Seattle Bouldering ChallengeSeattle Bouldering Challenge was this past weekend. I drove down with my dad Saturday morning to Seattle. My mom had gone down on Friday to do some shopping and we picked her up from downtown along with Elise Sethna and her mom as well. By 10:30, we had arrived at the competition and waited around for the rules meeting. At 11, the comp started and I went about my usual routine. SBC is a scramble competition format and they take your top 5 boulders. I usually warm up a bit, then test the waters and try a few hard ones. I kind of hurt my arm a week and a half ago from overtraining. I was afraid of my arm hurting at the competition so I wanted to get qualifiers down as fast as I could. About halfway through, I was getting nervous because I had fallen on quite a few boulders that I thought I should’ve done. One of them was a really dumb mistake; I missed a hold on one of the problems and tried to dyno around the lip… With about an hour left in the competition, Jamie Chong and I were looking at the two hardest problems. They were both about 15-20 moves long and pretty overhanging. I tried one of them and got slayed on the second move. After a quick rest, I tried the other hard one and ended up flashing it. Because it was worth the most points of all the qualifying boulders, I knew I had secured a spot in finals, so I stopped. Haircut? After the dust settled from the qualifying round, Johnny Goicoechea was leading in first place. He had also done the hardest problem as well as one of the sloper problems that I couldn’t do. Finals started at 6 and I had a little trick up my sleeve. For the past 8 months, I haven’t cut my hair. I always cut my hair right before I go to Europe which was back in April. I figured because it was getting cold here in Vancouver, I would just leave my hair long and stay warm. Finally, my hair got so annoying being in my eyes all the time, I decided to cut it. I also wanted to do something ridiculous for SBC finals because I know it would get me psyched. Because I wasn’t feeling 100% with my shoulders, I knew if I looked ridiculous, I would try all that much harder. During the layover before finals, I had my mom cut my hair in a park. The catch was that I cut my hair into a raging Mullet. I thought it’d be funny and I think it was well received. I competed in finals with the mullet and had nothing but complements on my new style. Finals I ended up climbing super well on all the finals problems except for one, the first one. When I left isolation, I was told that all the men would be on Lime Green taped problems and all the women’s would be in Bright Pink taped problems. I got out to my first finals boulder and it was pretty long. Because I was really psyched to climb, after a short preview, I jumped on. Halfway through the boulder, I looked up and saw a huge lime green hold. Because I knew I was on a Lime Green boulder, I naturally grabbed it. Right after I grabbed it, I heard a gasp from my mom who was watching from the side. She said “Sean…” and I looked over, kind of surprised that she was trying to talk to me in the middle of a comp. I looked back up towards the problem and immediately knew what I had done wrong. Because my mind was so tuned into the colour “Lime Green”, I hadn’t noticed that the hold that I was on was boxed in Pink tape and just happened to be exactly the same colour as the route I was supposed to be on. I jumped down and felt pretty dumb. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever gone off route in a competition. I take competitions pretty seriously, and this was very uncommon for me. After a quick rest, I jumped on the problem and fired it second go. The rest of the boulders in finals were super good. I was lucky in the fact that boulder 3 and boulder 4 were very hard. I knew that if the boulders were too easy, the 100 point bonus for flashing that I lost on the first boulder would come back to bite me. Because I knew I was behind, I think I tried even harder. The third boulder suited me well. I had some jumping, some campusing, heel hooks and a final throw to the top rail. Because I was the first person to top the boulder, the crowd erupted as I stuck the final jug. I realized after that if I’d had fallen on the last move, I would’ve gone for a pretty big fall down into the crowd… First and second place came down to the 4th problem. Johnny beat me in qualifiers so in a count back, he’d beat me. Because I flashed the 3rd problem and Johnny had flashed the first, we were almost tied going into the last problem. I knew that if Johnny stuck the move that I had fallen on, he’d win. His first try was probably his best try and he was way closer to sticking the move than I was. Because the problems were so long, by the time he got to the crux move, he said he was too pumped. After a very entertaining finals, I managed to pull out another win, Johnny was second and Brian Boyko took third spot.
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