"Like in all competitions, I am heading in with a cold mentality, without caring about my adversaries," Joel Bran said. "I'm going in to do my job. I will let the results come from my training, my courage and my mentality in each workout."
For the last couple of years, the men’s competition at the Latin America Regional has been a one-man show.
Orlando Trejo has taken the region’s single spot at the CrossFit Games in 2012 and 2013, with little contest from the other competitors.
That could all change this weekend at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Latin America Regional.
For the first time since 2012, Trejo came in second in the Open, entering the 2014 Regional as the second-ranked man in Latin America behind American ex-pat Leonidas Jenkins.
After placing 14th at the South West Regional last year, Jenkins has made his home in Costa Rica and plans to stay. A former mixed-martial artist, wrestler and triathlete, last year Jenkins placed in the top 20 in five out of the seven regional events. In the Open this year, he placed in the top 15 in all five workouts, including first-, second- and third-place finishes in Open Workouts 14.4, 14.1 and 14.2, respectively.
Conor Murphy is also making a quiet run to upset Trejo’s reign.
Though Murphy finished the Open in 12th place this year, he has demonstrated consistent improvement since his first season in 2012. After a fourth-place regional finish that year, he bumped up to second in 2013, with just 16 points more than Trejo.
Joel Bran, the third-place finisher at the 2013 Regional, and in eighth place after the Open this year, brings up the rear of the group of men determined to unseat Trejo.
A former Olympic weightlifter, Bran took third in the Pan American Games in 2003. In the brutal couplet of box jumps and heavy deadlifts of Open Workout 14.3, Bran took first, proving he has the strength to hold his own against the Peruvian.
“Like in all competitions, I am heading in with a cold mentality, without caring about my adversaries,” Bran said. “I am going in to do my job. I will let the results come from my training, my courage and my mentality in each workout.”
But the 2014 Regional is a test of more than just strength. This is CrossFit, after all—our specialty lies in not specializing. If these men want to prove Trejo is only human, they will first have to prove their own fitness.
It all goes down in less than 24 hours at the Chimkowe Event Center in Santiago, Chile.