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ABS Nationals 2012 - Michaela Kiersch

 
ABS Nationals 2012 - Michaela Kiersch
ABS Nationals 2012 - Michaela Kiersch
ABS Nationals 2012 - Michaela Kiersch
 
March 20, 2012 -  Michaela Kiersch    
 

I'm a little late on the update, ABS Nationals was a little more than 2 weeks ago.  I was really psyched to compete at this competition and to see all of my great friends in USAC.

The qualifying round was interesting for me.  I woke up early that morning, due to nerves and excitement; but because of this, I was left anxiously waiting around the lobby until I could finally head over to ISO.  After a good warm up, it was my turn to climb. The first two problems went really well, I flashed both of them pretty easily.  The third problem was a bit trickier, I got to the last move on my first try and fell going to the finish from two bad slopers.  My second try went much better, and I topped the problem.  The fourth problem was on the slab- something I'm not very good at.  I was the last competitor to climb on that problem, and two full categories had previously gone.  The foot holds were black with rubber and slippery- even after I brushed them.  I kept falling trying to get to the third hold- a balance move that required full weight on my feet.  When I would get in position and ready to move, either of my feet would blow off.  Needless to say, it was very frustrating, but with 3 tops I qualified for the semifinal round.

 

Semis started off with a cool slab problem using only volumes for the hands.  Like I said earlier, I'm not very good at slab and I don't often find it fun, but this problem was an interesting techy problem.  I flashed it after carefully maneuvering my way though the volumes.  The second problem proved to e a challenge for me.  The bottom was powerful and led to a dyno with bad feet.  I would say that I am a decent dyno-er, but sometimes I can be a little short on the reach.  I pulled through the bottom section pretty easily and lunged for the dyno- not so great for my first try.  The second time I was more prepared and went all out.  I stuck the hold with one hand on my very finger tips and just barely slipped off on the swing back.  It was a bummer, but I was happy for getting at least one hand on it.  The third problem was completely my style- over hang and powerful moves on good holds.  I felt really strong on the rose move at the bottom and did a classic heel hook over my head for the finish.

Finals day arrived and I was super psyched.  I really wanted to make team again this year.  The first problem went well and I was psyched to flash it.  The second problem was more like a route, I swear it was like a billion moves long ;).  The lower section took a lot of energy and I found myself getting really tired on two huge slopers at the top.  I threw for the finish and just barely missed.  I was so worked after this problem, unfortunately I didn't top it.  The third problem was also a heart breaker, after a dumb mistake on my first go, I got to the last move.  I reached for the finish but just didn't have enough power to stick it.  So close on both problems!

My climbing put me in fifth place, and because Francesca Metcalf is continental champion, she added a spot to team! I luckily qualified.  Overall, I would say I had a fun weekend.  Seeing my friends from all over is a really rewarding feeling, I'm glad I have the friends I do.  Also, I didn't get to see it, but I heard that Cicada crushed all of the finals problems and came out with 3 flashes! Awesome job, girl (and we are writing a book together, so watch out!).

I would also like to give a HUGE shout out to Josh Levin for winning the North Face Young Gun Award! Great job, bro! You definitely deserve it.

Photo credit: Yvonne Hsu, Rod Grossman, Mimi Shiba
 

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