Annie Sanders and Declan Osgood Finish 1st in Lead at National Team Trials

The 2024 National Team Trials continued on Wednesday with Semi-Final and Final Rounds in Lead. The stakes were twofold: spots on the National Team Trials podium and on the 2024 Lead National Team, which designates athletes to represent the U.S. at international World Cup events sanctioned by the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC).

The eight highest-ranked women and men entered Finals, which began with a route preview. All competitors had a chance to view and discuss the Finals route, some even donning binoculars to get a better look. Meanwhile, a packed crowd (including athletes from the Qualification Round, family members, reporters, and even Mayor of Gaithersburg, Jud Ashman) closed in around the lead alcove of Sportrock Rio.

The Women’s Finals boiled down to Annie Sanders, Olivia Ma, and Adriene Akiko Clark setting the high point, and all falling from or just past the 36th hold, a thin undercling. This spurred a judgement related to rule 7.11.2 (b)(iv) of the USA Climbing Rulebook which states a competitor’s score is paused at the last scored hold from which a quickdraw can be clipped, as deemed by the Chief Routesetter. During one competitor’s attempt, as she was moving past hold 36, a Head Judging Official immediately consulted with the Chief Routesetter to determine which hold was the last one from which the draw could be clipped, and that resulted in the competitor’s score being paused at 36. The competitor’s attempt was not terminated by an official. With the Semi-Finals performance in mind, Sanders ultimately finished 1st, followed by Ma and Clark.

Annie Sanders and Melina Costanza both earned enough National Team Ranking points to join the 2024 Lead National Team.

Ben Hanna was the first to find a drop knee/kneebar resting position on the Men’s Route, allowing him to pause longer than the other competitors before venturing into the final headwall. He fell from the 38th hold, setting a highpoint and earning him 3rd place. Soon after, Hugo Hoyer was moving faster through the lower moves and managed to control the 40th hold, a large, slopey pinch that slipped through Hanna’s fingers. Declan Osgood was the last Men’s competitor of the night, looking calm and collected through most of the Finals Route. He controlled the 40th hold, same as Hoyer, and was even able to bump higher on the pinch, setting up his feet to lunge for the 41st hold, but ultimately logging the 40th as his last controlled hold.

Declan Osgood and Hugo Hoyer both earned enough National Team Ranking points to join the 2024 Lead National Team.

Women’s Lead Podium: 

Annie Sanders
Olivia Ma
Adriene Akiko Clark

Men’s Lead Podium: 

Declan Osgood
Hugo Hoyer
Ben Hanna

2024 Lead National Team: 

Kyra Condie
Melina Costanza
Kylie Cullen
Natalia Grossman
Brooke Raboutou
Annie Sanders
Colin Duffy
Jesse Grupper
Hugo Hoyer
Declan Osgood

The Lead Finals Round is currently streaming on Outside Watch. Photo highlights from the Lead Finals Round can be found HERE (photos by Dan Gajda, not available for commercial use).

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