Finally done with school for the year! I’m officially a junior in high school…I can’t believe it, it feels like yesterday I was starting as a freshman. And what better way to celebrate than by qualifying for the SCS youth nationals in both sport and speed climbing this July! Last Friday, I drove up to Massachusetts the day before divisionals started with my mom and brother. We made a stop in Boston to check out a college, then drove another 2 hours into a town called Hadley, near a bunch more colleges, and also where the comp was. I had dinner with a couple friends from New Jersey, and then we hung out and wandered around the hotel until we had to crash for the night.
Saturday was qualifiers, but the girls didn’t climb until the afternoon, so I got to sleep in a while. After breakfast at Panera, we headed over to the gym. Divisionals were here last year as well, so I had seen the place once before. Qualifiers were flash format, meaning we only had one attempt on each route, but we all got to watch everyone climb. It was hard to warm up since the place was so full of spectators, so I was still pretty cold when I jumped on my first climb. It was a technical climb, maybe in the 5.11 range, and kind of pumpy also. But then, that could have been because my warm up consisted of about four boulder problems. I flashed it, then got down and walked over to my next climb. My second qualifier was one of the best comp climbs I’ve ever been on. It had everything; technical sequences, power moves, it was bouldery, pumpy, and really fun. I got to the 7th bolt, about 5 holds from the finish, before pitching off some nasty slopers. I placed third in qualifiers, behind two girls tied for first.
The next day I had to wake up early to go in iso for finals. It wasn’t as good as the previous day; my sprained ankle was killing me and hurt to put weight on, and the route didn’t split the category quite as well as it could have. It was a long route that started out easy but overhung and pumpy, and got hard quickly around the 9th clip. I ended up in fifth, with the difference in the fifth and second place scores being .78 or something. Either way, I made it to nationals, so I was happy. Somehow I made it in speed climbing too, but I have no idea how that happened.
Since I don’t have anymore comps between now and early July (nationals), I’m off to the red later this week to train! I can’t wait; I love going down there every year. Thanks so much to Five Ten- both their shoes and support are amazing!!
These pictures are from the red last year...more to come in my next post! Photos by David Rowland.