Dark Horses and Familiar Faces Take 2019 Sport and Speed Nationals


USA Climbing hosted the 2019 Sport and Speed Open Nationals in Alexandria, Virginia, Friday and Saturday. This competition was open to any USA Climbing member 16 years and older, and for Olympic hopefuls, was the place to be this weekend.

It was neck-and-neck in Women’s Speed. Sienna Kopf from Golden, Colorado, had an impressive performance in Speed, coming out of finals in third place with a time of 8.95 seconds up the 15-meter wall. Piper Kelly of Indianapolis came in second—barely beating Kopf—with a time of 8.9 seconds, and Emma Hunt from Atlanta secured first place with an impressive time of 8.83.

For men,  Joe Goodacre from Boulder hit the clock at 6.67 seconds for third place, Noah Bratschi from Maryland topped out at 6.46 for seconds, and John Brosler from Texas won it all with a time of 6.26.

ALEXANDRIA, USA – March 8th: Margo Hayes. Photo: courtesy of Sam Corum

Sport climbing was up next, with Katherine Lamb from Lexington coming out from under the radar to snag third in the women’s division. Ashima Shiraishi, per usual, held a podium spot after an impressive performance, and came in second, and Margo Hayes can put another 1st place finish under her belt, winning the women’s Sport Open Nationals.

In the men’s division, Solomon Barth, from Collegeville, Pennsylvania, came in third to Zander Waller and Jesse Grupper, who won second and first place respectively. Waller competed for Stone Summit, the Georgia based team, and Grupper came with Philadelphia Rock Gym.

ALEXANDRIA, USA – March 8th: Jesse Grupper. Photo: courtesy of Sam Corum

With climbing finally breaking through to the Olympics, the stakes of indoor competitions have been raised. Athletes from all over the country journey to competitions like these to see where they stand among other top-tier competitors, and to fight for coveted spots on Team USA for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Women’s Speed Top 3

  1. Emma Hunt
  2. Piper Kelly
  3. Sienna Kopf

Men’s Speed Top 3

  1. John Brosler
  2. Noah Bratschi
  3. Joe Goodacre

Women’s Lead Top 3

  1. Margo Hayes
  2. Ashima Shiraishi
  3. Katherine Lamb

Men’s Lead Top 3

  1. Jesse Grupper
  2. Zander Waller
  3. Solomon Barth

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