Today is separation Saturday as the top teams distanced themselves from the pack after two demanding exercises: strict handstand push-ups and rope climbs.
Today is separation Saturday at the North West Regional, as the top teams distanced themselves from the pack after two demanding exercises: strict handstand push-ups and rope climbs.
These movements can humble even the best athletes, and they prompted competitors to search for any strategic advantage.
Team Events 4 and 5
One team showed a creative stroke during the first heat of Events 4 and 5. Before beginning the first rope climbs, teams had to perform 50 thrusters. CrossFit West Seattle, instead of exchanging the heavy bar chest-to-chest, exchanged from the nape of the neck to the chest.
They discovered the strategy while watching CrossFit feeds last weekend.
“We watched teams pass both from the front and the back, and the back made sense,” said West Seattle’s Hannah McHugh, who had the strategy written on her forearm. “Placing the shortest (person) first made it work well. Our communication, first and foremost, made it all work.”
The strategy proved successful. The West Seattle women raced into first place after the set of 50 thrusters, diving Indiana Jones-style under the acrylic wall in first for the rope climbs.
But HarborStrengthCFGH showed its rope-climbing muscle and ripped the lead from West Seattle. Returning to the thrusters, West Seattle snatched the lead back. This pattern—West Seattle winning thrusters, Gig Harbor winning rope climbs—continued until the men took over.
The Snake River CrossFit Men got under the thruster bar and roared from the pack. They plucked the lead from Cloud Peak CrossFit with six minutes left and held the lead until the Ellensburg CrossFit men grabbed the lead at the last leg.
“We had a plan and the workout played into our strengths, so we had to take advantage of that,” said Snake River athlete Eric Haskins. “We stuck to our plan and let it hurt.”
Seemingly with each of the last nine rope climbs, the lead toggled back and forth between Ellensburg and Snake River. In the end, Ellensburg narrowly won the heat.
During Heat 2, Cascade CrossFit’s women flew through the field. By the final leg, Cascade had completed all but two rope climbs before second-place CrossFit Train leapt onto the rope.
During the men’s event, CrossFit Nine’s men flew from the pack and dove under the wall to the rope climbs first. But they lost ground during the climbs and were beaten back to the thruster bar by Cascade CrossFit.
The Train men again finished faster on the next set of thrusters. Heading into the final leg, Train had a three-rep cushion. But Cascade dove under the glass, tracking their competitors. Train couldn’t escape and Cascade won the heat.
The power teams arrived for the final heat. CrossFit Marysville and CrossFit Fort Vancouver entered atop the Leaderboard after Day 1, renewing their rivalry.
"Of course we want to beat them, but they're the nicest group of people,” said CrossFit Marysville’s Kelsey Nagel. “They're awesome athletes. But a close second is what awesome people they are."
The women of Fort Vancouver popped through their 95-lb. thrusters. But Marysville was faster on the rope climbs, arriving at the next set of thrusters with a narrow lead.
These two teams remained within two seconds of each until Boise CrossFit’s women made their move.
Maintaining a fast pace throughout the event, Boise made quick work of the thrusters and climbed the rope efficiently to take the win.
“We focused on having clean transitions and we pushed our wall to keep our pace up,” said Amy Glass of Boise CrossFit.
“Communication was important to keeping a fast pace as a team.”
The Marysville men came out fast and kept the throttle open from start to finish. They completed the thrusters, grabbed the rope first and never looked back. The Marysville men won their heat by almost a full minute.
After the final rope climb CrossFit Marysville athlete Ryan Swobody joined his team on the finish mat with a thunderous yell, “Yes!”
Marysville celebrated on the finish mat with high fives, hugs and smiles. Swobody said they felt elated.
“That event is all out. It’s Fran speed,” he said. “Getting under the wall felt like sliding into home plate at the World Series.”
The remainder of the heat was a fight for second place. Coeur D’Alene and Fort Vancouver were within three seconds of each other. Finally, Fort Vancouver pulled away, finishing 20 seconds ahead of Coeur D’Alene.
