The pair's absence cast a “What if…” pall over the victories of Buhrfeind and Bailey—which isn’t fair to anyone.
While he did fall victim to the barn-door crux in Semifinals, his performance in Finals was fluid.
He made easy work of the midway volume section deemed “the cube wrestle” by the commentators, and although he didn’t top, his high point was enough to claim victory.
Going into the event, it felt like a foregone conclusion that he’d win again—and, yep, he did.
If anything, Brosler’s dominance has caused spectators to take him for granted.
It was unfortunate that his win felt anticlimactic in the moment; it only became official after the final climber, Solomon Barth, fell—and that happened as Claire Buhrfeind’s victory played out live.
But Bailey deserves recognition for making a big stamp with his return.
After this weekend, she's a solid contender to make the games. After taking third in 20, she dropped off the podium, placing sixth last year.
Now, at just 19 years old, this could be her big step into the world of adult comp glory after crushing youth championships for years.
Here’s how things went down at climbing’s version of March Madness.
Nobody came out of this event a bigger winner than Claire Buhrfeind.