Over the last two weekends I competed at two of the biggest comps of the year, which were also some of the last events of the bouldering season. During the first weekend of March, I flew out west to Colorado Springs for the ABS 13 Youth Nationals. I was happy to have placed sixth there, but I felt like I could have probably done a bit better. We got into Colorado Springs at about midnight on February 29 (the comp started March 2), after sprinting about 3 miles across the airport to make our connection, and then realized our luggage was still in Houston. The people at the airport assured us that our stuff would by at the hotel by noon the next day, but somehow it turned out nobody know what happened to our stuff until later that evening when we went to the airport and found it. The day before the comp was basically spent on the phone with clueless airport workers and stressing about where I would find shoes to compete in (they were in my checked luggage, which we got in time). Also, a huge thanks goes out to Five Ten for all their help in working out a way for me to find a pair of shoes for the comp.
The format for nationals was three rounds of tops-style: qualifiers, semis, and finals, with 4 climbs in qualifiers and 3 in the other rounds. In qualifiers, I flashed the first 2 problems, sent the third on my second try, and got to where most people did on the final one, which was an incredibly awkward, technical slab. That put me in sixth place going into semis. During semis, I sent the first 2 climbs on my third try, and then flashed the last one, which put me in eighth. The next day, I flashed the first problem, a slabby arête to a dyno with a weird mantle onto a feature. I was really excited to flash it, given that slab has always been hard for me. The next climb was a really hard power climb, and I got about halfway up it, and the last problem wasn’t too hard, just pumpy after the other two climbs. I came out in sixth, which I was happy about, but it’s also good motivation to do better next year.
The week after I got back from nationals was miserable, what with all the work I had to make up from missing school for nationals, and being the week before spring break as well, but it passed by quickly enough. Friday night, I headed up to Pennsylvania for their annual JIBS competition at the Philadelphia Rock Gym. It’s always a good comp, with a ton of sponsors and great problems, and I ended up placing second there. I was happy about that; it’s a fun comp with great finals routes. It was also the kickoff event to a new series called the YBS (youth bouldering series) being put together by Deadpoint Magazine. I’m on spring break for the next two weeks, so it’ll be mostly resting, training, and local sport climbing and YBS comps for a little while. Gotta work on my endurance for route season and the summer! Thanks to Five Ten for all their support!
The picture is my third climb in finals at nationals. I should have more up soon!