Splitting the teams into their male and female athletes, Event 5 gave the teams and fans the opportunity to see how the men and women compared on the field.
"It's good to see how our men do against other men and our women against other women,” said Nagel. “But I think we're pretty balanced, [and this event] emphasized our consistency."
Team Event 4 Results
1. Boise CrossFit (8:51)
2. CrossFit Marysville (9:18)
3. CrossFit Fort Vancouver (9:25)
Team Event 5 Results
1. CrossFit Marysville (7:09)
2. Cascade Crossfit (7:30)
3. CrossFit Fort Vancouver (8:05)
Team Event 6
During Heat 3 of Day 2’s final event for the teams, the battle among the top teams was on with Marysville and Fort Vancouver taking the center lanes. But a come-from-behind surprise by Boise CrossFit shook up the Leaderboard.
At “3, 2, 1 … Go!” the teams’ first men dove under the wall, flew through the first nine strict handstand push-ups and sprinted for 160-lb. cleans and burpees.
"Our plan was to go fast,” said Noah Peter of CrossFit Marysville. “We kinda had a good idea of what we wanted to do and then adjust if we needed to, and it all worked out."
CrossFit Loft looked strong early, with CrossFit Coeur d’Alene and StoneWay CrossFit close behind. StoneWay pressed Fort Vancouver, but Loft, Marysville and Coeur d’Alene were nearly tied early.
X-Factor Black briefly took the lead, challenging Marysville, then fell behind. The X-Factor men finished at the 7:53 mark.
Then the first set of women took the field. Seeming to defy gravity, Marysville’s Ashleigh Moe pressed through her handstand push-ups, muscled through her cleans and finished her burpees. Fort Vancouver’s Jessica Core quickly finished her handstand push-ups, trying to catch Moe.
Core was right on Moe’s tail gaining a slight lead on Moe toward the end. When Moe struggled through her last three handstand push-ups, Core stole the lead and beat Moe to the red finish mat.
But the Marysville’s women took back the lead with the final two athletes, looking unstoppable as they raced through the relay.
Suddenly, the team in Lane 3—Boise CrossFit—surged. It took the lead over Marysville, and at the 16:30 mark Boise and Marysville were fighting for first place. The athletes raced through their cleans as the crowd cheered.
Boise CrossFit was the only team to finish Event 6. Stephanie Miller anchor for the Boise team was on top of the world after the win.
“The girls rocked it today,” Miller said. “We have such a great team with great people. I am so excited and it couldn’t be done without my teammates.”
Miller’s teammate Bart Carrico credited the women of the team for bringing home the win.
“Our women are so strong and they carried our team on that workout,” Carrico said. “Amber Gregg and Amy Glass are rock solid on handstand push-ups going nearly unbroken, and Stephanie paced her work/rest to avoid no reps.”
CrossFit Marysville came in second after its anchor, Nagel, struggled on the strict handstand push-ups. X-Factor Black’s women also made up ground leading its team to a third-place finish.
CrossFit Marysville took second and X-Factor Black took third, but they were unable to complete their reps in the 21 minute time cap.
Defying the odds, Boise CrossFit took the event, securing their No. 3 spot on the leaderboard. They were the only team to complete the grueling relay.
Team Event 6 Results
1. Boise CrossFit (20:05)
2. CrossFit Marysville (21:07)
3. X-Factor Black )21:10)
As expected, the top two teams separated themselves from the field. Going into Day 3, the top two spots are solidly occupied by CrossFit Marysville and CrossFit Fort Vancouver, respectively.
The battle for third place overall should be thrilling. Boise CrossFit is aiming to maintain their momentum and earn their first trip to Carson, California. With CrossFit Coeur d’Alene in a close fourth, it will be a make-or-break final day of competition.
1. CrossFit Marysville (11)
2. CrossFit Fort Vancouver (22)
3. Boise CrossFit (33)
4. CrossFit Coeur d'Alene (36)
5. X-Factor Black (47)
6. CrossFit Loft (53)
7. CrossFit Intensify (56)
8. CrossFit Advantage (62)
9. Stoneway CrossFit (62)
10. Cascade CrossFit (68)