Last weekend marked the Finale of the Dark Horse Series at MetroRock in Boston, MA, where Five Ten® athlete Michael Bautista came in Third (competing in a stacked field with Rob D, Vasya, Brian Kim, Stephen Meinhold, Max Zolotukhin, and many others) while newly joined Five Ten® Athlete Francesca Metcalf won the whole caboodle with another Five Ten-er, Nina Williams, trailing closely behind in Second.
Normally, these are the kinds of NorthEast comps I love to compete in; however, for this series I had the opportunity to serve as the Head Setter--a new perspective for me...
And I have to say, I don't know what is more exciting: watching all these talented, honed competitors pull on the problems you designed with your setting team over the course of 5 days (Thanks Kyle McCabe--you machine) and hoping everything works as planned, or actually competing in the event.
Surprisingly, I feel much more pressure as a setter than I do as a climber, mostly because I don't want to look like a ding-dong if the top three competitors tied or if no one finished any of the problems. In the same way, competing can be equally nerve-wracking if you're worried about looking good in front of loads of spectators waiting for their entertainment. Fortunately, the show came down to the last Finals Problem in each category, exactly what we wanted. More photos, thoughts, and video coming soon at meaning2memorize.com.
Great job Michael, Francesca, and Nina--and too everyone else who tried HARD on Saturday. Had a blast and can't wait for next year.