It’s a bit overdue (sorry!), but here Is my recap of Open and Youth ABS Nationals. Enjoy!
Whew. What an physically, emotionally and mentally taxing last two weeks it’s been! It all started Friday, February 22nd when I found myself heading down to Colorado Springs bright and early. This was the my first Open Nationals, so I had zero expectations and was just treating it as a training exercise. I also was just psyched to climb and have some fun on some top notch boulders. I ended up doing quite well seeing as though it was my first Open level competition, and I topped 3 boulders to put me in 21st, just one spot out of qualify for Semi-Finals! Obviously I would have loved to have climbed in Semis, but I still felt great about my performance, which left me feeling strong and motivated for Youth Nationals the following weekend.
Fast forward another week when yet again, I found myself flying back down I-25 Southbound towards Colorado Springs. Being a Junior, my category was set to climb last, and by the luck of the draw (or bad luck depending on how you look at it), I was 3rd to last in my category. By the time I began qualifier #1, It was almost ten o’clock, which was less than ideal but still not horrible. An hour later, after the hardest qualifying round I had ever climbed in, I was in 10th place with only one top, enough to push me through to Semis the next day.
To me, qualifiers have always been the most stressful round of competition. Due to the sheer number of competitors in qualifiers, there is always so much diversity in terms of strength and weakness, which means that anyone and everyone is a threat to your hopes of qualifiying. Needless to say, I was looking forward to the less stressful yet more competitive semi-final round. I had a pretty good day in Semis, topping two of the three boulders and securing me a spot in finals!
This was my first time qualifying for finals, and I finally felt that I performed equal to what I thought myself capable of. I was both nervous and ecstatic to put my six plus months of hard training on the line one last time on Sunday morning. Alas, as is common in competition climbing, things don’t always go as one plans, and after a disappointing final round I ended up in 8th place. Though this was my best result yet, It felt extremely disappointing to come so close just to falter at the last moment, but all I can do now is learn from my mistakes and use that knowledge to my advantage! I would also like to give a huge congratulations to my buddy Greig Seitz for putting on an amazing show and placing 2nd at his first National ever! Keep an eye on this one, he’s just gettin’ started!
Up next for me is SCS Open Nationals, though I was just in Hawaii for 8 days and almost all of the little endurance I had has now dissapeared, so we’ll see how this goes....I have two days to get back in route shape, which is definitely less than ideal, but I look forward to it anyways!