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USAC Collegiate: Nationals

Mikhael Douglass

CU Boulder dominates again at USA Climbing Collegiate Nationals!

Collegiate Nationals Overview

On the weekend of May 26th, 2024 USA Climbing Collegiate Nationals took place in Gilbert, AZ at Alta Climbing and Fitness. This head-to-head competition stacked with athletes from across the nation is regularly the time for the CU Climbing Team to show off their skills and hard work - and man did they do just that!

The following athletes qualified in the Collegiate National Qualifier Event at Longmont Climbing Collective:

Tate Jennings

Anika Shoemaker

Nora Bruxvoort

Kate Allen

Klara Meymaris

Tessa Raines

Jacob Kelleghan

Matthew Sherman

Rajan Patel

Aloken Chaudhari

Andrew Barthel

William Moss

Grayson Richard

(Also including Dinah Marcuson, who faced an ankle injury just before Nationals and was unable to compete - we are wishing you well and a speedy recovery Dinah!)

Sam Hsin and Derek New were pre-qualified for Nationals (2021-22 World's Team) and did not need to compete in the qualifier event but still repped us at Nationals.

Andrew Lototskiy* and Caleb Song were also qualifiers for Nationals through other CNQE events across the country.

*Athletes in USAC Collegiate events do not have to be part of the official roster to represent their respective University. Andrew was one athlete who decided not be on team and still represent the University of Colorado Boulder. We are extremely proud of his accomplishments and hard work!

Once the Nationals quota was filled, other athletes who did not make the quota in the CNQE were invited for a second-round registration, the following athletes used this as an opportunity to compete at Nationals as well:

Brayden Batcheller, Aiden Gloyd, Caroline Jusko, and Mikhael Douglass.

To say that CU Boulder showed out is an understatement: over 20 athletes at Nationals were from CU Boulder, many of them qualifying for Worlds! (SEE 'WORLDS' below).

Day One Overview: Lead and Speed Qualifications

The day started out in the brutal Arizona heat, temperatures reaching nearly 90 degrees in the shade. As the CU Climbing Team rolled through the airport, picked up rental cars, and headed to the VRBO it was clear that excitement was in the air.

Lead qualifications takes the 20 highest scoring athletes to finals to battle out for worlds spots. Athletes were given three routes in flash format - each athlete had a running time and one attempt on each lead route. All CU Climbing athletes competed in the Advanced category for Sport, meaning they competed in Lead.

Women's Results - Lead Qualification:

A star next to their name indicates that they made Finals.

(2) Tate Jennings*

(15) Anika Shoemaker*

(16) Klara Meymaris*

(48) Tessa Raines

(49) Nora Bruxvoort

(80) Caroline Jusko

HIGHLIGHT: Tate Jennings was able to find the only TOP on Women's Adv. Route 2, bumping her rating up significantly, amazing work! Klara Meymaris was able to make her first Lead Finals in her very first Collegiate Nationals, putting her one step closer to possibly making the World's Team! Great work to all the ladies! Tate, Anika, and Klara advanced to the finals round.

Men's Results - Lead Qualification:

A star next to their name indicates that they made Finals.

(1) Samuel Hsin*

(1) Derek New*

(10) Andrew Barthel*

(19) Jacob Kelleghan*

(27) Andrew Lototskiy

(27) Matthew Sherman

(31) Brayden Batcheller

(34) Rajan Patel

(39) Grayson Richard

HIGHLIGHT: The men absolutely rocked the qualification round. So hard that seven men all tied for first, topping all three of their routes. This feat is incredibly difficult and we salute Samuel Hsin and Derek New for reaching this accomplishment! Andrew Barthel also blew lead qualifications out of the water, getting higher and higher on his third route and qualifying for his very first Lead Finals at Collegiate Nationals! Rajan Patel also made huge moves, especially impressive given that Rajan had to relearn how to tie his figure-eight knot right before qualifiers. Congratulations to all the men who crushed it!

Women's Results - Speed Qualifications

One of the fastest sports in the world, speed climbing! Three of our amazing ladies competed in speed qualifications, all three making finals.

(5) Kate Allen - 10.402*

(7) Anika Shoemaker - 12.539*

(8) Nora Bruxvoort - 12.542*

Men's Results - Speed Qualifications

Keep an eye out, because you might miss him, Rajan Patel was the one and only man who competed in Speed qualifications from CU Boulder, also qualifying for finals!

(16) Rajan Patel - 9.117*

Day Two Overview: Boulder Qualifications

If it was easy, wouldn't we all do it? One night of shut-eye after Lead Qualifications and we jumped right back into climbing mode. Many of our athletes competed in both Lead and Bouldering, exerting themselves to perform their best for two (maybe three!) days in a row. This would be an issue if our team was not prepared - that was not the case, however. CU Climbing absolutely finessed Bouldering Qualifications with the following results.

Boulder Qualifications were rotational redpoint. Athletes were given a total of six boulders. Each gender category was randomly split in half and given random running orders. Athletes would either start on Boulders 1, 2, and 3 or 4, 5, and 6 and then rotate after the entire category was done on their first portion. This creates a unique competition atmosphere, as athletes are usually subjected to modified redpoint (free-for-all with limited attempts on each boulder and free viewing of other athletes) or onsight (athletes are brought out one-by-one with no prior viewing of their boulders or their peers on boulders). Rotational redpoint allows athletes to watch each other, watch other sections, and even receive beta during a climbing period, so long as the athlete is off the wall.

