I was in Boulder, Colorado (the climbing capitol of USA) this past weekend to compete in the SCS Adult National Championships. Going into the comp, my goal was to make finals (top 8 competitors). Last year I got 9th place which I was proud of, but I wanted to improve my placement this year. I had been training on ropes for a while before this comp and I had set a high goal for myself. Looking at the start list was intimidating because of all the amazing women who had signed up- Angie Payne, Sasha DiGiulian, Courtney Sanders, and Chelsea Rude (just to name a few!). These women have paved the way through climbing and have been my inspiration.
SCS Adult Nationals 2012 - Michaela Kiersch
I was fairly nervous going into Qualifiers. It was flash format- this means that we can watch the climbers before and after us. Unfortunately, I was fourth on my first route so I couldn’t watch many people, but it played to an advantage on the second. My first route was on the far left of the main lead wall and went up a steep section to a trickier section with small holds. After moving through the sequence, I found myself on small crimps going for a dead point out right. I stuck the dead point and shook out a little for some recovery. There was a bump next on really bad holds, and then the finish. I stuck the first of the holds and fell going for the next one. This put in 3rd place on the route (behind Chelsea and Sasha). The second route went directly up the middle of the wall and started with a more powerful boulder problem. I moved quickly through the route and after using Tiffany Hensley’s super smart beta, I topped the route making the second girl in a row. Following me, 3 more girls sent!
My climbing in Qualifiers put me in 3rd place going into finals. I had achieved my goal this year, but I really wanted to maintain a spot on the podium. ISO for finals was decently nerve wracking, photographers, interviewers, and climbers filled the small bouldering area. We went out for preview and most of the girls were stumped by a sequence in the beginning, something that worried me. Once climbing began, it seemed as if the time flew by and it was already my turn. I cleaned off the edges of my FiveTen Dragons and headed out to climb. I took a deep breath and stepped on the wall. Before I knew it, the bottom sequence wasn’t too bad and I was already high on the wall. After a very hard drop down move, I felt myself getting pumped. I pulled onto the last section of wall and grabbed two sloping holds. I fell moving for the third. This put me in 3rd place overall! I had managed to somehow stay on the podium.
I am very excited to be on the National Team this year, I feel as if it is a very important accomplishment for me. I am also psyched for the other youth climbers in finals who represented the next generation, a huge shout out to Delaney Miller, Jacquelyn Wu, Dylan Barks, Josh Levin, Dominic LaBarge, and Noah Ridge!
I think this is a good start to the year, and hopefully more successful comps to come! I am also looking forward to another trip to the Red River Gorge this weekend for some more outdoor sending. Youth Nationals are less than 3 months away- until then it’s training time!