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15-Year-Old Wins USA Climbing Women’s National Team Trials

After becoming the double champ at the U.S. Nationals in 2022, Annie Sanders was the clear standout in the trials comp

The 2023 USA Climbing National Team Trials were held this week at the Mesa Rim Climbing Center in Austin, Texas. Like in all major national events, athletes gained points depending on how they placed in the event. This comp served as the last chance for athletes to collect points and earn a spot on the U.S. National Team.

The Team Trials comp was held by USA Climbing, the national governing body for competition climbing in the United States, as recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the IFSC. The comp featured the new Boulder and Lead Combined Olympic format. Athletes competed in a Boulder semi-final in the morning, a Lead semi-final in the afternoon, and a Boulder/Lead final in the evening.

The women’s semi-finals and finals were held on March 2. Most of the nations top climbers participated. Natalia Grossman and Brooke Raboutou did not compete as they have been preselected for the U.S. National Team.

15-year-old Annie Sanders from Fort Worth, Texas took the top spot in both Boulder and Lead. She was the only woman to top all four problems. Kyra Condie, Kylie Cullen, and Cloe Coscoy all achieved two tops. They all had identical zone scores and were only narrowly separated by attempts. Condie took second, Cullen third, and Coscoy fourth.

Sanders was also the only woman to top the finals lead route, reaching hold 32 and securing gold. Condie again came in second, reaching hold 32. Cullen came in third after she fell moving towards hold 27. With her first place finishes in both Boulder and Lead, Sanders also won gold in the Boulder & Lead Combined category. Condie won silver and Cullen won bronze.

In November 2022, Sanders became double champ at the USA Climbing National Championships, winning gold in both Boulder and Lead. After a very successful youth career, it was her first time competing in the open National Championships.

With her first place finishes in both Boulder and Lead at this Team Trials event, Sanders has secured herself a spot on the U.S. National Boulder Team, Lead Team, and the newly formed Boulder & Lead Team.

This year, athletes from the Boulder & Lead Team will begin their quest toward earning a spot on Team USA at the Paris 2024 Olympics. With the conclusion of this National Team Trials event, the 2023 USA Women’s Boulder & Lead National Team will include seven athletes:

  1. Natalia Grossman (pre-selected)
  2. Brooke Raboutou (pre-selected
  3. Annie Sanders (ranked 1st)
  4. Kyra Condie (ranked 2nd)
  5. Kylie Cullen (ranked 3rd)
  6. Cloe Coscoy (ranked 4th)
  7. Adriene Akiko Clark (ranked 5th)

2023 National Team Trials Boulder Results

  1. Annie Sanders (T4 HZ4 LZ4 9 7 5)
  2. Kyra Condie (T2 HZ3 LZ4 3 4 4)
  3. Kylie Cullen (T2 HZ3 LZ4 3 5 4)
  4. Cloe Coscoy (T2 HZ3 LZ4 5 5 5)
  5. Helen Gillett (T1 HZ4 LZ4 3 9 6)
  6. Adriene Akiko Clark (T1 HZ3 LZ4 2 5 5)
  7. Zoe Bitters (T1 HZ2 LZ4 3 4 5)
  8. Kerry Scott (T0 HZ1 LZ4 0 5 13)

2023 National Team Trials Lead Results

  1. Annie Sanders (Top)
  2. Kyra Condie (32)
  3. Kylie Cullen (26+)
  4. Adriene Akiko Clark (23+)
  5. Helen Gillett (20+)
  6. Kerry Scott (19+)
  7. Cloe Coscoy (16)
  8. Zoe Bitters (15+)

2023 National Team Trials Boulder & Lead Combined Results

  1. Annie Sanders
  2. Kyra Condie
  3. Kylie Cullen
  4. Adriene Akiko Clark
  5. Cloe Coscoy
  6. Helen Gillett
  7. Zoe Bitters
  8. Kerry Scott