ella Regjo’s 12th-place finish in female youth C, respectively.
“This is her best performance,” Moore said of Regjo. “To advance to the divisional level — she’s never been to that level before, so she’s super excited.”
Hewitt was forced to miss last year’s regional because of COVID-19 but has qualified for the divisional once before in lead/top rope. The USA Climbing calendar is split by discipline (boulder, lead/top rope and speed).
“We’ve got a pretty young team — like, Elliot seems old and he’s only a first-year A, so he has three more years in the youth competitive world,” Moore said.
Greyson Gibson also placed fourth in the male youth D, but there are no divisional or nationals for youth D. Gibson does receive an invite to the National Climbing Festival, a several-day event that includes clinics from USA Climbing coaches and athletes at the site (TBD) of the USA Climbing nationals from July 10-16.
Place, Name, Category
4th – Greyson Gibson, MYD
8th – Elliot Gray-Lopresti, MYA
8th – Dylan Hewitt, MYC
12th – Ella Regjo, FYC
14th – Ty Brown, MYD
15th – Brynley Velez, FYD
17th – Braiden Weber, MYD
18th – Marybeth Friery, FYA
18th – Brynn Lindal, FYB
18th – Violet Voboril, FYD
18th – Ethan Current, MYC
19th – Nora Pyle, FYD
21st – Tallulah Beauchamp, FYD
23rd – Finnegan McCurdy, MYA