The only way to go is up. (Photo submitted by Jack Whitney)

Cowichan speed climber wins nationals

Jack Whitney has been busy climbing his way to the top

From the wall at École Mount Prevost to the climbing academy at Stelly’s in Victoria, to the Worlds, Duncan speed climber Jack Whitney has been busy, climbing his way to the top.

Back in April, the 17-year-old placed first overall at Climbing Escalade Canada’s Youth Speed Nationals held in Calgary, earning himself a spot on Team Canada for the Worlds in Texas.

To make the team he had to place in the top three and post a time of at 7.85 seconds or better. He accomplished both.

“It’s the first time I’ve won nationals,” Whitney said. “I’ve been to several others but that’s the first time I’ve won.”

The Cowichan Secondary 12th grader said it was a really close race at the end but winning felt great.

”It was a pretty awesome feeling,” he admitted.

The IFSC – Climbing Youth World Championships in Dallas, Texas ran Aug. 22-31 and Whitney placed 22nd with a qualification time of 7.36 seconds in the Speed Youth A Male division.

“It went really well,” he said. “I was surprisingly calm. I had a big issue with nerves when I was younger so I was really pleased with how calm I was at this competition given it was my first international competition.”

Whitney said the level of talent and skill amongst the international climbers was “pretty amazing”.

He said he was shocked at the athletes’ level of competition.

“The person who got third, in this semi final, he got 5.37 which is 0.37 seconds off the world record,” he explained.

As for his own result, he’s pleased.

“I did my best and that’s where I ended up so I really couldn’t have asked for much more,” he said.

Whitney plans to keep climbing and make the youth national team again, with a longer term goal of making the open national team in the future.

rock climbing

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