The story of the day came in Workout 2, where the heavy hang cleans appeared to stop some of the competitors in their tracks. Two women were unable to finish the 10 hang clean minimum requirement of the workout, while 20 women did not get through the 30 hang cleans within the 17-minute time cap.
Elly Kabboord was the first woman to the hang cleans in her heat, but ended up with 5 reps left to go when time was called. “I was beyond frustrated, especially since I did so well in the row and pistols,” she says. “It was just a more technical movement. I’m in my second year of CrossFit, and I felt inefficient in the lift.”
The men also had trouble with the 225-pound hang cleans as 26 men could not get through the 30 lifts. Kelly Levens of CrossFit RX, who only weighs 145 pounds, just set a new hang clean PR of 225 pounds on Tuesday, yet managed to complete 12 reps in Workout 2. “It was uneffingbelievable!” he says.
The women in the team event also struggled, many saying the hang clean weight was a new PR for them. “Considering my one max rep is 140 pounds from the ground, yes, I would say it’s very heavy,” says Marlin Jones of World Camp CrossFit, who managed to complete 10 of the 15 reps. Her former hang clean PR prior to the announcement of the Regional workouts was 115 pounds.
Regional Workout 2: 2K Row/50 Pistols/ Hang Cleans (225 lbs)
1. Chase Daniels (13:21)
2. Jason Ingham (13:56)
3. Brandon Phillips (14:07)
Chase Daniels of Hard Exercise Works came out on top in Workout 2 and sits in 1st place overall. Daniels thanks Brandon Phillips, who was ahead of him on the pistols, for helping him to quicken his pace. “It felt good. I liked that workout,” Daniels says. “I wouldn’t call (the hang cleans) easy, but I like hang cleans. I love them a lot. It was something that was suited for me, and I had to make up for the first workout.”
CrossFit Ragnarok’s Jason Ingham finished 2nd in the workout, a much needed boost after finishing 31st in Workout 1. He ended the day in 10th place. “That was my bread and butter,” he says. “I went from doing my worst workout to doing my best workout. That was the workout for me.”
Brandon Phillips of CrossFit Kennesaw also made a strong comeback, finishing Workout 2 in 3rd place, jumping to 7th overall. Phillips used a split clean to power him through the workout. “The split clean helps me be more efficient and keeps my hips underneath the bar. I tend to get tired on power cleans and lean forward,” Phillips says.
Phillips strategy for Saturday: “In the words of my buddy Justin Key, ‘Go fast. Don’t suck’.”
AJ Moore of CrossFit Delray Beach ended the day in 2nd place after finishing 2nd in Workout 1 and 10th in Workout 2. Moore kept a 1:52 pace on the row and was able to do the pistols unbroken. “I lost power on the (hang clean) pull because I wasn’t able to get the bar in my hip pocket to get the bar high enough,” says Moore, who had to catch the bar in the bottom of a squat to complete the workout.
Irving Hernandez, who won the first workout of the day, struggled throughout Workout 2 and was 3 reps short when time was up, finishing in a tie at 23rd place. Hernandez paced the row and was the third to last in his heat to make it to the pistols. Once he hit the hang cleans, he was no-repped seven times because he was having trouble holding the bar in the rack position. Ranking the workout on how heavy it was, Hernandez gave it a 9 on a scale from one to 10. He finished the day in 6th place.
World Camp CrossFit’s Kirk Gibson, the youngest individual competitor at 19, was in 11th place after Workout 1, but after struggling with his pistols, he ended the day in 31st place. “I suck at them, and I should have been practicing them a lot longer than I have been. That’s my fault, nobody else’s,” he says.
Despite only having a couple of minutes left to do his hang cleans, Gibson managed to knock out 14 of them.
Overall (Day 1)
1. Chase Daniels
2. AJ Moore
3. Dominick Maurici
Regional Workout 2: Row/ Pistols/ Hang Cleans (135 lbs)
1. Jaime Gold (13:32)
2. Talayna Fortunato (13:34)
3. Cheryl Nasso (14:09)
The goal of CrossFit Affliction’s Jaime Gold was to get 1st place on Workout 2, which is exactly what she did, finishing two seconds ahead of Talayna Fortunato. “I love hang cleans,” Gold says. “In college, our strength program everyday was hang, and I actually had a really hard time transitioning to the floor. So when I saw hang cleans, I was like, ‘Yes, I get to go back to them!’”
