Matison shatters US Bank Tower record in stair race debut


by Josh Jackett


LOS ANGELES—With Sproule Love and Eric Leninger—two of America’s top veteran competitive stair climbers—in town eyeing their own runs at the record books, it was a newcomer who set the standard at the Sept. 25 Ketchum-Downtown YMCA Stair Climb For Los Angeles.


Lucas Matison, an 18-year-old Los Angeles-area mountain running phenom, obliterated the 75-story US Bank Tower’s course record in his first-ever stair race, while the finishing times of Love and Leninger, each of which would have dominated in any other year, were left in the dust.


Matison became the first person ever to crack the 9-minute mark at the 1,664-step building. He made his way to the scenic rooftop finish line in 8:56, besting the old record of 9:27 set by San Diego towerrunner Tommy Coleman in 2013.


Matison’s presence was particularly unfortunate for Love, as the 44-year-old New Yorker, currently ranked No. 1 among all US male towerrunners, blazed his way to the US Bank Tower roof in 9:20, also surpassing Coleman’s record.


Despite those two results, Leninger’s third-place finish was nothing to sneeze at. The 32-year-old Chicago-area towerrunning monster posted a 9:37, which was nearly a minute faster than Los Angeles’ Brian Duff, who finished fourth. Of the five US Bank Tower races prior to 2015, only Coleman’s 9:27 in 2013 and Chicago towerrunner Jesse Berg’s 9:35 in 2012 were faster than Leninger’s 2015 finish.


While the women’s side of the competition didn’t feature the same record-setting performances as the men’s side, it was not without dominance at the top.


Los Angeles powerhouse Veronica Stocker, 46, cruised her way to a personal best finish at the US Bank Tower, reaching the roof in 12:39. Her effort was also nearly a minute faster than her nearest competitor.


Maggie Beach, 44, of Pasadena, Calif., clocked in at 13:33 to take second among all women, while Christine Soskins, 34, of Solana Beach, Calif., took third by crossing the finish line in 13:53.


In total, the Ketchum-Downtown YMCA Stair Climb For Los Angeles drew more than 3,200 individual climb participants and 115 full-gear emergency service personnel climbers, raising more than $731,000 for the YMCA branch’s programs in and around downtown Los Angeles, including subsidized program participation for children, teens, families, and seniors in some of the most under-resourced neighborhoods in the city.


Full race results can be found at


More information about the Ketchum-Downtown YMCA Stair Climb For Los Angeles can be found at