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Australia Regional Report: Past Champs Hold Lead

Published on Sat, 2013-05-25 00:13
By: 
Siobhan Kent, Megan Drapalski, Emma Walsh, and Rebecca Marshallsay

Event 4 was full body torture with most athletes struggling to make it past 20 of the 100 dumbbell snatches within the 25-minute time cap.

 

The workout that marked the beginning of Day 2 for the 2013 Australia Regional came in a punishing form of 100 wall balls, 100 chest-to-bar pull-ups, 100 pistols, and 100 dumbbell snatches. Each of these four movements would not only be performed at high intensity but for high reps.

In other words it would be, “the toughest workout thus far with mental and physical fatigue quickly kicking in,” as Functional Strength Team competitor, Kate Mitchell, put it.      

While Wollongong turned on the weather for the day with blue sky and sunshine, yesterday’s storm was set to continue indoors for the morning’s event. In the women’s division, 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games competitor Kara Webb stole the show leading the pack in the final heat. Spurred on by her entourage, Webb was one of only two women from Australia to finish the workout.

Athletes around the world felt the wrath of Event 4, but as it stands, only eight women can claim bragging rights for finishing within the 25-minute time cap.

New Zealand’s very own Ruth Anderson Horrell was the second female to hit the finishing pads in the female’s division with just seconds to spare on the clock.

Heading into Day 2, Chad Mackay was the athlete to catch in the men’s division holding a five point lead over Keegan Wolfenden. But it was Kyle Frankenfeld who was the standout performer, stealing the show in the second heat. Frankenfeld put in an impressive performance in Event 4 with a time just 47 seconds outside of Josh Bridges world record of 21:01.  

Women

Event 4 was full body torture with most athletes struggling to make it past 20 of the 100 dumbbell snatches within the 25-minute time cap.

Heat 1 showed fans just how hard the event was with Madeleine Jacques stuck on the chest-to-bar pull-ups for the better part of twenty minutes.

Heat 2, however, saw a turnaround for the women’s division with all competitors off the wall balls faster than any in the previous heat. Lauren Reynolds was the first to hit the bar, starting her first pull-up within 6 minutes. It was Amy Alessi, however, who took the lead in the heat with her smooth pull-up technique. She was able to maintain the lead through the pistols and dumbbell snatches to claim the top spot for the second heat.

Butterfly pull-ups continued to prove the difference for the athletes in heat 3 with those who maintained a fluid kip pulling ahead of those who used the more conventional technique. Ashley Higgins and Claire Fraser were the first to the pistols and continued to go rep for rep when they reached the dumbbell snatches. However, no woman completed the workout in the 25-minute time frame until Heat 4.

In the fourth and final heat, Australia put on a world-class show with both Kara Webb and Ruth Anderson Horrell completing Event 4, and going on to join an elite group of female CrossFitters.

Muscle snatching the 50-pound dumbbell, Kara Webb went on to be the first female in Australia to finish Event 4 with Anderson Horrell finishing one minute later. In the end Webb would finish with an impressive time of 23:45, followed behind by Anderson Horrell with a finishing time of 23:41.

Pip Malone came achingly close to joining them on the finish pads with only three dumbbell snatches remaining.

Malone started the strongest, developing a lead she would hold onto until the last twenty pistols where Webb’s solid pace moved her into the top spot. Webb’s victory in the Event saw her move five points clear of Pip Malone on top of the Leaderboard. Ruth Anderson Horrell moved the third overall.

Event 4 also saw former Games competitor Amanda Allen made a stunning comeback in the dumbbell snatches to secure a fourth place finish, to move to sixth place on the Leaderboard.

Event 4
1. Kara Webb (23:45)
2. Ruth Anderson Horrell (24:31)
3. Pip Malone (25:03)

Men

Compared to the women, the men proved more capable of completing the workout within the time cap, with athletes in each heat standing on top of the finishing mats.

Heat 1 saw Matt Reilly finish just under the time cap – the sole competitor to do so in that heat with the rest unable to progress into their final 40 reps.

It was an outside lane that proved to be the one to watch in heat 2 with local Wollongong athlete Mark Corrigan hitting the chest-to-bar pull-ups first and never relinquishing his lead. He went on to complete the 100’s workout in 22:46, which saw him tie for third with Rob Forte at the event's conclusion. Anthony Baker was the only other man in the heat to complete the event, finishing in a time of 24:46.

