Day three of the competition was completely dedicated to speed climbing. The entire speed comp was to be run during that day, which gave the sport-only climbers a day off. We (the US kids who were not competing in speed) got to sleep in, and then head over to the comp just as the practice runs were ending. The United States crushed in speed, and had seven athletes place in the top five, which included four medals! Huge congrats to John Brosler and Kyra Condie for taking home the bronze, as well as to Kayla Lieuw and Rita Marsanova for their second place finishes! Speed climbing finished relatively late, since all rounds of speed climbing were done during one day, and since I also had to be up early to climb, I passed out almost immediately after we got back.
I woke up on the last day of the comp feeling pretty good. I was psyched to be in semis at such a high-level event, and excited to see how well I could do on the route. I previewed the route with my friends Chloe and Kyra, and we all agreed that it looked hard but also fun. I went out immediately after Chloe, and thought that the beginning was great. It was big moves on pretty good pinches, which are some of my favorite kinds of moves. They were a bit exhausting though, so I was a little tired when I pulled onto the vertical face. I made my way up the small crimps, and managed to get to a hard cross to a bad slopey crimp. I fell there, along with a lot of girls in my category, creating a bit of a bottleneck. I ended up maintaining my place from qualifiers in semis, which I was more than happy with, since semis had been my goal to begin with. Our team crushed in semis as well, and sent five athletes (Kai Lightner, Sean Bailey, Delaney Miller, Margo Hayes, and Claire Buhrfiend) to finals, which were later that night. Finals were a great show, and the US had its best performance in several years. Big congrats as well to Kai, Delaney, Margo, Claire, and Sean for representing the red, white and blue so well!
Afterwards, I said goodbye to all of my friends, both American and international, and headed to the hotel I was staying at. I flew back early the next morning, and was back in Philly by that evening, so I could go back to my internship in the morning. I had an amazing time at the competition; after a gap of a few years, I had forgotten how much fun competing internationally was. The event inspired me to train harder than ever this year for a chance to compete in another one. Thanks so much to everyone who made this trip the amazing experience that it was- Five Ten, for being the best sponsor I could ask for and offering amazing support, the event organizers and volunteers, friends both old and new, everyone who helped me prepare for the comp, and especially the US team, coaches, and staff. This was the closest and most united US team that I have ever been a part of, and I will never forget the great time we had over the course of the event. I hope that this kind of closeness on the team continues in the future.