Hack’s Pack Ute has successfully defended its CrossFit Games crown and is the first team to ever repeat as CrossFit Games champions.
The team—Tommy Hackenbruck, Adrian Conway, Michael Cazayoux, Mary Lampas, Taylor-Richards Lindsay and Erin Bennion—took first in four events and finished 105 points ahead of CrossFit New England to claim the Affiliate Cup. CrossFit Adrenaline was third.
When Dave Castro mentioned handstand push-ups and then rolled only a mat in front of Team athletes, hearts were in throats as all athletes collectively thought “freestanding?”
After a suitably horrible pause, the Games Director Castro had the demo team bring out the Riot Shield, a large plastic wall teammates had to hold while one performed handstand push-ups. A total of 120 reps—10 per athlete, with two cycles through the team—were required to move on to the next challenge.
Just like Navy SEALs come to know a log very well in BUD/S training, teams were handed their Worm one more time. Six short logs linked together with rope, The Worm had been used in two previous events. This time, Teams had to perform 40 Worm complexes: a lift to the shoulders, a squat and a switch from shoulder to shoulder before the log was lowered to the ground to complete the rep.
Only 20 teams advanced to the final event.
As the horn sounded and the first 10 teams took to their Riot Shield, it was instantly apparent just how good these final 20 teams really were.
A handstand push-up used to be considered a “separator,” often causing even good CrossFit athletes problems. But hardly anyone had issues doing two sets of 10 handstand push-ups. In fact, most team members completed their handstand push-ups unbroken.
The slower part of the event proved to be the Worm complex. Athletes—drenched in sweat and breathing heavily—looked uncomfortable to the point of pain as they handled the awkward logs.
Team captains did their best to mitigate the chaos and get their teams in sync, commanding their squads with calls such as “Squat,” “Up” and “Move.”
Still, teams struggled. For one team, the Worm became a weapon. Leah Polaski from CrossFit Atlanta was bleeding on both sides of her face after smoking it on the Worm repeatedly.
It was CrossFit Active who handled the challenge best in Heat 1. They finished first in a time of 14:02.9, well under the 20-minute time cap.
When the first 10 teams cleared out of the way, it was time for Hack’s Pack Ute to defend its Affiliate Cup title.
The members entered the stadium looking poised and confident. And rightfully so. So far they hadn’t shown any visible signs of weakness and went into the final more than 100 points ahead of the next challenger. Sitting pretty in second was CrossFit New England, who pretty much had a lock on silver.
The big fight was going to be for the bronze medal. Three teams found themselves within eight points of each other: CrossFit Adrenaline (508 points), CrossFit Invictus (501) and CrossFit Fort Vancouver (500).
Determined to be on the podium, it was CrossFit Adrenaline who took the early lead over all the other teams on the floor. They finished their 120 handstand push-ups in just 3:04.
Meanwhile, Hack’s Pack surprised everyone with a chink in otherwise-unbreakable armor. Mary Lampas had a hard time getting through her second set of 10 handstand push-ups. When they finally finished their 120 reps, the defending champions found themselves in eighth place.
On the Worm, the early leaders, CrossFit Adrenaline, were challenged by a hard-charging CrossFit Dynamix, but Adrenaline held them off, finishing first in 13:39.8 and solidifying a podium finish. CrossFit Adrenaline was thrilled with the result, a dramatic improvement over their 22nd-place finish in 2012.
“We didn’t expect it,” Matt Menerey said of the surprise bronze. Next up for Adrenaline: “Pizza and beer,” he added.
Although Hack’s Pack had one of its lowest finishes of the competition (ninth), the team did more than enough to defend its title and become the first repeat champion of the Affiliate.
“Hard work pays off,” said Hack’s Pack team captain Tommy Hackenbruck, who added that one of the keys to their success was camaraderie.
“The attraction of competing with our best friends was too tempting,” he said.
Like CrossFit Adrenaline, it’s time for beer for the champions.
“I’m gonna have a beer with CrossFit Wilmington,” Hackenbruck said with a wide smile.
“We’re going to celebrate tonight,” he said.
1. CrossFit Adrenaline (13:39.8)
2. CrossFit Active (14;02.9)
3. Schwartz's CrossFit Melbourne (14:50.6)
1. Hack's Pack UTE
2. CrossFit New England
3. CrossFit Adrenaline