International Competitions – July and August


The international lead season started earlier this month with the usual Victorian suspects representing Australia.  Campbell Harrison started his campaign in Villars, Switzerland from 4-6 July, followed by Chamonix, France a week later from 11-13 July and finally in Briançon, France from 19-20 July.  Oceana Mackenzie joined Harrison in France at both the Chamonix and Briançon events.

Both athletes have demonstrated tremendous improvements over recent years with their continued efforts towards Tokyo 2020. Harrison placed 62nd in Villars, 59th in Chamonix and completed the campaign coming 37th in Briançon narrowly missing semi-finals by just one move.  Mackenzie came 53rd in Chamonix and 49th in Briançon.

Both athletes will continue training in Japan ahead of the World Championships as they prepare to make their Olympic dreams come true.

If you wish to sponsor these athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games please contact us at


What’s coming up next?

In August, two of the biggest climbing events of the year will happen with the IFSC World Championships for the adults in Japan from 11-21 August, 2019 and the Youth World Championships for the junior athletes from 22-31 August, 2019 in Arco, Italy.

Representing Australia from Victoria at the World Championships will be:

  • Grace Crowley – Speed
  • Campbell Harrison – All disciplines
  • Oceana Mackenzie – All disciplines
  • Ned Middlehurst – All disciplines

And at the Youth World Championships:

  • Matt Austin – Youth A Speed
  • Oliver Burch – Youth A Speed
  • Ned Middlehurst – Junior Speed and Boulder

To see the full Australian team for the Youth World Championships, click here.
To see the full Australian team for the World Championships, click here.

Good luck to all the competitors in their respective World Championships and a special mention to Ned Middlehurst who is competing in both events, one directly after the other.

State Bouldering Season 2019

The Australian state bouldering season has begun with the WA State Bouldering Titles held from 20-21 July, 2019.  Victoria was represented by Daniel Humphreys who was the only Victorian athlete to compete.  Humphreys competed in both Juniors and Open A coming 3rd  and 24th  respectively.

For full results, click here.

There will be a breather of state level competitions in August while the World Championships and the Youth World Championships are being held to allow international competitors to compete in their respective state titles.

The state bouldering season will continue in September with the following competitions lined up:

  • 7-8 September – NSW/ACT State Boulder Titles
  • 14-15 September – QLD State Boulder Titles
  • 21 September – Victorian State Boulder Titles
  • 27-28 September – Tasmanian State Boulder Titles

Watch this space for all competition results and to see how your favourite competitors are doing.

Speed Records Continue to Crumble

In the last month there has been a spree of world cup competitions including two speed competitions in which our very own Oceana Mackenzie, Grace Crowley and Campbell Harrison competed in.

First stop was Villars, Switzerland held from 4-6 July, 2019 followed by Chamonix, France a week later from 11-13 July, 2019.

Crowley and Harrison have continued to improve getting faster with each competition with Harrison setting a new personal best on the international speed route.

Mackenzie has continued to impress on the international stage beating her own record and setting the new Australian female speed record of 9.532seconds.  The male record was also reset by NSW climber Ben Abel who ran a time of 8.567seconds narrowly beating Victorian Ned Middlehurst who previously held the record.

We will continue to see speed records being smashed as Australian climbers prepare for the Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo 2020.  Climbing hopefuls will need to compete in all three disciplines (boulder, speed, lead) in the games which has lead to an increase of competitors competing in speed.

Good luck to all those with the Olympic dream!

If you wish to sponsor a Victorian athlete ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games please contact us at .

Coaching on the National Stage – Sarah McKenzie

After the recent Australian Youth Championships held from 24 – 26 May, 2019 at SICG Villawood NSW, Sport Climbing Victoria asked Victorian State Coach Sarah McKenzie how the coaches and athletes prepare and execute on the National stage:

To prepare for Youth Nationals, our Victorian athletes participated in a 2 day training camp prior to the event. The first day was bouldering held at Northside Boulders Northcote followed by speed held at Gravity Worx. The athletes participated under mock competition training conditions and completed reflections in order to prepare themselves for Nationals.

