PCHS graduate Sean Faulkner wins Canadian junior roped nationals
Parkite Sean Faulkner has established himself as one of Canada’s best upcoming climbers.
On May 20, Faulkner, who is Canadian, took first in sport climbing at the Climbing Escalade Canada Lead and Speed Nationals at Allez Up gym in Montreal, giving him the Canadian junior title in two out of three events, speed being the exception.
He called his shot in March, after taking the bouldering title (un-roped climbing topping out at 16 feet) at Bloc Shop in Montreal, saying he was going for “the whole shazam.”
Now, he’s done it.
He was the highest overall finisher at the junior level out of the three events, taking 15th overall in speed — in which climbers race up a standardized route to touch a buzzer — and first in the other two events that together make the triad that each Olympic competitor will compete in when they get to the Tokyo 2020 games.
Faulkner said he probably won’t be there — his speed score in the open category wasn’t competitive enough.
“I didn’t have that in mind,” he said of the upcoming Summer Games. “If I had wanted to (go), I maybe would have focused on being a more all-around athlete. Speed was just an addition to show that I am willing to work at stuff that I’m not the best at or don’t enjoy so much for the national team.”
However, his results may earn him a handful of World Cup starts this season.
He has competed in one World Cup previously, in Chamonix, France, last season, where he missed one of the early boulder rounds and didn’t advance to the finals. If he earns World Cup starts, which is largely a discretionary decision following team selection in August, Faulkner will go head to head with some of climbing’s biggest names at a time when they are vying for a spot in Tokyo.
But first, Faulkner will compete in team selections in Calgary this June, then likely will go to the IFSC Youth World Championships in Arco, Italy, this August — his first trip to the international competition.
The Park City High School graduate has been accepted to the University of Utah, though he said he is going to take a year off and focus on climbing. His competition schedule also will preclude full-time work for the near future.
As for his accomplishments, the 18-year-old said he would place the trophy from his lead climbing nationals win next to the bouldering trophy on his nightstand. He also received medals for his accomplishments, which he would usually suspend on a hanger he keeps in his closet.
“I think I’ll probably keep the two golds out,” he said. “They’re a little memory of my last year of competing in youth. Of being able to pull it out and make it happen.”
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This season, the Miners are led by a quartet of seniors who combine to shine on and off the court. According to head coach Matt Carlson, the seniors are the heartbeat of the team and have led the charge for Park City’s jump to Class 5A.