Reflecting after this past weekend's Regional Championship in Albuquerque, I'm left with utter amazement at the tenacity of the group of young athletes I have the pleasure of coaching. Apart from the challenges presented by the climbing itself, a host of other conditions piled on to make this one of the most difficult competitions we have ever fought through.
A late night arrival on Friday was the first thing. Not being able to settle in slowly at our hotel and decompress from the long drive takes a toll on performing one's best. Also, the stresses of the end of the school year was on a lot of people's minds, having several kids step on the bus straight from AP testing. On top of all that, somehow half the team was stricken with some kind of sickness Saturday morning before the comp!
Despite all this, everyone stepped out on the competition floor confident and ready to perform their best. This comp, and allow me to rant for a moment, had some of the most disappointing setting of any championship level competition I've been to in all my years of coaching. The job of a routesetter is to construct challenging and fun routes in such a way that adds to the experience of the climber and leaves them feeling hungry for more. Setting v4 boulder problems before bolt one, shutting down climbers 5 feet off the ground does not do that. That only leaves a climber feeling discouraged and pessimistic about competition climbing.
Again, heads were held high after this extra challenge and that was truly inspiring to me. Eight of our athletes qualified to compete at Divisionals about a month from now. Congratulations to Eva, Ruby, Laurel, Tanner, Davin, Ben, Claire and Jake! But a huge congratulations goes out to all of our team members for showing me what true 'try hard' looks like. Check out the full results HERE