Last weekend was the Heist, the first annual all women competition held at Central Rock Watertown, MA. The gym is basically in my home town, and of course I'm always looking for a good excuse to fly home, but this competition sounded like an experience that I just couldn't miss, and something I would've loved to participate in, no matter where it was. To make it better, my boyfriend flew down with me for moral support and my sisters were both competing with me, surrounding me with my favorite people, making it a great comp already.
The Heist at Central Rock in Watertown, MA - Francesca Metcalf
Qualifiers went almost too well for for the top competitors. Sasha and Kyra both flashed all 5 of the hardest problems, I finished the top 5 climbs with only one fall, and ended up tied for third with Angie Payne, and Delaney and Megan weren't far behind on falls either. Even though we weren't exactly pushed to our max potential during qualifiers, the climbs were fun and well set, and it was great climbing with my sisters and all of the other super strong ladies there. It was also nice to be able to have a chance on the hardest climbs at a red point for once, since those are usually geared towards guys and are full of pinches and burly moves that I just don't have a chance on.
Finals, like the rest of the comp, was slightly unusual. It was IFSC bouldering finals format, but instead of the usual 3 or 4 boulder problems, there were two boulder problems and a rope climb. The first climb all six of us sent in at most a few tries. Again, it was a great climb, but it got me a little nervous that they were all going to be a bit too easy, and it would come down to falls again. This fear was soon put to rest on the second climb, which definitely did it's job in challenging us. I never got past the third move of the climb, and high point was only a few moves above. It was pinchy and very powerful, which I wasn't really expecting at a comp made to highlight lady climbing, but at least it started to spread us out before the rope climb.
As usual, I hadn't done much rope climbing in preparation for the competition, so I wasn't expecting that part to go too well. However, I surprised myself by getting about two clips from the top and coming in 4th for that section of finals. The climb was crimpy and a little powerful, which I thought was perfect for highlighting the strong, girly style. Overall I finished 5th, behind Sasha, Delaney, Angie and Kyra (in that order). After hearing about all of the super strong girls who were going to the comp, I seriously didn't think I even had a chance of making it to finals, so I was super psyched to just be there and was really happy with how I climbed (other than that second problem maybe..). I think the competition was a huge success, a great step for women climbers and I can't wait to see where it leads!