This past weekend was ABS Nationals in Colorado Springs. It was held in the same venue as last year, and this being my first time competing in the city auditorium, i thought it was amazing. Having City Rock Climbing Gym right next door was huge perk, because it gave the competitors a nice place to warm up. I flew out of Boston on Thursday afternoon, and arrived in the Springs around midnight the night before the comp.
My climbing time was 916 in the morning, originally that kind of freaked me out because I knew I wouldn't be getting that much sleep, but then I realized going earlier would be better because the holds wouldn't get as greasy. The quali round went okay for me. It was 5 problems and 4 minute rotations. I flashed the first techy problem, fell on the last move of the next three power problems and did about the same as everyone else on the fifth getting mid way threw the slab. Because I only had one top I placed in 12th, which was sort of frustrating because of how high I had gotten on all the power problems, if you had been scored points per hold, I would have been in 4th or 5th, but tops are the most important.
The Semis round was similar, I was able to do the first slab after a few tries, fell near the top of the 2nd, on the last move of the third problem, and on the last move of 4th slab problem. I placed in 7th after that round, and luckily snuck into finals because Andrea is a Hungarian citizen and that adds another spot into finals. My feelings after this round were the same, if it was scored points per hold I would have a lot higher up in the rankings, but I wasn't finishing many problems so regardless of how well I climbed on the power problems I needed to start toping out if I wanted to jump up in the rankings.
Going into finals I think the competitors were understanding that the route setters weren't interested in crowning the burliest climber, but the most well rounded climber. Judging by the other rounds I knew I needed at least two tops in finals to place higher up, I also knew that I was exhausted at that point and wasn't going to do so well on the power problems. If I wanted to do well I was going to have to execute the slab problems. I would usually say that I am more of a powerful climber over a technical climber, but I definitely don't hate slabs as much as some competitors do.
In the final round there were 4 problems. There were only three tops on the first problem, Angie Payne, Andrea Szekely, and myself. It was a hard compression beginning and a balancy finish. The second problem was steeper and had powerful shoulder and undercling moves. I was having a hard time on this problem, and when I finally figured out my beta I messed up my time. I thought I had 10 seconds left, but I had a minute and ten seconds left. I ran back on to the wall and wasted a lot of energy and then figured out I had much more time to rest than I thought.
The third problem was a dihedral problem, with 3 bad slopers the the left on a large volume on the right. The key to this problem was figuring out that your feet needed to go on the holds, and your hands on the volume. After screwing up on the 2nd problem I was fired up for this one and was able to flash it. Andrea and Alex J were also able to flash, Megan and Puccio did it after a few tries.
The fourth I knew was going to be really hard for me, because at that point I was just completely powered out. I didn't do so well, but I knew that I would be okay since I toped two problems already. Even if most girls were able to get through the harder beginning section they didnt do it super smoothly, so it was really impressive to watch Puccio just completely crush it.
At the end of the comp I place in 3rd! Most of the time when I compete I don't feel like I preformed at the best of my ability, but even though I did make a few mistakes, overall I feel happy with my performance. I think a lot of people are kind of confused by the ratio of technical problems to power problems. Usually in american comps they're are more power problems than technical ones, but it was clear to me after going through all the rounds that the setters were trying to test as many skills as they could, I think they did a very good job overall.
The problems in comps are never that hard, you just have to be able to articulate them and execute them. In finals I would say that the first slab was around V7 and the dihedral around V6. Neither of them were that difficult, I think for this comp the setters wanted brains to be more important than brawn.
Right now I am hanging out in beautiful Nederland, CO, I leave tomorrow to go back to school, and will start training for SCS nationals. I have only competed at rope nationals one time, but i was injured and not psyched at all. This year I'm really psyched, looking forward to it.
Until next time