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DeVore scales U.S. Climbing squad

Tim Mutrie

Aspen native Nick DeVore tied up a spot on the U.S. Youth Climbing Team over the weekend at the U.S. junior nationals in Berkeley, Calif.

DeVore, a 15-year-old sophomore at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, will represent the U.S. at the 2001 Youth World Climbing Championships in Imst, Austria, June 21-24, along with the three other top finishers in the 16- and 17-year-old division at junior nationals.

“To be on the U.S. team – it feels awesome,” DeVore said. “I’ve dreamed about it, but I never really thought it would come true.”

Last July, at the end of a year in Chamonix, France, with his family, where DeVore began climbing competitively with the Chamonix Climbing Team, he won a junior World Cup of Climbing.

That win earned DeVore an invitation to compete in the North American Junior Climbing Competition – held indoors at a warehouse in Berkeley this past Friday and Saturday – which served as the U.S. junior nationals.

In all four junior divisions at nationals, only the top four climbers, among more than 30 invitees, earned invitations to join the U.S. Youth Climbing Team and represent the nation at the Youth Worlds in Austria.

“I was probably a little more nervous for this one,” versus the World Cup in France, DeVore said. “This one meant more. I want to go and travel with the U.S. team, and I couldn’t do that in France.”

In the Berkeley competition, DeVore climbed two qualifying routes and advanced to the finals in sixth place, among eight climbers. On the final route, DeVore and three other climbers – now of the U.S. Youth Team – completed the climb. Typically in competition climbing, in the case of a tie on a final route, judges stage a “super final” route. But, because four finalists locked up a spot on the U.S. team by “flashing,” or completing, the final route, judges deferred to the standings following the second qualifying route to rank the top four. DeVore wound up in fourth, because he reached the lowest point on that route.

“I’m just happy to be on the team,” DeVore said. “I was disappointed when I got done with qualifying rounds because I didn’t think I’d make the finals.”

In the qualifying rounds, climbers were allowed six minutes on the first route, followed by a six-minute break, and then six minutes on the second route.

“I got tired on the second one,” DeVore said, “which made it harder for me than the final,” when the climbers had had an adequate break.

DeVore plans to compete with the Colorado Rocky Mountain School climbing team this spring, though he aims to take some time off before he starts training again.

“I’m going to take some low time,” he said, “and maybe climb a little bit, just to have fun. But when it gets nice again, I’ll be heading out to Rifle to climb a bunch.”

DeVore says he’ll need to raise money for his trip to Austria. The Junior Competitive Climbing Association is presently seeking sponsors for the U.S. Youth Team, he said.


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