The 2012 CrossFit Games Open ends in Canada East with a Leaderboard that looks similar to 2011 - but the undercurrents suggest big changes are possible.
The Open started with a huge bang from a smaller guy – Alex Jeffrey of Driven CrossFit smoked through 145 burpees to take an early lead in 12.1.
The snatches leveled the playing field, though, and Charles Leduc took top spot with 92 reps while Jeffrey came 236th.
By 12.3, the best all-rounders were starting to emerge. After finishing 2nd in 12.2, Zach Hebert won 12.3 and 12.4, but his lower 12.1 score still kept him from top spot.
Albert-Dominic Larouche, who finished 2nd in 2011 to Jason Cain, sits atop the Leaderboard at the end of the Open. He's consistently good at almost everything, it seems. However, he didn't win a single event in the Open. Could he be saving his athletic peak for the Regionals?
On the other hand, Peter D'Amore, who sits in 2nd place, finished 4th or better in every event, save one: the heavy snatch. A 17th-place ranking in 12.2 hurt his overall score, but he's still only 6 points behind Larouche, and won 12.5 handily with 143 reps.
Jay Rhodes looks to be having his best season ever, setting personal bests in various lifts and crushing met-con work at other local events. He's making a solid bid for 1st in the Region, followed closely by Adrian Lui and Matthew Lefave.
Further down the Leaderboard, there are a few others laying in wait that could potentially move up several spots. Mathieu Dubreucq was 3rd at Regionals last year, and has competed at world-class levels before; you can bet he's not at his physical peak yet.
Chris Cristini, in 17th, could make large jumps in head-to-head competition, as he's demonstrated year after year in the past. Jon Robichaud, currently in 21st, is a renowned competitor of the highest caliber; he's the veteran of many local events and always does very well when competing against the best in the region.
It will definitely be close at the Regional event, and the battle will rage through the final event.
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Michele Letendre, who finished in 1st and 2nd at Regionals last year, are dominating the Leaderboard after the Open. Leblanc-Bazinet won three events, and Letendre two.
Leblanc-Bazinet’s 12.5 performance was more than good enough to take 1st in the world, and the video has been circulating among CrossFit affiliates since. She had the best score by 13 reps on the Fran ladder. She's a serious contender, finishing the Open in 5th in the WORLD.
Letendre, though, is no second-fiddle. She finished 7th worldwide, making Canada East well represented in the women’s competition. Their duel at Regionals may be the best chance to see them head-to-head, and should demonstrate who can operate best when bigger weights and a more diverse skill set enters the picture.
Britney Holmberg and Lacey Van Der Marel, both of CrossFit Altitude, sit at 3rd and 10th in the region, respectively. A solid training partner's influence has been demonstrated time and again during the Open. The benefits of training together can't be overlooked, and their coach (Jennifer Morris) is also highly ranked in the region at 19th.
Alexandra Bergeron, of the No. 1 ranked CrossFit Brossard team, has improved every week, earning 3rd in the last two events.
L'Usine CrossFit is in the hunt, but the real battle through the Open was between CrossFit Brossard and CrossFit Altitude. In the end, Brossard won the last three events to finish on top, but Altitude managed a trip to the Games last year, and won't go quietly. The team lost to L’Usine by a singe point at the 2011 Regional and will be back to finish on top in 2012.
Five of the top six teams are from Quebec this year.
At the bottom of the team Leaderboard, four teams battled right through the last event to qualify. In the end, CrossFit Catalyst, CrossFit Waterloo, CrossFit Select II, and CrossFit London finished with only a six-point spread separating the last four teams, and London is tied for 30th place with Select II.
Some of the old-time favorites such as Element, Colosseum, Montreal and Kingston didn't make the cut to qualify for the 2012 Regional.
With Ted Fryia (4th at the Games in Master Men 55-59 Division in 2011) out with a back injury in 2012, the Masters of Canada East struggled to crack the top 10.
Lynn Stratten (Masters Women 60+) from CrossFit Connection qualified in 12th place, carried largely by her 82 burpees on 12.1 (4th in the world.)
Carol Craswell, of CrossFit PEI, sits in 15th for Master Women 60+, after a great performance on 12.2 (71 snatches.)
Overall, Canada East athletes stand to fare better at the Games than they ever have. Past winners are experienced and up-and-comers are hungry to make it further than ever. In the quest to find the fittest person in Canada, the Canada East Regional will not disappoint.