With no rest for the weary, Day 2 of the South East Regional quickly transitioned to Event 4, a long chipper of back squats, shoulder-to-overheads, front squats, overhead squats, and pull-ups. With a 22-minute time cap for individuals and a 25-minute time cap for teams, the crowd settled in to watch the top athletes of the South East perform nothing, but leg-burning, shoulder-blasting work.
“I like (long workouts). I’ve done them. I know how much they suck,” spectator Jenn Paquette says in anticipation of Event 4.
Quinn Otte, an unaffiliated athlete who sits in 30th place overall, agrees with her. “It’s going to be a total suckfest,” he says.
Fatigue appeared to be setting in on these phenomenal athletes who have been giving it all they’ve got the past two days. However, It would not deter those who know the importance of the overall standings after Event 4 heading into the final day of Regionals. “I think more than anything, (a strong performance in Event 4) mentally builds momentum. You want to be confident going into the last day, not mentally shook up,” says Jonathan Morgan of CrossFit Integrity, who ended Day 2 in 34th place overall.
After Sunday morning’s Event 5, cuts will be made, and only the top 18 men and women will make it to the final event for a shot at the podium and a ticket to California. Only the top 12 teams move on to the final workout.
Regional Workout 4: 50 back squats (135 lbs), 40 pull-ups, 30 shoulder-to-overhead (135 lbs), 50 front squats (85 lbs), 40 pull-ups, 30 shoulder-to-overhead (85 lbs), 50 overhead squats (65 lbs), 40 pull-ups, 30 shoulder-to-overhead (65 lbs)
1. Guido Trinidad (15:56)
2. Dominick Maurici (16:21)
3. Irving Hernandez (17:28)
It seemed to be the consensus among the South East’s men that Event 4 has been the most difficult so far. Pull-ups were definitely an issue as the men struggled to complete multiple reps due to poor grip strength. Nicholas Longo of Lightning CrossFit, currently in 16th place overall, called Event 4 a “cardio monster” and found the pull-ups to be the most challenging part. “(My grip strength) is really starting to go,” he says, as he showed ripped callouses on his hands.
Guido Trindad of Peak 360 CrossFit won the workout. “How do I say this in one word? Relief,” he says. “I haven’t performed as well as I wanted to this weekend, and I haven’t done as well as I expected to.”
Trinidad heads into the final day in 5th place overall.
Dominick Maurici of Caution CrossFit agreed that the hardest part of the workout was the pull-ups, which he had to break into sets of 5. Maurici remains in 2nd place overall and has a game plan for Sunday. “I am going to rest my shoulders, eat up, go home, take an ice bath, get to bed early, and get ready for tomorrow,” he says, adding that he is hoping to get to 215 pounds on the snatch ladder, Sunday’s first event.
Irving Hernandez of CrossFit Paragon had the crowd cheering as he took an early lead and completed his first set of pull-ups unbroken. Hernandez, whose PR is 110 unbroken pull-ups, knew he could pick up a lot of time with them. The front squats, however, slowed him down because he was working through lower back pain. He was further delayed after taking weight off of his bar on his second round of shoulder-to-overhead, only to be told to put the weight back on. Hernandez still managed a 3rd place finish, placing him in 4th overall.
“I am not confident about the snatch ladder, but am excited about Event 6,” Hernandez says.
Brandon Phillips of CrossFit Kennesaw kept a steady pace to finish the workout in 4th place, helping him claim 3rd place overall. Phillips said he had a rep scheme going into Event 4, which “got shot” due to the loss of his pull-up grip. “It was difficult, but just another day of training,” he says.
Phillips is looking forward to Sunday’s snatch ladder and says it will be his best event.
Chase Daniels of Hard Exercise Works finished Event 4 in 5th place, maintaining a comfortable 1st place overall. Twelve points separate him from 2nd place, Maurici. As for the final two events, “I just want to keep a steady pace, keep consistent, and try not to shit the bed,” says Daniels.
AJ Moore of CrossFit Delray Beach entered Event 4 in 2nd place overall but leaves it in a disappointing 7th. Moore was 32nd in the workout and appeared to have suffered an injury to his hand that prevented him from signing his score card.
After the heavy weight of the past two days, back issues plagued many of the men. Sean LeFloch of CrossFit Delray, who was in 36th place heading into Event 4, left the arena during Event 4 after his back starting seizing up. “The first three WODs were all posterior chain (muscles) with very heavy pulling. I now know a hole in my programming that I intend to fill to come back next year,” he says.
Otte, who earlier in the day said that Event 4 would be a “suckfest,” must have had a premonition. He also had to quit the workout due to a back injury. He finished the day in 30th place.
The 2011 South East Regional winner Jared Davis had trouble in Event 4, finishing 42nd, and falling to 21st overall.
Overall (Day 2)
1. Chase Daniels
2. Dominick Maurici
3. Brandon Phillips
Regional Workout 4: 50 back squats (95 lbs), 40 pull-ups, 30 shoulder-to-overhead (95 lbs), 50 front squats (65 lbs), 40 pull-ups, 30 shoulder-to-overhead (65 lbs), 50 overhead squats (45 lbs), 40 pull-ups, 30 shoulder-to-overhead (45 lbs)
1. Cheryl Nasso (19:16)
2. Ami Wight (20:31)
3. Emily Bridgers (20:51)
Not many women were able to complete Event 4. However, they seemed to fare better physically than the men, treating it as just another workout. “It was CrossFit. High intensity, high rep. It was CrossFit. And it felt good to do something CrossFit,” says Rio Landa of World Camp CrossFit, who currently sits in 19th place overall.
