Hi again everyone!
I have just finished up another competition, the PanAmerican Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This was my first PanAmerican Championships and my first trip to Ecuador, so it was a trip to remember for many reasons!
I flew to Ecuador on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving with an early 5:30 AM flight from Phoenix. After 2 quick stops in Houston then Panama City, we finally arrived in Ecuador that evening. Both of my parents came with me on this trip, so it was a fun day of travel for all of us.
On Thursday (Thanksgiving) we walked to the river in Guayaquil and then spent the rest of the day laying by the pool at our hotel. Arizona isn’t as cold as other states in the winter, but it was nice to enjoy the balmy weather! Thursday was a fairly relaxing day since I had to compete on Friday morning.
Friday morning began bright and early with isolation opening at 7:30 AM. I climbed 10th in the running order, so I was able to get a good warm up and wake up a little bit before I had to climb! Below is a video of all the qualifying boulders and then a breakdown as well.
Boulder 1: An awkward start that lead into a mantle finish made this boulder a little nerve-racking for the first boulder of the day! Luckily I escaped with a flash.
Boulder 2: This was definitely the trickiest boulder of the competition. Being stuck in a corner and standing on a Flathold, the most difficult move was catching the finishing jug because it was so difficult to see. I reached the zone on this boulder.
Boulder 3: The first move of this boulder meant business! It was really difficult to catch the first crimp and coordinate the foot stab at the same time. I reached the zone on this boulder and struggled near the finish.
Boulder 4: A welcome relief after boulder 3 being so difficult, boulder 4 was technical and slow moving. I reached the top on this boulder.
Boulder 5: Arguably the most difficult boulder of the competition, this boulder became rough right off of the start with a rose move. I reached the zone on this boulder.
My score for qualifiers was 2T5Z 2 12. This put me into third place heading into the final round.
Since I was done climbing at around 11:00 AM, I was able to do some sightseeing later in the day. After lunch and a nap at the hotel we went to Parque Seminario where you can feed iguanas! I love animals, so I was in heaven! I even had three or four iguanas on me at once, it was awesome.
After seeing the iguanas we went back to the hotel, grabbed dinner, and I went to bed early in preparation for the final round the next morning.
Finals were interesting because they took 10 athletes to finals, so it made for an extra long round. Luckily we were able to return to isolation in between the boulders, which helped us stay cool during the hot and humid day.
Below is a video of the final boulders and a breakdown.
Boulder 1: The beginning of the boulder involved a double toe hook and a small jump out to the decent zone hold. Past this you latched onto a tiny, tiny crimp and had a big lock off to the top. I flashed this boulder.
Boulder 2: Set in the corner on the lead wall, the most difficult move was definitely moving from the zone to the top. It was precarious to get your foot on the zone hold and stand up all of the way to the top. I also flashed this boulder.
Boulder 3: Beginning with a small dyno, the top move was a tricky press that involved fully committing while your foot was on a small foothold. I also flashed this boulder.
Boulder 4: With an awkward, crunched start, this boulder was fun, but also nerve-racking! On my second attempt I reached the zone hold and fell off of the second to last hold, which felt terrible in the heat!
My performance put me in first place, making me the new PanAmerican Bouldering Champion. I was so excited to have won my first International competition! It was definitely a surreal feeling and one I am still enjoying a week later :)
To celebrate my win I went back to the iguana park to visit the iguanas and then had a nice dinner with Kyra Condie and our parents.
Overall, PanAms was a great experience and I am so excited to have attended this competition and enjoyed such a wonderful country! The US Team did an amazing job in general by sweeping up many medals and winning the Team Competition as well. It was a great feeling all around!
Now I am back home and am onto my next adventure, which is training for the Combined Nationals in January. It’s time to hang up my “bouldering only” hat and delve into some speed and lead climbing!
Onto the next adventure…