I've just returned home from my trip to Colorado Springs for ABS Nationals! After watching videos of the ABS 12 last year, I was super inspired and was able to fit this competition in this year. This was my first time competing in any ABS competition. I've made it to a couple of the UBC Pro Tour stops but the strength of the field at this national championship was insane!
Eric Sethna at ABS Nationals
I managed to finish the comp in 13th, which is a result I am very psyched on! It was insane to see Alex Puccio and Daniel Woods take the gold in finals. Was spectacular to watch!
I had a mediocre qualifying round. It was nerve racking watching the strength of the climbers in isolation and I was a little rushed in my warm up. Not having seen the wall before, I was shocked at how bloody high it was and how long the problems were when I turned around from the on-deck chair to climb. I was able to quickly adapt and pull out whatever power endurance I had to try and finish the round strong. I managed to flash 3 of the qualifying problems and was unsure at the time if that was going to be enough to make the cut for semis. The fact that there is no flashing bonus made the wait for results even more stressful. In Canada, the scoring is broken down into Tops, Attempts to top, bonuses, then attempts to bonuses. At ABS the flashing bonus was only taken into account if people are tied in number of tops and points per hold. Anyway, I managed to qualify in 18th and made the cut off for semis.
Qualifying for the next round definitely gave me the confidence boost to know that I deserved to be there and was ready to kill it in the semifinals. I gave myself more time and was feeling a lot lighter in my warm up. Always a great feeling! Turning around for the first problem, I saw volumes and immediately knew that this was my game. I absolutely love climbing on volumes and I've been gaining the knowledge of how to maneuver them from competing at world cups. I quickly flashed the first problem and by the sounds of the crowd it seemed like I sent it with more ease than anyone before me. Feeling good! The second and third problems were extremely long and on the steeper terrain. Something that I know I need to work harder at mastering. I got very winded from problem 2 and was still feeling the pump while I was attempting the 3rd bloc. I still managed to climb them well making it to the last hold on problem 2 and just before the lip on problem 3. I also knew problem 4 was going to be on the slab (and not require too much physical strength) so I was able to try my heart out on the 3rd problem. I turned around for the 4th bloc and was totally psyched to see it was pretty much a huge mantle to the finish hold. I got up to the mantle on my 2nd attempt and placed my foot too far out on the hold making the press up the finish too hard. I got spit off pretty quickly but realized my mistake on the ground. I corrected it on my next attempt and finished the problem with the crowd getting super loud. I was very happy with my climbing in the semis and managed to pick up 5 spots from my qualifying result - finishing in 13th. Not enough to make finals but I had no expectations.
Now I'm back in classes and preparing for the Tour de Bloc stops coming up in the next few months. This weekend is a non-sanctioned open bouldering competition at Boulderz in Toronto. Finals are going to be run in world cup format, similar to ABS finals. Anybody reading this in the Toronto area should be registered! Get in your last minute registrations! Invaluable tour de bloc experience!
Attached are 2 pictures from ABS. Working out qualifier #4, and high up on semi final #2.
Thanks again for the support,