Here’s Who Podiumed at the U.S. Men’s National Team Trials Comp
Hard boulder problems and razor thin separation in lead climbing made for an exciting event
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 men’s semi-finals and finals were held on March 3. Most of the nations top climbers participated, including Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Nathaniel Coleman, the 2022 Lead National Champion Sean Bailey, the 2022 Boulder National champion Dillon Countryman, Zach Galla, and Hugo Hoyer, among others. Tokyo Olympian Colin Duffy did not compete as he was preselected for the U.S. National Team.
Atlanta’s Galla took the top sport in bouldering after being the only competitor to top two out of the four problems. Coleman, Bailey, and Countryman all topped one problem but were separated in ranking based on zones. Coleman came in second, Bailey third, and Countryman fourth. No other competitor topped a single problem.
- Zach Galla (T2 HZ3 LZ4 4 5 5)
- Nathaniel Coleman (T1 HZ3 LZ4 2 4 5)
- Sean Bailey (T1 HZ2 LZ4 2 3 9)
- Dillon Countryman (T1 HZ2 LZ3 1 2 4)
- Hugo Hoyer (T0 HZ3 LZ4 0 9 5)
- Zander Waller (T0 HZ2 LZ4 0 4 6)
- Adam Shahar (T0 HZ2 LZ3 0 7 16)
- Jesse Grupper (T0 HZ1 LZ3 0 4 11)
Competitor separation in lead was extremely close. All top eight athletes fell in the same crux section, high on the route. Washington’s Bailey climbing the highest of all competitors, reaching hold 31. Coleman, Adam Shahar, and Jesse Grupper all fell attempting to catch hold 31. Bailey also came in first at the 2022 U.S. Lead National Championships in November.
- Sean Bailey (31)
- Nathaniel Coleman (30+)
- Adam Shahar (30+)
- Jesse Grupper (30+)
- Zach Galla (30)
- Hugo Hoey (30)
- Dillon Countryman (29+)
- Zander Waller (28)
Boulder & Lead Combined Results
In the Boulder & Lead Combined ranking, Galla ended up winning gold. With Lead results being so close, all athletes earned a similar number of points. Galla was the only athlete to top two boulder problems, awarding him a considerable number of points higher than his competitors. Coleman, after taking second in both Lead and Boulder won silver in Combined. Bailey won bronze.
- Zach Galla
- Nathaniel Coleman
- Sean Bailey
- Dillon Countryman
- Hugo Hoyer
- Zander Waller
- Adam Shahar
- Jesse Grupper