Summer is finally here, and although that means free time and awesome weather for climbing, it also means a slight brake from bouldering and time for the painful process of building endurance. After bouldering nationals, I felt a little burned out from training, so I took a needed brake to regain some motivation. My first day back afterwards was rough to say the least. I jumped right into rope climbing, since Adult SCS Nationals were in about a week and I was not ready at all. Let’s just say, by the end of the three hour session, I was falling on the same climbs that I had warmed up on. Luckily that week I also got a day of speed training in, and my muscle memory was recovered so I felt pretty comfortable on the route.
Spring Update - Francesca Metcalf
Nationals soon came and I was as ready as I could be. Qualifiers had two climbs, and I was put on the harder one first. I did pretty well on the first climb, but my recovery was so bad that by the time I got on my second climb about an hour later, I was still pumped. I got about to where most people were getting, but I think it could have gone better if my body didn't want to give up by the second clip.
Speed climbing went better. We all had to change our beta up at the last minute because they didn’t have the actual speed wall, just a crude attempt at it. We were given a few practice runs, and then we went for real. Originally they were only taking top four to finals, but there was a tie in girls for fourth place, and to keep things even, they took six people. I happened to be the sixth person. I had a good run in finals and moved up to fourth place.
Not long after was CCS Nationals at my home gym in Boston. My house was quite full of Southeastern climbers, as well as some USA Climbing board members. Tech had a team of four, two girls and two guys, which put us at a slight disadvantage since team ranking was calculated from top three from each, but the people that we did have were strong, so we were able to hold our own.
I have to say that CCS comps are probably my favorite of any comps, except for maybe the Dark Horse Series. The red points are so laid back and I always end up leaving with about 20 new friends. Everyone climbs together, shares beta, and wants everyone else to do well. Finals at nationals were also really fun. The crowd was not very big, but everyone was super excited, which made it the best crowd I’ve had in a long time. I guess it was the first time for many of the climbers to watch finals for a climbing competition, but at larger competitions it’s usually the same crowd and the excitement has worn off for many of them.
Finals were a much different format than what I am used to. There was only one boulder problem and one rope climb, and I had no idea which one to warm up for. We had a preview of both, and luckily I was still pretty warm from the red point, so I didn’t end up warming up much for either. The boulder problem was a long traverse with a sideways dyno and a hard move on tiny crimps at the end. The rope climb was long, but it was my style- bouldery with frequent rests. I flashed both, putting me in first place. I also won speed climbing, so with those points and the points from my teammates who all climbed really hard, Tech came in third place. For such a small team, we crushed, and this victory will hopefully encourage our school to give us some more funding for next year. Many of our members are graduating soon, but we are also about to get some new really strong climbers that will hopefully give us a full team. Next year we are going for gold!