11-year-old Rock Climber Competes Nationally

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After climbing for less than a year, Tyce VanderLaan, 11, earned second place in a four-state competition of the American Bouldering Series and 21st in the U.S. national competition.

American Bouldering Series is a division of USA Climbing, the governing body of competition climbing in the United States.

Tyce, a member of Caledonia (Mich.) Christian Reformed Church, started climbing with his Cadets group. Cadets is a boys’ ministry offered in most Christian Reformed churches.

“You can go [to the competition] and have fun with other people. You can use God’s strength,” he said.

Tyce’s second-place climb was for the Ohio River Valley regional competition that included climbers from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

He advanced to Nationals in Boulder, Colo., where he “flashed” the first two courses, which means he successfully climbed them on the first try.

“They were challenging, but they were still kind of easy,” he recalled.

Tyce was eliminated before the semifinals and placed 21st. However, after being eliminated, he went rock climbing in the Rocky Mountains.

About the Author

Ryan Struyk was a former Banner news correspondent for classes Grand Rapids South and Thornapple Valley.