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Podium Predictions For The Women's USAC National Cup Series

Podium Predictions For The Women's USAC National Cup Series
There are two competitions down and two still to go in the 2016-17 USAC National Cup Series (NCS). We've decided to break it down and give our projections of who we think will take the top spots by the end of the series. With a $10,000 prize purse at each of the four preliminaries, plus an additional $10,000 purse for the overall highest ranked competitors, this could be the NCS' largest payout for those who see it through to the end.

Here's a list of the four competitions in the NCS:
Oct. 14-15: Yank-N-Yard (Albuquerque, NM)
Nov. 11-12: MesaRim ProAm (San Diego, CA)
Dec. 16-17: Vulcan Cup (Birmingham, AL)
Jan. 20-21: Dark Horse Championship (Boston, MA)

How the rankings work:
For each event on the 2016-17 USAC National Cup Series, the top 30-ranked competitors are given point values based on where they placed in that competition. The accumulation of points from all four events will determine a climber's final NCS ranking.

Predictions for the Women:

1. Alex Puccio (Salt Lake City, UT) - Currently Ranked 1st
She's the 10-time bouldering national champion, but it hasn't always been easy this year. Following the 2015 IFSC World Cup in Vail, CO, Alex found out she suffered a ruptured disc in her neck that required surgery to repair. After months of rehab she is back on the comp scene with six first place victories in six competitions. We do not foresee her slowing down anytime soon.


2. Kyra Condie (Shoreview, Minnesota) - Currently Ranked 4th
Kyra Condie exemplifies what it means to "try hard." In every competition she attends, Condie leaves everything on the wall and goes for broke on each attempt. Coming out of the best competitive season of her career, all signs are pointing in the direction of a podium finish for Condie. It will be difficult to knock Puccio out of the top spot this far into the series, but we predict a spot right next to her in Condie's future.


3. Brooke Raboutou (Boulder, CO) - Currently Ranked 4th
We mentioned her brother, Shawn, in the guy's podium predictions. Brooke Raboutou is coming from the same dominating gene pool. She took a bit of a break from the NCS to go to the IFSC Youth World Championships and took home the title of overall Youth B champion! Missing the second stop in the series might cost her a higher place on the podium, but we feel confident with her rounding out the podium.


Potential Sleepers:

Angie Payne (Boulder, CO) - Currently ranked 7th
Retired "shmired." Angie Payne came out of nowhere in the NCS and returned to competition for the first time in over a year. She looks as fit as ever and is poised to make a comeback if she chooses to continue through the rest of the series.


Kasia Pietras (Chattanooga, TN) - Currently ranked 3rd
Whether she's setting the routes or crushing them, Kasia Pietras is a fixture on the competitive climbing scene. If she can capture top five finishes on the last two stops of the series, Pietras could find herself on the podium when the dust settles.


Cast your vote on who will take the top spot in the USAC National Cup Series this year:

Check out the official rankings and how they are calculated HERE.

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