Going into Day 2, Gold is sitting in a comfortable 2nd place. “I feel really good. I am in a much better position than I was last year in the Central East going into the second day,” she says. “The rest of the workouts, I like them.”
Fortunato of CrossFit Real Fitness didn’t hustle to the finish line after her hang cleans, which may have cost her 1st place. “I rowed nice and easy, and the pistols felt fine,” she says. “(Hang cleans) kind of sucked more at the end than I thought. I thought maybe I’d do six rounds of five, but it wasn’t going to work like that after all those pistols,” she says.
Regardless, Fortunato finished the day out in 1st place overall. “I am right where I want to be,” she says. “It feels comfortable.”
Cheryl Nasso of CrossFit Fort Pierce was ecstatic after her performance in Workout 2, where she placed 3rd. “This is why we do CrossFit right here, because you do something that you never thought you could do. You see something like 30 hang power cleans at 135 -- that’s more than I weigh,” Nasso says, whose petite frame ripped through the hang cleans.
Finishing in 3rd after Day 1, Nasso is excited about her performance so far. “Last year, I was kind of the met-con monster, but this year I spent a lot of time trying to get a little stronger. I’ve learned that it is better to be good at everything than be great at one thing.”
Sarabeth Phillips knew she would be slow on the rower, coming off of it last in her heat, but she more than made up for it by flying through her pistols. She ended up finishing 8th in the workout and is in 4th place overall after Day 2. “I want to stay consistent and do what I know what to do,” she says.
Emily Bridgers, who made a name for herself after coming into Regionals ranked 1st in the South East and 4th worldwide, appeared to struggle with the hang cleans, taking them one at a time. She finished the workout in 15th place and ends the day in 7th overall.
Overall (Day 1)
1. Talayna Fortunato (4)
2. Jaime Gold (6)
3. Cheryl Nasso (6)
Team Regional Workout 2: 2K Row/ 50 Pistols/ Hang Cleans (225/135 lbs)
1. Gardens CrossFit (18:39)
2. CrossFit Atlanta (18:50)
3. CrossFit Adrenaline (19:01)
Newcomer team Gardens CrossFit made itself known by winning Workout 2 and will enter Day 2 of competition in 2nd place overall. “We’re really surprised, but I think that’s what helped because we really focused on the workout and just what we’re doing,” team member Mayra Saldarriaga says.
“(There were) no big expectations. We didn’t come in here thinking that we had to take 1st place. We just came out here to do our best,” teammate Jeff Fee says.
CrossFit Atlanta finished Workout 2 in 2nd place partly due to its women, who had no problems with the hang cleans. Jessica Denney finished all 15 unbroken. “They needed to be 155!” she says.
“We had a game plan going in, and they stuck to it perfectly. Our ladies handled that like a champ -- they flew through the cleans and made it easy for us to move from station to station,” says Mike Giardina, owner and team member of CrossFit Atlanta. “There was never a hold-up. It was just a smooth transition from station to station.”
Giardina especially enjoyed the debut of pistols at the Regionals. “It is the movement I struggled with in the Games in 2010. It was my last workout in the Games, so it was kind of nice to redeem that,” he says.
CrossFit Atlanta sits in 3rd place after Workout 2.
Once again, CrossFit Adrenaline showed they came here to compete, and sit in 1st place overall after two events. They finished 3rd in Workout 2 thanks in part to Austin Medford, who flew through his 15 hang cleans. “The strategy was to go unbroken, but I ended up breaking at 10,” he says, noting that when he was walking to his bar, he noticed a competitor three to four lanes down already on the bar. “My goal was to beat him because I saw how quick he was in warm-ups.”
CrossFit Adrenaline’s athletes couldn’t be more excited about their debut at the South East Regional. “It was unexpected,” says Lindsay Bourdon, while teammate Chelsea Lowery called it “mind blowing.”
Overall (Day 1):
1. CrossFit Adrenaline
2. Gardens CrossFit
3. CrossFit Atlanta