Two locals fare well at USA Climbing Nationals

A pair of climbers from ClimbX Indoor Rock Gym in Huntington Beach competed at the USA Climbing Nationals July 9 through 12 in Atlanta.

Nathan Withey, 12, earned a 31st-place finish and Sara Griffith, 13, placed 34th in their division, which included 334 athletes who were judged in both difficulty and speed. Griffith competed in both categories and Withey in difficulty, their coach Bryan Leipper, co-owner of ClimbX Indoor Rock Gym, said.

Leipper said that Withey and Griffith had to compete in three local events to qualify for nationals. The regional tournament was held in Tucson and divisional tournament in Boulder, Colo. The two finished among the top four-to-six in their division at each event to earn a bid to nationals.

The USA Climbing Nationals is the culmination of the sport climbing season that runs March through July.

"It is a testament to their dedication to climbing and training to make it to a national event," Leipper said of Withey and Griffith. "They had a wonderful opportunity to compete against the best young climbers in the United States. Sara and Nathan climbed exceptionally well and they will be able to use this experience to assist them in their future competition climbing careers."

Leipper said that Withey and Griffith take part in two two-hour training sessions weekly at ClimbX Indoor Rock Gym, in addition to outdoor climbing trips.

ClimbX will host a national bouldering competition Nov. 13 at its gym. The competition is open to all climbers.


Surf City Cyclones capture title: The Surf City Cyclones, a girls' Under-10 soccer team out of AYSO Region 56, went undefeated last weekend to win its division at the Wolfpack Invitational at UC Irvine.

Coached by Alan Walencewicz, the Cyclones defeated Canyon Futbol Club (3-2), South Bay Force Blue (3-0), West Coast FC United Blue (2-1) and in Sunday's title game, edged FC Long Beach, 2-1.

Thirteen teams competed in the girls' U10 division.

Wolfpack U11 boys win division: The Wolfpack Under-11 boys' soccer team showed early indications of how it will do this fall when it moves up to the U12 boys' Silver division by winning the Wolfpack Invitational Sunday at UC Irvine.

The U11 boys played both Silver and Silver Elite teams, going undefeated in four games. The Wolfpack defense and goal-keeping was dominating with three shutouts, including a 1-0 win over the FC Blades Red B98 in the title game. Other tournament wins were 3-0 over Desert Force SC Red and a 2-0 win over United FC White, and the team played West Coast Futbol Club to a 2-2 tie.

— Donna Piscopo, Community Correspondent


Clash is off to Western National tournament: The Clash, a 14-Under Gold All-Star team from South Huntington Beach Girls' Fastpitch Softball, is heading to the Western National American Softball Assn. U14 Tournament.

The Clash qualified for the Aug. 2 to 8 event in Roseville by finishing among the top teams at both the ASA District and State tournaments held earlier this month. The team finished second at the District tournament.

— Deborah Bramlett, Community Correspondent


Tanabe to tee-off at Junior Golf championships: Junior golfer Issei Tanabe of Huntington Beach will be in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., this weekend for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships at PGA National Resort and Spa.

Tanabe, 11, will compete in the boys' 10-11 division when the tournament opens Saturday. The event runs through Monday. Last year, Tanabe finished tied for third in the division.

Hundreds of junior golfers ages 10 to 18 from around the world compete in the annual tournament that runs for all divisions Saturday through Aug. 1. Competitors come from 43 states and 34 nations will be in Palm Beach Gardens for this year's event.

Tanabe also is scheduled to compete at the U.S. Kids Golf 11th annual National Championships on Aug. 5 in Pinehurst, N.C.

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