PLANET GRANITE BLOG

And PG team kids are competing! First it was Regionals, then Divisionals, and now, Nationals. We sat down with some of the coaches to chat about how Divisionals went and what they expect from Nationals. 

Divisionals went great for Sunnyvale’s climbing team, said Justin Cubbage, the head coach,

We had two of our younger Team competitors, Calvin Cha and Gwynnie Wong, place first in the division and receive an invitation to Nationals! Additionally, a lot of youth climbers that climb here at Sunnyvale also made it to Nationals, including Tim, Ross, Sam, Kara, Connor, Anthony, and Jake.

Like Regionals, there was a Super Finals for the Male Youth D category to separate the first and second place finishers. PG Team kid crusher Calvin didn’t hesitate and quickly and gracefully grasped the first place spot in the Division. It is amazing and inspiring how a 10 year old can have such poise in a high stress situation like this; but then again, he is a multi-National competitor in both bouldering and sport climbing.

We had a lot of kids make it to the second day of Divisionals, which requires placing in the top 10 on the qualifier routes on the first day. Among these kids were some new competitors, such as Claire Lin and Max Lenail, who remained calm and collected under the pressure of competing in front of a large crowd. We had a few kids, Danny, Clara, and Ben, who narrowly missed the 6th place window required to receive an invitation to Nationals but stayed positive and made the most out of their experience.

Jesse Schouboe, head coach at San Francisco’s team, also had a few kids that  only narrowly  missed making it to Nationals. But the kids don’t  let them get  this down and used this as  motivation to train even hard for the next comps!

The kids faced a variety of challenges, and many did not do as well as they had hoped. Nevertheless, they all left the returned to practice this week more psyched than ever to train hard and continue to grow. With this motivation, and with this season’s competition experience under their belts, I am sure they will be more prepared than ever in the Fall bouldering season!

It is a very proud moment for the coaches when they see the kids competing. No matter the outcome, team kids show a crazy amount of determination, calm, and skill.

I love the moments where the kids surprise me and exceed my expectations! Correctly reading a really tricky sequence. Staying calm and composed in a stressful moment. Staying hours past their own climbing time just to cheer for 15 minutes for their teammates. These moments are really rewarding as a coach. Seeing these moments, and the overall level of effort and emotion that the kids put into competing, motivates me to try even harder as a coach. – Jesse Schouboe

For the kids that are heading to Nationals, Justin comments that “There will be a lot of tough competition waiting for us in Georgia be we are psyched and ready to represent for PG!”

It is taking place in Kennesaw, Georgia and is a four day event. Each day the competitors climb one route, the first two days being qualifiers, the third being semi-finals, and the last is finals. The competitors only have once chance on each route, placing an enormous amount of pressure on the climbers to make no mistakes; one foot cut at the wrong time can complete a competitors journey at Nationals. We have been preparing with a lot of sequencing, onsighting, and weirder and forced movements to help them overcome whatever is thrown at them. You can watch the USAC Youth Sport and Speed Nationals online. For more information on the day, go to http://www.usaclimbing.org/Home.htm and cheer on our youth competitors! – Justin Cubbage

What is the plan for the summer? Jesse has an idea;

Have fun, train hard, and get even more psyched on climbing! Some climbers leave on vacation, but the ones who stick around are able to climb a lot. With a smaller team the coaches get a lot of one-on-one time with each climber, and we can really help each climber work on specific strengths and weaknesses. Not only that, since the gym is less crowded during hot weather the team has more space for climbing games, out-of-the-box workouts, and other activities that help stoke the kids’ psych. 

Want to see pictures of Divisionals? Check out Northern California’s USA Climbing’s Facebook page.

Congrats to all the team kids on all the hard work they put in and the amazing things they accomplish; good luck to all the  ones competing this weekend in Nationals; and a big shout out to the coaches who work hard to support their team!