Bursts of neon lit up the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington as the top athletes took the floor for the 2013 North West Regional. The bright colors were matched with blazing fast times, as a familiar team set an event record and the men left little room for hesitation with Jackie.
With past Games competitor Ashleigh Moe back in the competition and last year’s North West champ Yurii Hanson out, it’s anyone’s game in the North West.
In the Team competition, Event 1 was a paired Jackie, in which one woman hits the event first followed by one man, with a 15-minute time cap.
The North West Regional started off with impressive scores by the teams. Highlighting the team competition was CrossFit Fort Vancouver. Lead by Jessica Core and anchored by Nathan Loren, team Fort Vancouver set an Event Record in Event 1 with a time of 12:06.9.
Core said she was pleased with the Event Record time.
“We had a game plan to stick with a good pace on the row, and then try to kill it on the thrusters and the pull-ups,” she said.
That game plan paid off resulting in not only a personal record for Core, but a first-place finish and an Event Record.
“Getting that No. 1 spot is our goal and the event record is icing on the cake,” Loren said. “With (six) more events, this is a good place to start from and we are hoping to carry it over into the next events.”
Jet City CrossFit, fourth at the 2012 Regional, also impressed in Team Event 1 with fast pull-ups to solidify a second-place finish (12:29.7). Spokane Valley, who was disqualified last year after a team member tested positive for a banned substance, finished third on the event (12:34.7).
Last year’s Regional winner, CrossFit Intensify from Springfield, Ore., finished fourth in 13:14.
1. CrossFit Fort Vancouver (12:06.9)
2. Jet City (12:29.7)
3. Spokane Valley (12:34.7)
The pull-ups in Event 1 sorted out the field in every heat for the women of the North West.
In Heat 1, Marisa Liepman was first off the rower and first to the to the pull-up bar with Jodi Buschko close behind. But it was Nadia Shatlia who stepped on to the finish pad to win the heat, making up for being last off the rower by flying through her pull-ups.
“I struggled through the thrusters, but pull-ups are my strength,” Shatlia said afterward.
Heat 2 proved the pattern, as Lindsay Vaughan gained time with her pull-ups to win the heat, though Erin Gessford was first to the pull-up bar coming off the thrusters.
The top women in the North West completed the field for the final heat. Rory Zambard was first to the pull-up bar as the athletes moved through the thrusters, most unbroken.
The heat ended in a flurry of pull-ups as former Division 1 collegiate gymnast, Emily Carothers finished first with 6:25.2. Karen McCadam was right behind her by nearly 5 seconds with 6:30.6 and Zambard took third by four-tenths of a second at 6:31.
Cheryl Brost of Eugene CrossFit, the 2012 North West Regional winner, currently sits in eighth Leaderboard after the first event.
1. Emily Carothers (6:25.2)
2. Karen McCadam (6:30.6)
3. Rory Zambard (6:31)
With the top North West male from 2012, Yurii Hanson, out of the competition due to injury, the men came out swinging for a trip to Carson, Calif., to compete in the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games.
The first heat recorded some of the faster times in the event, with all nine men finishing under 6:12. Mark Buskas finished with the fastest time in the heat at 5:25.1, which placed him in seventh.
The top 12 men of the North West flew through the 1,000-meter row, with Austin Stack, who finished third in the North West last year, the first off the rower and the first to the pull-up bar.
But it was Ryan Swobody and Dave Powell who went unbroken on the pull-ups to finish first and second, respectively.
“It was great,” Powell said, still riding high from his top finish. “I loved every second of it.”
Ryan Smith and Ben Stoneberg tied for third at 5:22.2. The rest of the final heat flew through the pull-ups and dove to their numbers, all finishing within 20 seconds of each other.
The top six is rounded out by DJ Neyens and Kevin Simons.
1. Ryan Swobody (5:20.4)
2. Dave Powell (5:21.4)
3T. Ryan Smith (5:22.2)
3T. Ben Stoneberg (5:22.2)