Rock climbers take on new challenges

Climbing to win: Jarrod Jordan and Bronte Austin competed at the National League Climbing Championship last weekend. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Climbing to win: Jarrod Jordan and Bronte Austin competed at the National League Climbing Championship last weekend. Picture: Gene Ramirez

INDOOR rock climbers Bronte Austin and Jarrod Jordan reached great heights at the National League Climbing Championship in Melbourne last weekend.

Climbers faced two qualifying rounds before progressing to the final round in their category.

Competitors were given the climb route just before competing and were graded on how high they climb and how long it took them.

Baulkham Hills resident Bronte Austin, 15, finished third in the youth B category for females aged 14 and 15 years.

She competed in the nationals twice before and said it was always challenging.

"I'll try my best to win but I just want to give it a go and have fun with the experience of being there," the Our Lady of Mercy College student said before the tournament.

Jarrod Jordan from Hornsby was also third in the junior male category for competitors aged up to 19.

The top three also got the chance to compete in the open men's category against professional climbers.

Jarrod topped the first two qualifying rounds but was disqualified in the semi final for putting a foot on a feature that wasn't in play and finished 14th.

Coach Chris McKibbins, who trains the youths at The Edge Rock Climbing Centre in Castle Hill, said: "Rock climbing is very personal."

"Sure, it would have been nice for them to win but they don't need to win to succeed at a goal of their own. I've been a teacher here for two years and I haven't had to teach Bronte or Jarrod anything."

McKibbins said it was a fantastic effort by the pair.

"Jarrod was more than holding his own in the open semi final," he said.

"Had he not been disqualified, he wouldn't have been out of place in the final."

Bronte and Jarrod will now compete in the 2014 Oceania Boulder Championships held as part of the Australian Climbing Festival in Katoomba in October.

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