Bend▶️ Bend Endurance Academy sends 4 climbers to national competition

▶️ Bend Endurance Academy sends 4 climbers to national competition

▶️ Bend Endurance Academy sends four climbers to National competition

Four climbers from the Bend Endurance Academy are heading to nationals. 

After six years of training for William Hunziker, this was his last chance to make nationals.

“I’m pretty stoked about it,” said Hunziker. “I got last place of the qualifying, so I barely made it. And this is the last year I am going to compete, so it’s cool to finally make it.”

Through hard work and dedication, he will experience that feeling for the first and final time.

“I’ve grown a lot, I don’t know, like linearly progressed. The first year I didn’t even make divisionals. Then I made divisionals and then finally made nationals.”

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Vance Stanfield qualified after only being with the Endurance Academy for a month.

“So I came from Alaska and there’s not a ton of climbing community there,” Stanfield said. “So it’s definitely a big change, but a good change.”

Stanfield was one of four who qualified for nationals, but first, they faced fierce competition at divisionals.

“This year, it was a flash format for the first round,” Stanfield said. “So you can see all the climbs, you can see everybody’s beta, and then finals was an on-site round. So you have four minutes on the chair, you don’t get to see the climbs, and you turn around and then get 4 minutes of playing time and try your hardest.”

Watching climbers in the first round is something new this year, even for the veterans of the sport.

“Especially watching other people’s performance and knowing where you have to get on routes,” said Kai Brennan. “Sometimes when you don’t know where you have to get, you don’t know if you did well or not. But knowing before definitely made it more stressful or maybe less stressful. I don’t know. It depends.”

From grip strength to climbing exercises and mock competitions, the group of BEA athletes is now in training mode for the national competition in July.

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