While the crowd anxiously waited for the star-packed heat 4, it was heat 3 that saw the top two performers of the day with Kyle Frankenfeld finishing first overall in 21:48, just 47 seconds off Josh Bridges world record of 21:01.

“The plan was to get through the wall balls quite quick and then get through the pull-ups, and then I knew I’d be fine going into the rest of it,” Frankenfeld said.

This was his second overall event win for the weekend, and the second workout this weekend in which he has come close to claiming the world record.

“Coming that close to world record times, it’s flattering to know I’m at that level,” he continued.

Rory Boyden calmly finished a minute later to take second place in the event.

In heat 4, Rob Forte and Brandon Swan were desperate to reassert themselves as top three contenders. Forte finished the heat first to tie third for the event and move into second place overall, while Brendan Swan finished fifth overall in a time of 23:13.

Chad Mackay, who was in the overall lead heading into the event, finished in the back of the pack, after being the last athlete off the pull-up bars.

“I was behind for most of the way but I tried to keep to my own game plan and not worry about the other guys. When my mind started to wander, I just brought it back. I told myself all you’ve got to do is some pistols and some wall-balls,” Mackay said.

The reigning Regional champion finished the Event in 21st place, but held his lead at the top of the Leaderboard.

Event 4
1. Kyle Frankenfeld (21:48)
2. Rory Boyden (22:30)
3. Mark Corrigan (22:46)

Team

With only six teams stepping out onto the arena for the first heat of Team Event 4, it was clear that Day 1, and the demanding burpee muscle-ups, had taken their toll.

Although there was no risk of elimination, Team Event 4 proved to be just as demanding for the teams in a workout that demonstrated a team is only as good as its weakest link.

Team Event 4 tested strength, agility and endurance with each of the six team members required to complete 30 repetitions of the following: wall balls, chest-to-bar pull-ups, one-legged squats, and one-arm dumbbell snatch.

Eleven of the 20 teams finished outside of the 25-minute cut off, with the chest-to-bar pull-ups causing significant delays for many of the women, and one-legged-squats challenging athletes across the board.

While CrossFit Cronulla and CrossFit Geelong dominated the early stages of Heat 1, it was the team from CrossFit Attitude who came from behind to be the first team to finish the event within the cut-off time of 24:35.

In heat 2, the team from CrossFit 4551 had one of the smoothest progressions through the event with solid performances from all of their athletes on each of the movements, giving them a finishing time of 21:57.

CrossFit Horizons took a strategic gamble in heat 3 by placing their fastest competitors last.

“We encourage each other as we go and stick to our game plan, putting the fastest person last to pick up time,” CrossFit Horizons team member, Ryan Pedder, said.

It was a gamble that paid off, with CrossFit Horizons finishing Event 4 with the second fastest time of 19:55 and placing them second overall.

“We’re in shock. We didn’t expect to be where we are at the moment,” team member, Brad Campbell, said.

CrossFit Active finished in 18:07, just three minutes behind Brick Nation’s world-class time of 15:38 at the Southern California Regional. This advanced them from seventh to fourth place overall, with their affiliated team CrossFit Active Artarmon doing the opposite, as they moved from fourth to seventh overall with a finishing time of 25:51.

“We have a friendly rivalry between the two teams,” CrossFit Active team captain, Luke Starr, said. “We couldn’t be as good as we are without training with them every day. They’re a force to be reckoned with.”

Team Event 4
1. CrossFit Active (18:07)
2. CrossFit Horizons (19:55)
3. CrossFit Athletic (19:56)

Overall Standings

After four events the overall Women’s standings are as follows: Kara Webb sits in first place (9 points), Malone is in second (14 points) and Ruth Anderson-Horrell is in equal third place with Amy Dracup (23 points).  

For the men, Mackay holds the top position (34 points), Rob Forte is currently in second place on the Leaderboard (37 points), and Matt Healey rounds out the top three with equal number of points to that of Forte (37 points).

In the teams division, Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne is dominating in first place (10 points), CrossFit Horizons goes into Event 5 in second place (21 points), and CrossFit Athletic sits in third (22 points).    

 

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