Athletes also participated in a Q and A session for physio competition preparation, run by physiotherapist Katie Kaminsky. For the speed portion of the day athletes practiced and refined their runs. On the next day, lead was held at North Walls in which another mock competition and reflections session occurred.

On the first day of Nationals we had lead for the Youth C and D categories and boulder for the Youth B, A and Junior categories. Athletes prepared by participating in team meetings and reading their routes with the coaches. Although there were some technical difficulties, the athletes kept focused on their climbs and performed amazingly.

On the second day Youth C and D competed in bouldering while the Youth B, A and Junior categories competed in Lead. Athletes performed amazingly on some incredible routes and challenging boulders. The end of a competition day would involve reflecting with the athletes on their performance and their mental attitude.

The final day was speed in which a majority of the athletes were more relaxed with the bulk of the competition being over. Exhausted as many were, they gave some incredible performances.

At the end of it all, Deryl Ng (Victorian Assistant Coach) and I could not be more proud of the athletes and their perseverance.

– Sarah McKenzie, Victorian State Coach

To view full results from Youth Nationals, click here.

Speed Climbing in Victoria

Victoria is home to some ‘Speedy Climbers.’  Both Oceana Mackenzie and Ned Middlehurst have set some recent Australian records with their speed times in IFSC international competitions.  Where do they go to get so speedy?

Lead and speed gym Gravity Worx has Victoria’s only speed wall, which serves as a key feature for our Victorian speed athletes who compete nationally and internationally.  While there is usually only one speed wall up for training purposes (with IFSC sanctioned holds), for the second year, Gravity Worx hosted the Victorian State Speed Titles on Saturday 11 May, 2019.  Rock Hardware sponsored the event providing some excellent prizes for competitors.

For full results, click here.

The Gravity Worx speed wall is the only wall in Australia equivalent to the angle and height of an internationally certified speed wall, and is a hub for state and national speed training. Gravity Worx hosts Team Aus training camps, open training camps, and camps specifically for local youth athletes.  Recently, Gravity Worx donated half of the funds raised at a recent youth speed training back to Sport Climbing Victoria so that we can continue to offer training camps to our youth and open members.

– Karen Powell, SCV Board Member

2019 Australian Youth National Championships

Over a massive three days, youth climbers across Australia flocked to NSW to compete in the Youth National Championships from the 24 – 26 May, 2019. Victoria sent a large team to compete at the elite level with all categories represented.

All three disciplines were showcased including Lead, Speed and Boulder and a combined result calculated for those who competed in all three disciplines.

Congratulations to all the Victorian competitors who made the podium:


  • Ned Middlehurst, 1st, Junior Male
  • Matthew Austin, 3rd, Youth A Male
  • Maya Stasiuk, 1st, Youth C Female
  • Zoe Puglisi, 3rd, Youth C Female


  • Ned Middlehurst, 1st, Junior Male
  • Maya Stasiuk, 1st, Youth C Female


  • Ned Middlehurst, 3rd, Junior Male
  • Maya Stasiuk, 1st, Youth C Female
  • Jaime Wong, 3rd, Youth D Female


  • Ned Middlehurst, 1st, Junior Male
  • Alana Frankland, 2nd, Junior Female
  • Oliver Burch, 2nd, Youth A Male
  • Matthew Austin, 3rd, Youth A Male
  • Sora Asahara, 1st, Youth C Male
  • Zoe Puglisi, 1st, Youth C Female

We would also like to say a massive thank you to our Coach Sarah McKenzie and Assistant Coach Deryl Ng for making the trip up to NSW and coaching our youth competitors, to Ned Middlehurst as Team Captain and to all the volunteers that helped out!

Congratulations to all those athletes who competed over the weekend!

For full Boulder results, click here.

For full Lead results, click here.

For full Speed results, click here.

For full Combined results, click here.

