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2012 Regional Preview: Mid Atlantic

Published on Sat, 2012-01-14 17:27
By: 
Brian Wilson

      

2011 Regional Standings

1. Ben Smith

1. Becky Conzelman

2. Nate Schrader

2. Gretchen Kittelberger

3. Spencer Hendel

3. Christy Phillips

2011 Games Standings

3. Ben Smith

12. Gretchen Kittelberger

9. Spencer Hendel

21. Christy Phillips

14. Nate Schrader

24. Becky Conzelman

2011 Wrap-Up: Experience Pays

In 2011, experience paid off in the Mid Atlantic. Though many newcomers came on strong in the Open competition, it was the seasoned athletes that pushed through the Regional competition for their shot in Los Angeles.

Todd Edmunds and Christy Phillips were 1st place in the Mid Atlantic Open competition. Todd was a strong competitor in 2010 with an 8th place finish in the Central East Regional qualifier. Phillips placed 6th in both the 2009 and 2010 CrossFit Games. Many newcomers made the top five in the Open for the Mid Atlantic on both the women’s and men’s sides, including Lindsey Wehseler, Jenny Butler, Michelle Crawford, and Jon Bostic.

The Mid Atlantic Regional showed some of these newcomers still had some work to do as the big names came through. The only big surprises were where the favorites stacked up. Becky Conzelman just missed a spot to the Games in 2010, getting edged out by one point. She showed she worked hard in the offseason by coming out of the gate with four 1st place finishes to start the Regional competition and ending in first overall.

The men’s competition was fierce, with A.J. Moore dominating the early events. A.J. had a tough time with Event 4, however, and slipped to a tie for 3rd place with Spencer Hendel heading into the final event. Spencer seized the opportunity to pull ahead and won his third trip to the Games.

The men of the Mid Atlantic represented extremely well at the Home Depot Center, with Ben Smith on the podium for a 3rd place finish. Spencer and Nate, at 9th and 14th, respectively. After a middle of the pack first event, Gretchen Kittelberger was steady throughout and showed she belonged at the Games after missing 2010 by four points at the Central East Regional.

Christy and Becky didn’t perform as well at the Games as their Open and Regional performances had indicated. Both athletes had always seemed to step up their game in previous competitions, consistently outpacing the field in local competitions and making it count in past CrossFit events. Nonetheless, after finishing in 21st and 24th respectively at the Games, both returned home with a strong desire to perform better in 2012.

2012 in the Mid Atlantic

The big news for 2012 is that Spencer Hendel, A.J. Moore, and Becky Conzelman will not be competing in the Mid Atlantic. Spencer has moved to Massachusetts, A.J. to Florida,  and Becky to Colorado.

Christy Phillips and Gretchen Kittelberger remain the favorites in the Mid Atlantic for the women.  Christy has earned 1st place finishes in the CrossFit Diesel 5ton5k, Beast of the East (tying Teresa Luz) and the Mid Atlantic Hopper Challenge. She says she was disappointed with her finish last year at the Games and so in the off-season has increased her exposure to movements and programming she’s uncomfortable with.

Ben Smith’s 1st place finish at the 2011 Mid Atlantic Regional, and 3rd place finish at the 2011 Games shows that the three-time CrossFit Games competitor continues to improve each year. His video WOD site is a continual series of elite performances.

Nate Schrader is looking even stronger this year as well. His workout (http://vimeo.com/user3000374) videos are filled with feats of strength that will be hard to beat at the CrossFit Games.

There are many other competitive athletes out there who continue to get better and better each year. For example, Michelle Crawford is dominating local competitions in North Carolina. Other favorites include Steve Pinkerton and Jenn Jones. Steve took 9th at the 2011 Regional due to a 25th place showing on Event 1. Jenn, a former college gymnast who trains with Christy Phillips, took 5th at last year’s Regional.

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