“Nothing is ever for sure. I need to stay focused and take my rest and recovery seriously. There’s a lot that can happen in a five-week period of time.”
When David Hippensteel checked the Leaderboard on Sunday night, he thought the other competitors forgot to post their scores. He never expected to see his name at the top.
“I was just hoping to crack the top 20,” Hippensteel says. “I can't believe it. I think it's still sinking in.”
With 195 reps and a tiebreak time of 15:28, he took the lead in the Central East in the Masters 55-59 Division, tying Michael Bridges of North Central for first overall.
Hippensteel is a former decathlete and triathlete. After his first Open in 2012, he stepped away from the long, winding roads and started to lift some weight.
“(At first), I thought CrossFit could help me with my triathlons,” he says. “Once I started, I loved everything about CrossFit. I loved the balance it creates, because you’re multidimensional.”
From then on, he focused on bringing his strength up to speed with his metabolic conditioning. He began following the competitive programming from CrossFit Invictus, where his daughter trains. Also, he started to focus on Olympic lifts with his coaches at CrossFit SolaFide, in Clarksville, Tenn.
Hippensteel tried 13.1 for the first time immediately after it was announced, surrounded by a small crowd at his box.
Overeager, he tore through the burpees too quickly, finishing the first set in 2:07 and leaving him gassed for the snatches, a mistake he corrected in his second run, two days later. His strategy for the snatches was to just keep moving.
“It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” he says.
His effort was rewarded on his second attempt at 13.1 with five snatches at 120 lb.
“All I wanted was to get one or two reps more,” he says. “I couldn’t believe it when I hit 195.”
While his first-place finish sets him up well on the road to Carson, Hippensteel isn’t getting ahead of himself.
“Nothing is ever for sure,” he says. “I need to stay focused and take my rest and recovery seriously. There’s a lot that can happen in a five-week period of time.”