Women's Results - Bouldering Qualification:

The following ladies competed, a star marking a spot in finals:

(5) Anika Shoemaker*

(15) Tate Jennings*

(29) Kate Allen

(31) Klara Meymaris

(69) Nora Bruxvoort

(74) Tessa Raines

(80) Caroline Jusko

HIGHLIGHT: Watching all the ladies support each other through each session. Our team was supportive to each other, ladies who had climbed first in their groupings would offer beta and even walk other athletes through their moves before they tried them. The women exhibited great sportsmanship and camaraderie!

Men's Results - Bouldering Qualification:

(1) Matthew Sherman*

(14) Jacob Kelleghan*

(18) Rajan Patel*

(19) Derek New*

(29) Samuel Hsin

(40) Andrew Lototskiy

(44) Grayson Richard

(48) Brayden Batcheller

(65) Aloken Chaudhari

(80) Andrew Barthel

(90) Mikhael Douglass

(99) Aiden Gloyd

HIGHLIGHT: Matthew Sherman clutching up a number one qualification spot after being the only athlete to finish Boulder 4 in the qualification round.

Qualification Overview:

The following athletes moved on to Finals:

B - Bouldering, L - Lead, S - Speed

Anika Shoemaker (B/L/S)

Tate Jennings (B/L)

Klara Meymaris (L)

Kate Allen (S)

Nora Bruxvoort (S)

Jacob Kelleghan (B/L)

Derek New (B/L)

Rajan Patel (B/S)

Matthew Sherman (B)

Samuel Hsin (L)

Andrew Barthel (L)

Day 3: Finals Overview

Because two days straight of climbing wasn't enough - day three was the final day of Collegiate Nationals at Alta Climbing and Fitness. The USA Climbing Collegiate Series is the national event for collegiate climbing, but also an avenue to competing at the FISU Games (Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire or International University Sports Federation). This is the equivalent of the World Games or Olympics for College athletes. In order to compete under USA for the FISU Games, an athlete must make top 5 in any discipline in National Finals. To make things more stressful, the FISU Games only happen every other year, making the chances of making a Collegiate Worlds Team that much harder. Development team spots are given out to the next five (or top 10) athletes, but are not guaranteed to compete in the FISU Games.

Ten CU athletes competed for a spot on the US Collegiate Team and the opportunity to compete at the FISU Games. The results were as following:

The Bouldering round for Finals was onsight, athletes were put into isolation and brought out in reverse order of qualification. Athletes are given a preview, but no beta while climbing or viewing of their peers.

Women's Bouldering - Finals:

(4) Tate Jennings*

(6) Anika Shoemaker

Men's Bouldering - Finals:

(4) Matthew Sherman*

(10) Jacob Kelleghan

(12) Rajan Patel

(17) Derek New

The Lead round for Finals was also onsight, athletes were put into isolation and brought out in reverse order of qualification. Athletes were allowed to have route previews but were not permitted to watch their peers climb until they had finished their assigned climb time.

Women's Lead - Finals:

(4) Anika Shoemaker*

(5) Tate Jennings*

(17) Klara Meymaris

Men's Lead - Finals:

(2) Jacob Kelleghan*

(3) Derek New*

(4) Samuel Hsin*

(7) Andrew Barthel

Speed Finals operates in brackets, seeding the first athlete from qualification with the last athlete from qualification, the second with second to last, so on and so forth. Winners of the round continued moving through the brackets. For athletes who did not advance in each bracket, their times were sorted highest to lowest and combined with their qualification times, then assigned their respective ranking.

Women's Speed - Finals:

(6) Kate Allen

(8) Anika Shoemaker

(9) Nora Bruxvoort

Men's Speed - Finals:

(16) Rajan Patel

We were thoroughly impressed with everyone's performance. It was truly a pleasure to see everyone's hard work pay off. As a team, our rankings were phenomenal and nothing short of what expected.

Team Rankings:

(1) in Lead

(2) in Bouldering

(2) in Speed

Our team raked up a total of 7,062 points, only 1,000 off from a 1st place overall finish. According to our calculations, we were second overall but was disappointed to find out that USA Climbing did not announce overall team rankings at the end of the ceremony. We may not have a banner, but we did have a good time.

Please feel free to explore the following resources:

USAC Collegiate Nationals Results Page: Link Here

USAC Collegiate Nationals Video Replay: YouTube Link

USAC Collegiate Nationals Photos via Daniel Gajda: Link Here

Reach out to our instagram @cuclimbingteam to see our photo album.

Rajan Patel in Speed Finals (via Daniel Gajda)

Nora Bruxvoort in Speed Finals (via Daniel Gajda)

Katie Allen in Speed Finals (via Daniel Gajda)

Andrew Barthel waving to his supporters in Men's Lead Finals

Tate Jennings chalking up as she prepares to make her first FISU Worlds Team in Women's Lead Finals (via Daniel Gajda)

Anika Shoemaker reaching for her FISU Worlds Team spot! (via Daniel Gajda)

Samuel Hsin clipping in as he prepares to qualify for his second FISU World Games (via Daniel Gajda)

Matthew Sherman after finishing his last Boulder in Men's Finals, giving him a team spot at the FISU Games (via Daniel Gajda)

Jacob Kelleghan and Derek New in 2nd and 3rd for Men's Lead Finals.

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