After finishing in last place on Event 3, Cheryl Nasso entered the third heat determined to redeem herself. She won her heat, and despite Emily Bridgers’ comfortable win in the final heat, Nasso was still more than a minute faster, to the delight of her screaming fans. “I knew that I could push through,” she says. “My shoulders are smoked right now. There’s somebody who wants first, and I had to give her something to shoot for. I am hoping it keeps me top 10.”
Nasso’s 1st place finish helped bounce her back up to 6th place overall after starting the day in 3rd and dropping with that last place in Event 3. “I am not disappointed in myself. It sucks. I am upset about it. You can only be so strong,” she says. “Since I was a kid, I was the one who wanted to be good at this or wanted to be good at that. And I never really found anything that I was like, this is my calling. This was the first thing I found that I was good at, and I can do this. I love this sport. I do this because I love it. I don’t do it for any other reason.”
Ami Wight, 38, of CrossFit Five Flags, came out of nowhere to finish 2nd in the event in 20:31. “I was just so happy to finish one. It has been a hard week,” she says. “I like endurance stuff. Chippers are fun to me.”
Wight finished the day in 21st overall.
Although Emily Bridgers of CrossFit East Decatur didn’t win Event 4, as she predicted earlier in the day, she was pumped about finishing 1st in her heat. “I’m all right with Cheryl Nasso beating me on that. She is amazing,” she says. “Ami Wight did what she did to me at (a local competition). She beat me on a pull-up WOD.”
Bridgers was upbeat after the workout, finishing it in 3rd place and ending the day in 5th overall. “I’m not going out without a fight. It’s not over until the last workout is finished.”
Jaime Gold remains in 2nd place overall despite a 10th place finish in Event 4. Gold says issues with her back slowed her down. “This is not my style of workout. It reminded me of the 100s last year (at Regionals). I favor heavier WODs. I can’t wait for Event 6.”
Last year’s Regional winner, Leah Polaski of CrossFit Atlanta, has flown under the radar thus far but finishes Day 2 in 3rd place overall after a 4th place finish in Event 4. “I knew it was going to be challenging. I knew I had to pace. I couldn’t go gangbusters,” Polaski says.
“Mentally, I know I am better than I was last year. I am going to do everything to (get back to California). I can only control myself,” she says.
Fan favorite Shana Alverson of CrossFit East Decatur falls to 4th place overall after finishing Event 4 in 9th place.
Lauren Brooks of CrossFit Salvation, who won Event 3, re-aggravated a back injury during Event 4. Whether she will be able to compete Sunday remains to be seen.
Overall (Day 2)
1. Talayna Fortunato
2. Jaime Gold
3. Leah Polaski
Team Regional Workout 4: 75 back squats (135/ 95 lbs), 50 pull-ups, 25 shoulder-to-overhead (135/ 95 lbs), 75 front squats (85/ 65 lbs), 50 pull-ups, 25 shoulder-to-overhead (85/ 65 lbs)/ overhead squats (65/ 45 lbs)/ shoulder-to-overhead (65/ 45 lbs)/ pull-ups
1. CrossFit Adrenaline (26:46)
2. Hustle Hard Powered by HEW (26:59)
3. CrossFit Atlanta (27:23)
Twenty-five minutes ended up not being enough time for the teams to complete Event 4 as none finished the workout. “It just wasn’t long enough. There was a good variety of exercises, good weight, but there was not enough time to complete it,” says Keisha Brazell of CrossFit Embrace. “If we’d only had five more minutes.”
“It either needs to be more time or less work because right now it is a female’s workout. The guys are only getting 6 minutes to work,” says Alex Cento of I Am CrossFit.
Once the barbell was picked up, competitors were not allowed to set it down except when transitioning from the females to the males at the midpoint of the workout. Only the person doing the lift was allowed to touch the bar.
The judges were watching carefully to uphold standards, and penalties were handed out. CrossFit Spartanburg suffered a one minute penalty after the men touched the bar while the women were on their overhead squats. They received another one minute penalty when one of the women dropped the bar to the ground. “It gave us a chance to rest, but we were so far behind, it was crushing,” says Scott Zimmerman of CrossFIt Spartanburg.
The final heat of Event 4 proved to be the most exciting team event yet, as CrossFit Adrenaline and Hustle Hard Powered by HEW battled it out until time was called. HEW was the first team to the men’s overhead squats, but a 2 1/2-pound weight was inadvertently left on the bar during the weight change. When team member Pierre Soero lifted the bar to begin his overhead squats, he knew something was wrong. This ended up costing the team about 25 seconds, which allowed CrossFit Adrenaline to take 1st place in the event. “Feelings aren’t hurt because we are going to take 1st place in the team WOD tomorrow morning,” a confident Soero says.
HEW finished the day in 3rd place overall.
CrossFit Adrenaline was emotional after its win. “We are just so excited that we got through with what we got. We did it when the workouts first came out, and we didn’t get through that much at all. So we are excited with what we did,” Allie Bourdon says.
CrossFit Adrenaline remains in 2nd place overall and is looking forward to the final day of competition. Their strategy? “Come out here and kill it,” TJ Menerey says.
CrossFit Atlanta, which spent most of the workout alternating between 4th and 5th place, ended up sweeping in to finish in 3rd. This allowed them to maintain 1st place in the overall standings. Bethanie Giardina cited the pull-ups as her team’s weakness. “We didn’t come to win an event, we came to win Regionals,” team member Jessica Denney says. “Our goal for the weekend was to finish top 5 in every event.”
After a difficult Event 3 that dropped Gardens CrossFit down in the standings, it entered Event 4 ready to lay it all on the line. The team spent most of the workout in 3rd place, but incurred a 1-minute penalty after the barbell brushed a team member’s hand. Gardens ended up finishing 7th in the workout and 6th overall.
Overall (Day 2):
1. CrossFit Atlanta
2. CrossFit Adrenaline
3. Hustle Hard Powered by HEW