With many solid weightlifters in Canada West, the crowd and coaches were on their toes for Event 2. Bleachers emptied and crowds pressed against the floor. Volunteers ran from barbell to barbell, energized by the potentially huge lifts to come.
The athletes of Synergy Strength A set the bar high, with women reaching 175 lbs., and their men maxing at 265 lbs., for three reps. They finished with a 1,115 total to set up the more highly-ranked teams.
Ruthie Unaegbu of The Centaurs was a standout among the top squads. After sharing 135 lbs. and 155 lbs. loads with her teammates, she stood up 180 with apparent ease. Then she squatted 190 for a single.
“The three reps of 180 lbs. and the one-rep at 190 lbs. wasn’t a PR for me, but I was happy with the lifts,” Unaegbu says.
For some teams, the minimum requirement of 6 muscle ups meant an early end to the weekend.
“I got my very first muscle up three weeks ago,” Taryn Haggerstone of CrossFit BC said. “My team cheered wildly when I got all three today. It was crucial to our team that I landed all three so that we can continue tomorrow.”
CrossFit BC managed to avoid elimination, but nine other teams were axed. They’ll spend the rest of the weekend in the bleachers, cheering for the others and wondering about what might have been.
1. The Centaurs - 1145
2. Synergy Strength A – 1115
3. CFC Crew - 1110
1. CrossFit 604 – 100
2. Team Taranis – 98
3. The Centaurs – 96
1. The Centaurs – 7 points
2. Team Taranis – 9 points
3. CFC Crew – 10 points
4. CrossFit 604 – 12 points
5. Synergy Strength A – 14 points
Events 2 and 3 presented an opportunity for the leaders to separate themselves from the pack. A heavy lift and a highly technical movement, done under fatigue, would pry the top five away from the rest.
Janine Walinski went heavy early in the overhead squats, and made it look easy. She moved quickly into the heavier loads, and popped up 190 for three.
“My plan was to land 190 lbs. for the overhead squat, so I’m pleased,” Walinski said.
She was the woman to beat among the early contenders.
Emily Beers squatted 180 lbs. for three reps, but chose to take the remaining 2 minutes to rest for the burpee muscle-ups. She wouldn’t be the only athlete to choose strategy over a personal best. However, Alicia Connors struggled with 175 lbs. Jayde Quilty equaled her as time expired.
“You know, I don’t think Jackie affected my overhead squat as much as my nerves did” Connors laughed afterward.
None of the women in Canada West finished the 30 reps of burpee muscle-ups in less than the 7-minute cap.
“I actually wore out my forearms with my grip on the overhead squats, so that made locking out the muscle-ups that much harder,” Connors said.
Beers, who literally glued her palms back together after the first event, struggled as she got to her 13th muscle-up. She had to take a few strides to calm down.
“I thought I could do two or three more, but when that last one took me so long to lock out, I had to rest a few minutes,” Beers said.
She finished 14 reps in the event.
Nancy McKeage would post the highest number of reps, with 26 burpee muscle-ups completed. Before the event, she warmed up with some lunges on the basketball court – former home of the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzles.
“It had a bit of magic,” McKeage said. It may just have given her the magic she needed.
1. Janine Walinski – 190.30
2. Emily Beers – 180.30
3T. Jayde Quilty – 175.30
3T. Alicia Connors 175.30
Event 3 Standings:
1. Nancy McKeage – 7:04
2. Lindsay McCardle – 7:06
3T. Heather Gillespie – 7:07
3T. Erin Light – 7:07
1. Heather Gillespie – 9 points
2. Erin Light – 15 points
3. Alicia Connors – 15 points
4. Emily Beers – 19 points
5. Nancy McKeage – 22 points
Despite reaching the Games in 2012, Jeremy Meredith was in the second heat at the 2013 Regional due to his Open finish. Meredith reminded the crowd why he was returning champ, as he crushed 295 lbs. for 3 overhead squats with seconds remaining.
“I knew the burpee muscle-up wasn’t in my wheelhouse,” Meredith said. “My plan was 295 for one, but it felt easy, so I went for three.”
The final heat of Event 2 will be long remembered in Canada West. It was Lucas Parker vs. Tyson Takasaki. Takasaki had the weight on the bar first, and hit the reps, but Parker watched and matched Takasaki rep for rep. Parker made each attempt immediately after Takasaki finished, giving him the advantage of knowing the mark to beat.
At 305, Takasaki made a flawless squat, then immediately dropped the weight and removed his belt to rest. Parker seized the opportunity by squatting 305 lbs. for a double.
For Event 3, Ray Krumme took an early lead with a 5:22.
“My strategy was to start near my overhead squat so I could rest,” Krumme said. “Burpees (and) muscle-ups are my two best movements, so my plan was to win it.”
Parker and Takasaki finished the 30 reps at the 6:11 and 6:34, respectively.
“I’ve hit 305 for three before, but I knew I needed to play the field and save some in the tank for the muscle-ups,” Takasaki said.
1. Lucas Parker – 305.2
2. Tyson Takasaki – 305.1
3. Jeremy Meredith – 295.3
1. Ray Krumme – 5:22
2. Reilly McMorris – 5:38
3. Bryce Hafso – 5:40
1. Lucas Parker – 7 points
2. Tyson Takasaki – 13 points
3. Joey Lutz – 19 points
4. Bryce Hafso – 21 points
5. Mike Eberts – 29 points