Austin Malleolo repeats as North East Regional champion for the third time, while Danielle Horan wins the women's title.
Grey skies and a light drizzle had the crowd reaching for their jackets, but athletes embraced the chill for Event 7, the final workout of the 2013 Regional. A fast and furious sprint of rope climbs and squat cleans seemed like a perfect finisher for the punishing weekend.
Rain began falling just as the men in the fourth and final heat of the day took the field.
Matt Fraser came fast out of the gate with some amazingly efficient squat cleans. He finished the event in second place just one second behind Spencer Hendel.
"With that weight, just 225, I could just bang right through them,” Fraser says.
With the podium nearly out of reach going into Event 7, Hendel showed his true colors in this last workout. But his finish proved too little, too late, and he ended the weekend in fourth place. Eric Magee finished the workout 14th, but that was still good enough to secure third place overall.
“I didn’t feel the best this weekend, but then again I gave it all I could and didn’t leave anything out there,” Hendel says. “Dave Castro programmed the hell out of Event 4. I can usually deal with pain, but that was really, really tough. Overall, it was a fair weekend.”
And while Hendel is considering heading to Carson as a judge or even spectator, that may not be the only change on his horizon.
“I’ve been giving some thought to trying out for Olympic lifting nationals and the American Open,” Hendel says. “Just seeing what kind of machine Coach (Mike) Burgener can turn me into for that sport.”
Malleolo finished the event in third place, which was enough to secure his return at the top of the podium.
“You had to pay attention (with the rain), you couldn’t go at an all-out pace. I even slipped on the rope once,” Malleolo says. “It feels great. This is my home, you know. I was here when it was small and no one knew what we were doing. Now that place is packed with people. It’s great.”
Daniel Tyminski finished right behind Malleolo and will once again take the second spot in the podium.
“I really wanted first since I’ve come in second three years in a row now,” Tyminski says. “I wanted to win. But we’ll ultimately see how things go in Carson.”
Rudy Nielsen, Tyminski’s coach, is not so concerned about a second-place finish.
“Mistakes cost Dan the weekend,” Nielsen says. “But Regionals doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of the season.”
1. Spencer Hendel 4:11
2. Mathew Fraser 4:12
3. Austin Malleolo 4:31
1. Austin Malleolo (23)
2. Daniel Tyminski (24)
3. Eric Magee (49)
The women came into the last event with the top three spots virtually locked, all newcomers. Danielle Horan competed in the Games as a part of the Champlain Valley CrossFit, but neither Amanda Goodman nor Kaleena Ladeairous have ever competed at the Games.
Goodman started off with an early lead after two expertly performed rope climbs. Horan was off the rope just seconds after Goodman, and they kept battling it out until the end.
After each round of squat cleans, athletes were responsible for moving their bars to the following marker on the mat, which indicated what round they were on. Goodman forgot to move her bar during the second round and was called back by her judge. Horan took that opportunity to pass her, but Goodman eventually won the event and finished the weekend in second place overall.
“Danielle gave me a run for my money, especially after my screw up,” Goodman says. “I got excited when I had a small lead. I am beyond excited (to be going to the Games). This is what me and my coach have been training for.”
Ladeairous finished the event and the weekend in third place and was able to complete the event a whole minute faster than she did in practice.
Horan clearly preferred the rope climbs to the sprint between the rig and the barbell during the workout.
“My strategy was to just go hard, but keep the rope climbs slow,” Horan says. “I rope climb pretty often so I was prepared for the movement. I didn’t really feel much on the workout, my grip felt fine, I just had to go.”
She is hoping not to see any running at the Games.
“Hell no!” Horan says. “But that’s something I really have to work on the next few months.”
1. Amanda Goodman 4:33
2. Danielle Horan 4:35
3. Kaleena Ladeairous 5:00
1. Danielle Horan (17)
2. Amanda Goodman (18)
3. Kareena Ladeairous (25)
No teams finished the final event under the 20-minute time cap in Heats 1 or 2, but Heat 3 was a different story. Not even a power outage could hamper the energy of the crowd as the top 11 teams took the field one last time.
CrossFit Southie was the first team to have a member cross the finish line, with CFNE Team A immediately following. Unfortunately for Southie, their pace slowed and they finished the workout in fifth place, putting them in fourth place overall and just shy of a second consecutive invite to the Games.
Clearly disappointed, team captain Chris Gosler is already thinking of the next season.
"We obviously wanted to be top three instead of fourth,” Gosler says. “We'll take one day off, then it's back to hitting our individual weaknesses to get better for next year."
CFNE Team A finished the workout and weekend in second place and will once again be representing the North East in Carson, Calif.
"We'll get two days off after this, then it's back to training,” Allyson Bushey says. “We've been doing individual work, goat work to hit our weaknesses, then we come together as a team three times a week."
Former Olympian Bethany Hart says her focus will stay on things that she can control.
"I try not to pay attention to other teams because we can only control our team, so no sense in worrying about them,” Hart says. “We run our own race. I don't know for sure (what to expect at the Games), but they'll definitely throw something crazy out there. You know they will."
CrossFit King of Island Park finished the Open in eighth place and had a relatively unknown team. After solid performances throughout the weekend, they finished the last workout and the weekend in third place, earning a spot on the podium and invitation to California.
Team member Kaitlyn Fitzgerald was happy coming in as an underdog.
"We’ll take it,” Fitzgerald says. “Everyone did their part, we each did our jobs and got it done."
Team Dynamix won the last event almost a minute ahead of CFNE Team A and finished the weekend in first place overall.
“We just work hard. We thought we’d do better on Event 6, but we kept getting no-repped,” coach Justin Cotler says. “We finished five minutes slower than in practice, so it gave New England a shot at catching us. We just made sure to stand up every rep (this event). We knew if we were ahead going into this (final) event, we would be tough to beat.”
Team co-captain Kylee Claxton had no doubts the team would perform well. “It went even better than planned. We got off to a little lead, and just stuck with it,” Claxton says. “We could just feel each other’s energy, it was great. And I could see the fans. I don’t even like to call them fans, I call them my extended teammates. They kept us going. We are only getting one day off, I can feel it.”
1. Team Dynamix 16:18
2. CFNE Team A 17:02
3. CrossFit King of Island Park 18:17
1. Team Dynamix (19)
2. CFNE Team A (21)
3. CrossFit King of Island Park (32)