Contributing reporters: Dominique Grimard and Caroline Lambray
There’s never been a better opportunity for two new teams at the Canada East Regional to get to the CrossFit Games.
The teams who went to Carson, California in 2013 are out: CrossFit Select didn’t qualify for regionals, and while L’Usine CrossFit did, its currently in 11th place.
At the same time, the three-year stranglehold at the top of the individual podium has encouraged many high-ranking athletes to compete on their affiliate teams.
Matthieu Dubreucq, who finished fifth in 2013, is anchoring CrossFit Laval. Jay Rhodes and Lacey Van der Marel are leading Outlaw North. Nathalie Connors is competing with Physics CrossFit. And Pro 1 Montreal features regional athletes Roch Proteau, Zach Hebert, Stephanie Roy, and former Games competitor Emilie Pfeiffer-Badoux.
Many athletes have diverted their path to find a way to the Games. But there’s not enough room for everyone.
The regional programming this year requires a team to have skilled athletes in every position, which shows in the top teams
STADD held the lead throughout Heat 1, but none of the teams finished under the time cap.
The story of Heat 2 was the fight between Reebok CrossFit FirePower and L’Usine Montreal. FirePower, who finished one spot shy of qualifying for the Games last year, took the lead going into the second set of rope climbs. Chased by three-time Games competitors L’Usine, FirePower used quick barbell transfers and set rep schemes on their thrusters.
After a disappointing finish in the handstand walk event yesterday, FirePower came back in full force today. The women of the team were the only athletes in the heat to finish under the time cap in 9:44. They earned first place for their effort.
In Heat 3, Pro 1 Montreal women looked solid on the rope climbs and completing its thrusters in noticeably large sets to decrease transfer time. They maintained the lead until the last few reps of the rope climbs, when Physics caught up; both anchors jumped from the rope to tap the top of the rig on their last climb. In a photo finish on the mat, Physics was credited with a one-second lead. But FirePower’s time in Heat 2 stood as fastest of the day.
Event 5—where the men completed the same rep scheme—storylines were similar.
FirePower and L’Usine, in side-by-side lanes, fought for the lead in Heat 2. The FirePower men followed their female teammates’ example, maintaining first position from the second set of rope climbs and touching down on the finishing mat ahead of L’Usine at 8:39.
Pro 1 Montreal dominated Heat 3, making quick work of the rope climbs and rolling under the glass Indiana Jones-style.
But Physics wasn’t down and out. The men of the team challenged Pro 1 on the on the last set of rope climbs. As with the women, one second separated first and second: Pro 1 Montreal took the heat in 8:03, followed by Equipe CrossFit Laval 1 in 8:04 and Physics in 8:15.
“It was a good push to be competing beside L’Usine heats—those girls are really good,” said Daniel Sonsini of FirePower. “The second heat from this year is like the third heat last year—everyone is so much better and time differences are minimal.”
“(Physics CrossFit) are gonna make us do the best that we can,” said Proteau of Pro 1 Montreal. “Finishing head-to-head, they are making us push our limits.”
Team Event 4 Results
1. Reebok CrossFit FirePower (9:44)
2. Physics CrossFit (9:51)
3. Pro 1 Montreal (9:52)
Team Event 5 Results
1. Pro 1 Montreal (8:03)
2. Equipe CrossFit Laval 1 (8:04)
3. Physics CrossFit (8:15)
The team triplet relay of strict handstand push-ups, power cleans and burpees furthered the notion that the top teams will have left no holes in their armor.
CrossFit FirePower continued its quest for redemption in the second heat. After Deka CF Team took an early lead with its first three men across the finish first, FirePower’s Danielle Haskett gained considerable ground with solid handstand push-ups and smooth power cleans, bringing them into the lead.
Teammate Jasmine Sheehan, a three-time national champion hockey player, would bring it home for FirePower right before the time cap at 19:41.
“I knew we were close to the time cap, which wasn’t the case when we practiced, so I knew I had to pick it up to make sure the team came in under it,” Sheehan said. “We had high hopes coming into these regionals, so today is a redemption day. We’re trying to make a statement that we belong in the top three.”
Heat 3’s men rushed through triplet in a tight race.
While CrossFit Chambly was the first to have an athlete step onto the finishing mat, the event came down to the women. NCR took the lead, followed closely by Outlaw North and CrossFit Laval.
Laval would be the first to have all six team members on the finishing mat, but it was because Isabelle Tardiff walked through the team’s last leg without completing any reps.
Pro 1’s Emilie Pfeiffer-Badoux anchored the team into the lead with a solid final leg. As she completed her last burpees, her five teammates jumped with excitement on the finishing mat. She would touch down at 19:15. FirePower’s time would be enough to take second, while Physics would settle into third.
“Everybody knew exactly what they needed to do – we stuck to the program and everything went well,” Proteau said, whose team sits in first overall after Day 2.
Proteau added: “Absolutely nothing is finished. We need to focus, because on the last day, anything can happen.”
“We feel really good going into the Day 3,” said Francois Leclerc of Physics CrossFit. “We are confident about the two other workouts. At this point, we are just going to stick to our game plan, take it easy, and try not to make any big mistakes.”
Team Event 6 Results
1. Pro 1 Montreal (19:15)
2. Reebok CrossFit FirePower (19:40)
3. Physics CrossFit (21:09)
With one day of competition remaining, Pro 1 and Physics have started to break away from the pack. But as Proteau said, anything can happen on Day 3.
Team Overall Standings
1. Pro 1 Montreal (13)
2. Physics CrossFit (13)
3. Outlaw North (27)
4. CrossFit Chambly (50)
5. Reebok CrossFit FirePower (51)
6. CrossFit Kinetics (66)
7. CrossFit NCR (69)
8. RCFLV (69)
9. Equipe CrossFit Laval 1 (80)
10. Tonic CrossFit (81)