On March 8th and 9th, 2019, Sportrock Alexandria will be hosting the 2019 USA Climbing Sport and Speed Open National Championships!
In 2018, Sportrock Climbing Centers opened up Bay 3 in their Alexandria facility which consists of 60+ foot walls as well as two IFSC regulation, 15m speed walls. The new facility made Sportrock Alexandria a perfect fit to host Sport and Speed Nationals! USA Climbing Sport and Speed Nationals is the biggest rope competition in the US and, this year, is a major part of selecting athletes to compete internationally on the USA Olympic team coming up in 2020.
Sport and Speed Nationals is a competition that consists of both lead and speed components in which athletes will compete separately. These two competitions will have different podiums. In the upcoming Olympics, however, athletes will be competing in a new format that consists of sport, speed, and bouldering, almost like a triathlon of climbing. Climbers from all around the world are pushing their comfort zones to become more well-rounded athletes so that they may represent their country in Tokyo in 2020. In the US, climbers have been competing in a series of USA Climbing sanctioned events to earn points toward an overall score that will help determine the USA team for the Olympics. Sport and Speed Nationals happens once a year and brings out the best sport and speed climbers in the country. This year, we are sure to see the best of the best here at Sportrock, fighting for the national title as well as a spot on the Olympic team!
2019 Sport and Speed Nationals FAQs
All of the nations top climbers and those looking to gain a spot on the Olympic climbing team. We look forward to hosting 150-200 competitors at Sportrock Alexandria. In 2017, Ashima Shiraishi, Margo Hayes, Brooke Raboutou were on the podium for women, while Kai Lightner, Jesse Grupper, Drew Ruana were on the podium for men. Talk about some big names!
March 8th-9th, 2019 at Sportrock Alexandria (5308 Eisenhower Ave. Alexandria, VA 22304)
Sport and Speed Open Nationals is held once a year at different gyms around the country. Sportrock is no stranger to hosting USA Climbing events. Back in 2010, Sportrock hosted Bouldering Nationals in Alexandria. With the opening of Bay 3 in Alexandria in 2018, Sportrock now offers some of the tallest walls in the US (60+ feet) as well as two 15m IFSC speed walls. There couldn’t be a better location than Alexandria to host all the Nations best athletes!
Sport climbing is the “long distance” of the climbing world. Sport climbing routes are climbed on lead or top-rope, with the competitor belayed from below. For lead, as will be the case in this competition, each quickdraw is clipped sequentially from the bottom to the top. Climbers receive points for how high they make it on the routes climbed during the competition. Each move grants the climber more points. Lead climbing is a combination of strength, power, and endurance.
Speed Climbing is the “sprinting” of the climbing world. The route is attempted on top-rope or auto belay and competitors are ranked based on how long it takes them to climb the standardized route. The route consists of the same holds in different orientations all the way to the top and is 15m in height. Competitors begin with their foot on a pressure plat then climb as fast as they can to slap the plate at the top. The route is estimated to be between 5.10a – 5.10c and can take climbers anywhere from 5-12 seconds to reach the top (the world record is 5.48 seconds!).
It is! Indoor rock climbing will be making its first ever Olympic appearance in the 2020 Olympics hosted in Tokyo. The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) was able to get rock climbing approved as an Olympic sport by combining the traditional 3 separate disciplines of climbing into 1. Professional climbers around the world general specialize in 1 maybe 2 disciplines but are now forced to expand their skill set if they want to make it to the Olympics. This has created a discourse in the climbing community between those who like the new format and those who do not. Regardless, the climbing community is thrilled to be represented in Toyko 2020!