It was day 3 and I was on the wall in semi-finals at the USA Sport Climbing National Competition in Atlanta, Georgia. I was only a few moves from the highpoint for the day. I shook out for a few more seconds and then it was go time. I took a deep breath and made my next move to a crimp. Then the next and the next. I was feeling good, so I skipped the jug rest and kept going to reach the highpoint for the day. I was ready to get a few more clips to top the route but my foot slipped as I was clipping. I was feeling great and ended up in 3rd place with Kai Lightner from North Carolina in 1st and Drew Ruana from Washington in 2nd.
SCS Nationals – Its Not Over Until its Over - Matt Grossman
I had been training at Stone Summit in Atlanta, Georgia for two weeks before the competition. It was a really great experience because I was able to get advice, learn from and train with some of the best youth competition climbers in the nation! The comp was four days long; the first two days are qualifiers, and a day each of semifinals and finals.
On day one I didn’t do very well because I was nervous and was climbing way to fast. I climbed a 70ft wall in 3 minutes. The top 15 people fell within the last 4 holds so when I tried to clip instead of making one more move it dropped me down about 7 places and I ended up 16th. On the second day of qualifiers, I topped the route and ended up in 5th place. With the two days of qualifiers behind me, I advanced along with 15 others to semifinals. In semifinals & finals, the ranking is based on how you finish that day. “Pro Matt” showed up that day, climbed well and ended up in 3rd in semifinals.
I went into finals feeling great and ready to crush. When we did route preview I was psyched because this route was my style, steep into a hard boulder problem at the top. This was great; I was super psyched for my route. When I was sitting in the chair waiting to climb Manny Quintana from Sender One in SoCal did really well and the crowd went crazy. I got really nervous right before I climbed. I climbed really fast and wasn’t paying attention to my footwork. I tried to clip from a bad hold and fell because my foot slipped.
Overall I did great at the comp. This just goes to show that it isn’t over until it’s over. I feel that I could have sent the route but that is what competing is all about. I’m a little disappointed in my performance but think that I did pretty well over all. I ended up in 9th and will be coming back even stronger next year!