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Westlake student makes it to Team USA after winning national youth rock climbing competition

Westlake junior James Roberts won first place at the Youth National Speed Climbing Championships in July. (Claudia McWhorter/Eanes ISD)

Just before the sport debuted at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Westlake High School junior James Roberts climbed his way to the top spot at the 2021 Youth National Speed Climbing Championships on Saturday, July 18 in Reno, Nevada.

With his competition-winning climb, Roberts qualified for the U.S. National Team.

While Roberts holds a personal best of 6.78 seconds, the junior climbed his fastest time of 7.13 seconds in the Round of 8 competition to beat opponent Caden Reedy. Roberts took home the crown in the boys' speed competition, but it was Houston-based Team Texas that won the most points in all speed divisions.

Roberts made the climb just before his sport made its debut in the Tokyo Olympics in late July as the sport continues to gain traction worldwide. In 2021, rock climbing's three traditional disciplines, bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing, made their debut in a triathlon-style format in the Tokyo Olympics. Fellow Team USA member Nathaniel Coleman was the first American to medal in the new Olympic sport with a silver medal.

As a new member of the U.S. National Team, Roberts was eligible for the 2021 IFSC Youth Worlds Competition that took place in late August in Voronezh, Russia. Though he did not compete, his U.S. teammate Samuel Watson placed second in the competition with a time of 6.52 seconds.

Next up for U.S climbing is the 2021 YETI National Championships which will take place Nov. 13-17 in Salt Lake City and will give a first look at who could be on that 2024 Paris Olympic roster.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway