Dave Graham took first in the men's open division of the Spot Bouldering Series Gladiator Finals this past Saturday, February 2. Graham is best known for his hard climbing outside and is seldom seen in the competition world. His notable outdoor achievements include a first ascent of The Story of Two Worlds
(V15) in Cresciano, Switzerland, a first ascent of The Fly
(5.14d) in Rumney, New Hampshire, and a first ascent of The Island
(V14/15) in Fontainebleau.
As for the Spot Bouldering Series, he took seventh in the qualifying rounds only to fly up the wall for a surprising win on the finals problem.
"He’s self-professed to be bad at competitions, but in this case he put on an amazing performance, sprinting through the start of the problem, sticking the jump to the undercling, doing a mega-huge cross to hold 9 (the first fat lip, and the move he did was huge!" writes route setter Jackie Hueftle on the Spot Route Setting Blog. "Nobody saw it coming, and the crowd went crazy!), sticking hold 10 (the right fat lip), doing the big move to hold 11 (the high fat lip just before the final hold) and then falling trying to stick it. He struggled with the jump to the undercling on his next goes, but his spectacular performance was a real highlight for the crowd and for the setters."
While Daniel Woods reached the same high point as Graham, he did it on his second try, putting Graham in first and Woods second overall. Michael O'Rourke and Greig Seitz tied for third.
Megan Mascarenas took first in women's, Nina Williams took second and Isabelle Goodacre took third.