After the dreaded 100s, the athletes of Canada East set up for something a little different and much quicker — a brutal couplet of heavy deadlifts and box jumps.
Heading into Event 6, Matt Lefave had his sights set on the top spot.
“This is my event — it was mine in 2011, and it’s mine now. It has to be,” Lefave says.
California would be almost out of reach for Lefave without a strong finish.
Olivier Tremblay showed off his ability to lift heavy and was first off the bar in Heat 1. He made light work of the deadlifts, finishing in 4:23 and setting the standard.
“I knew this was a strong event for me,” Tremblay said.
When the athletes of Heat 3 walked out, the CrossFit Tidal fans went wild. Giant Maguid Nicholas and Jeff Larsh cardboard cutouts bounced around the stands. The race came down to Larsh and Dan Bosco of Windsor CrossFit. Larsh was off the 15 box jumps first and ripped a few off the floor before Bosco picked up the weight. Larsh finished in 4:44, and won his heat, but he wasn’t quick enough to best Weller or Tremblay.
Larsh was satisfied with his effort. He competed at Regionals in 2011 and has made some gains in the past two years.
“I’m much stronger than in 2011. Back then, I stepped down on the box jumps, so this was a PR,” Larsh said.
When the clock started for the final heat, Lefave grabbed the bar and ripped it off the ground. Larouche was right beside him for the first set of deadlifts, but it was Simon Paquette leading the way back to the bar after the 21 box jumps; Larouche and Lefave followed. Lefave regained the lead after the lifts, and maintained it until the end of the event.
Lefave took the heat in 4:44, followed by Jean-Michel Riendeau at 4:53. Paquette came in at 5:16. Once the athletes finished, they turned to Brandon Crump who was struggling with the heavy deadlifts. He knew before setting out it would be tough.
“The deadlift and box jump isn’t going to be a strong event for me, as a smaller athlete,” Crump said.
He put his grit on display and finished in 7:36.
When the buzzer sounded on the final heat, Weller maintained his top spot, with Tremblay two seconds back. Both Lefave and Larsh earned the third spot with their 4:44 finishes.
Joannie Lebrun, who had a hard time walking after the 100s, strode on to the floor, sporting tape on her quads. She took the lead on the 21 deadlifts and built on it. She finished in 4:20, well ahead of everyone else in the heat.
“I am so sore! Especially after doing this morning’s event. I’ll be taking an ice bath to recover. It’s horrible!” Leburn laughed.
In Heat 2, Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault had little trouble with the 205-lb. deadlifts. Reason-Thibault, a former boxer, made quick work of the event.
“My deadlift PR is 320, so I knew I could string them together,” Reason-Thibault said.
She finished the Event in 4:00, setting a tough standard for the following heats.
In Heat 3, Perry Hanlon started tearing through the deadlifts, but it was Kendra Johnsen who took to the box jumps first. Johnsen would string the final nine deadlifts together, and finish in 4:15.
“I’ve been to Regionals for three years now. I remember this event was easier back then. It gets harder every year,” Johnsen says.
With the leader posting 4:00, the crowd was wondering what the final heat could cook up. Leblanc-Bazinet and Letendre, in the middle lanes, were set to break the tie for first.
Letendre hit 21 straight deadlifts and advanced to the box jumps first. Leblanc-Bazinet followed closely, but she wasn’t alone; Renee Martin and Alexandra Bergeron tagged closely behind.
Leblanc-Bazinet managed to get the first lift on the set of 15s and headed back to the box in the lead. She would maintain it for the win. She made it to the mat at 3:54, throwing her arms up in the air.
“I’m happy. Deadlifts are my weakness. I’m much stronger on squats. I don’t even know what my deadlift PR is,” Leblanc-Bazinet says.
Letendre finished in 4:22, and Tina Popp came in three seconds later.
Leblanc-Bazinet won the event, with Reason-Thibault in second and Johnsen in third.
The top three teams, L’Usine CrossFit, CrossFit Select and Cambridge Firepower, walked on the floor separated by just 5 points. They faced 275-lb. deadlifts for the men, and 185-lb. deadlifts for the women.
L’Usine’s Patrizio Delii Fraine moved the weight the fastest. He was first to the box jumps.
L’Usine CrossFit athletes Delli Fraine and Emile Pfeiffer-Badoux grabbed the lead early and didn’t let go.
“This is the third year competing for team L’Usine for both of us. I did this event two years ago. It felt a lot lighter this time around,” Pfeiffer-Badoux says.
Delli Fraine was a bit surprised with the result.
“I’m always surprised when we come in first. I wasn’t expecting it this time.”
While Laval and Cambridge made an early push, it would be Team We Are Fitness and CrossFit Select in a race for the second and third spots. We Are Fitness reached the mat first, moving them up in the overall standings.
It was L’Usine CrossFit in 7:27 for the top spot, followed by Team We Are Fitness with a time of 8:21 and CrossFit Select for third with a time of 8:37.