Sunday, March 25, 2012

ABS Nationals 2012

Earlier this month I competed at bouldering nationals for youth in Colorado Springs. It was probably the best ABS Nationals I've been to. Contributing aspects included the classy venue, great warmup facility, nice town, and, to cap it all off, a sick highlights video: I think my Semifinals cheering section is shown under qualifiers, and there might even be a clip of me anonymously falling!
Enough talk; here's the pics:
 left: by Faith Sullivan, right: by Josh Levin
Qualifiers went really well. I finished tied for first with Alex Fritz. Above is the tough Q4 slab.
photo: Bruce Mitchell

Look familiar? This third semifinals route was one of the most exciting problems in my climbing career. I told a friend at school about it and ended up in my school paper. I couldn't have written a better climbing article myself. Thanks David! (link to the article)
Left: Bruce Mitchell, right: Will Roderick

In finals, I unlocked the first problem on vertical terrain and gained some confidence. The second climb was going well until my foot slipped, and I was unable to reach the finishing moves again. The third problem was truly a climb for the powerhouses- namely, Joe Gifford and Michael Orourke. Maybe I could've done it that friday... or if I'd just taken steroids.
Overall, I was happy with an eighth place finish and an awesome weekend. One more surprise awaited me in the awards ceremony.
photo: Jon Barks

I was a finalist for the North Face Young Gun award, along with the amazing Dylan Barks and one of my best friends, Josh Levin. I was honored to be up there and especially happy to be the first to congratulate Josh when he was presented with the award.
I'd like to thank Evolv for being the greatest shoe company in the world. Their posters were everywhere as they've increased their support of USAClimbing and the future of our sport. I feel blessed to experience firsthand their dedication to individual athletes. And finally the Shamans have changed the way I think of climbing shoes. At ABS Nationals in 2009 I remember having to switch shoes upon finding that one of my final routes was a slab. This year, I had my Shamans tightened before turning around, and didn't hesitate to mount and send a slabby, virtually handhold-less Semifinal 1.Thanks Evolv.
And thank YOU for reading!

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