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USA Climbing Claims Twelve Medals at IFSC Pan American Championships

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Ashima Shiraisi climbing the lead competition. Photo: Carol Coelho Fotografia / IFSC.

The IFSC Pan American Championships returned to the IFSC circuit last weekend for the first time since 2012. The event took place in Guayaquil, Ecuador from November 22 to 26. Team USA finished the five-day competition on a hot streak, winning 12 medals—six golds, three silvers, and two bronze—and secured real estate on the podium at each of the three disciplines and the Combined event.

John Brosler and Piper Kelly opened up the competition by securing top honors in speed. It was a difference of milliseconds between Kelly and Ecuador’s Andrea Rojas. Kelly edged out Rojas by 0.06 seconds with a time of 8.460 seconds to Rojas’s 8.520 seconds. John Brosler did what he does best to claim the United States’ second gold with a time of 6.140 seconds.

Both the U.S. men and women brought their A-game during the bouldering portion of the Pan American Championships. The United States had a total of seven men and six women in qualifiers, from which six men and four women would advance to the final round. Sierra Blair-Coyle and Ashima Shiraishi led the charge for the women with three tops apiece. Blair-Coyle impressed the crowd by finishing three of the four boulder problems on her first attempt to earn another gold for Team USA. The Americans Palmer Larsen, Joseph Diaz and Drew Ruana traded spots throughout men’s bouldering finals. Larsen and Diaz secured second and third place, respectively, behind the Canadian Zach Richardson.

Sierra Blair-Coyle during bouldering. Photo: Photo: Carol Coelho Fotografia / IFSC.

The United States continued its success going into lead. Ashima Shiraishi and Kai Lightner dominated the competition. Shiraishi made it to the top of both qualification routes and the final lead route. Lightner made quick work of the two qualification routes. Lightner would match the high point set by Ecuador’s Danny Valencia and secure another gold for the U.S. on countback. Drew Ruana took home the bronze.

Kai Lightner during the lead competition. Photo: Carol Coelho Fotografia / IFSC.

The top six men and women overall moved onto the Combined portion of the competition where athletes compete in bouldering, lead and speed. All four Americans—John Brosler, Kai Lightner, Drew Ruana and Kyra Condie—moved on to finals. Lightner finished second behind Ecuador’s Danny Valencia with Brosler rounding out the podium in third. Kyra Condie claimed the women’s Combined title and the sixth gold medal for the United States.

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