Photos by Jason Wong

Victorian Russell Harrison Heads to New Zealand

Paraclimbing has been seen at numerous state and national climbing competitions in Australia for a number of years now, but in 2019, Sport Climbing Australia selected a Paraclimbing team for international competition for the first time. Three athletes are heading to Briançon, France to represent Australia at the IFSC World Paraclimbing Championships in July: Eddie Sparks, Marc Altmann and myself.

On the 18-19 May, I competed at the Climbing New Zealand National Championships in Auckland. The format was two qualification rounds and an onsight final, all climbed on top rope. With only four paraclimbers competing, I was guaranteed to have three routes to climb. The other competitors in the category consisted of a marathon running ice climber, a Paralympian and a climber that finished one spot off the podium at last year’s Paraclimbing World Championships in Innsbruck.

After viewing the forerunning videos, I went through my warm up which seemed to add to my nervousness. I was climbing second on the first qualification route and watched the first climber top. As I tied in and pulled onto the wall, I began to feel a little more at ease with each move. I climbed the bottom section easily but fell off a small crimp a few holds from the top. Although a little disappointed, my climbing felt controlled and efficient.

Qualification 2 saw me climb last and I watched 2 of the 3 climbers before me top the route. This route consisted of a difficult traverse across a steep wall and then up into a hard sequence as the wall angle tapered off for the last few moves to the top. I again climbed reasonably well until I lost my feet as I tried to move into the final section. I fought hard to regain an effective position but was unable to recover and fell.

The final looked to be a few grades harder and finished on what seemed from the ground to be a very thin horizontal edge. It was going to be a very difficult finish for anyone who managed to get there. Second out, I fell a dozen moves in as I threw my left hand up trying to latch a small jug. I didn’t hit the hold cleanly and slipped off. My finish was a long way from the eventual high point and the final route remained un-topped. But, with two climbers getting within a couple of holds from the top, I think the setters got it right with the final they set.

Overall, I had a really great time and am looking forward to my next two competitions, the Imst (Austria) Paraclimbing Masters and the Paraclimbing World Championships in Briançon during July. I’d like to sincerely thank Sport Climbing Victoria, Sport Climbing Australia and Climbing New Zealand for their support of adaptive sports and paraclimbing.


– Russell Harrison, Australian Paraclimbing Team Member

International Competition Results

Victorian athletes have been busy in April and May heading to China and Germany to represent Australia on the world cup stage.

First stop for our athletes was Chongqing, China held from 26 – 28 April, 2019.  We had athletes competing in both Boulder and Speed disciplines.  In Speed, Victorians demonstrated their hard work setting Australian Speed records.  Ned Middlehurst has set the official men’s time at 8.83 seconds and Oceana Mackenzie set the womens with a time of 9.642 seconds.

In Boulder we had Ned Middlehurst, Campbell Harrison and Oceana Mackenzie representing Victoria coming 69th, 86th and 45th respectively competing in harsh whether conditions.

For full results, click here.

Next stop was Wujiang, China held from 3 – 5 May, 2019 where Mackenzie beat her own Chongqing speed record to reset the record at 9.589 seconds. In an ever growing team, we also had Grace Crowley attend her very first Speed competition finishing with a time of 14.878. Finally in speed, Middlehurst finished with a time of 9.289 which wasn’t enough to beat his previous record.

In Boulder, Victoria was represented by Harrison and Middlehurst who tied in 67th and Mackenzie who finished in 33rd.

For full results, click here.

The last stop for our Victorian athletes was Munich, Germany from 18 – 19 May, 2019.  We had one athlete, Mackenzie, make the trip to Europe with boulder the only discipline. Mackenzie continued her stellar performance for 2019 making it into Semi’s for her second time this year.  Mackenzie finished in 17th after a tough semi final round that saw only 5 tops total – four were from the extremely talented Janja Garnbret and the only other athlete to get a top was Ievgniia Kazbekova on women’s problem two.

For full results, click here.

Congratulations to all our Victorian athletes! Making the transition to the international stage is an amazing achievement! While there is one more boulder world cup to be held in Vail, USA, the Victorian athletes are now turning their attention to the 2019 lead season starting in July.