The Northern California Region features some of CrossFit’s most well known athletes in Jason Khalipa, Pat Barber, and Annie Sakamoto. However, the NorCal field is deep; here are some up and coming names to keep an eye on.
Sarah Hopping has been training out of Lalanne Fitness in San Francisco for two years. She has an impressive athletic pedigree in soccer and track, culminating in the Olympic Trials in the hammer throw. Possibly the strongest woman in the NorCal field, she looks to make this her year.
Fight Gone Bad: 375
500m row: 1:37
Clean & Jerk: 210
Back Squat: 295
Favorite WOD: Death by Barbell - 9:08
Biggest weakness/what you are working on: Overhead/upside down strength
CrossFit Inspiration: Lindsey Smith
Whitney Heuser is part of the Diablo CrossFit team competition machine, entertaining the possibility of the individual division. She first started CrossFit five years ago as a high school freshman at the original HQ in Santa Cruz before switching to the now defunct CrossFit North Santa Cruz, and then moving to Diablo in the East Bay. Her background consists of various high school sports and two years of collegiate softball.
400m run: 1:07
Back Squat: 255
Biggest weakness/ what you are working on: Running and Rowing
CrossFit Inspiration: Annie Sakamoto
Ashley Vrieze turned in an impressive 7th place finish at the 2011 NorCal Regionals, including a win in the final event, the chipper. She has been doing CrossFit for three years, all with CrossFit San Jose. Her huge engine comes from a collegiate swimming background, which includes a trip to the Olympic Trials.
400m run: 1:15
500m row: 1:42
Back Squat: 210
Biggest weakness/what you are working on: Strength
Erik “Dirty” Alvarez started CrossFit five years ago as a teenager at CrossFit Oahu. He now represents his own affiliate, CrossFit Kailua. A background in wrestling, track & field, and cross-country helped him to a 21st finish in last year’s Regional. One of the smallest Regional level competitors in NorCal, Erik has large motor and will be a real threat as his strength improves.
Mary: 18 rounds
Fight Gone Bad: 441
500m row: 1:36
Back Squat: 350
Biggest weakness/ what you are working on: Working on my strength game. Only 155 – no excuse causeSpealler is smaller, but he's a freak of nature – so definitely trying to get as strong as I can.
CrossFit Inspiration: Greg A(mundson) ... pure badass. Did things people didn’t even think about doing back in the early stages of CrossFit.
Garret Fisher is a former collegiate baseball player and rugby player. He has been doing CrossFit for five years, ever since he was 15. Now 20, training with Barber and Khalipa out of NorCal CrossFit, he is planning on making a big splash in the region.
Fight Gone Bad: 413
400m run: 0:58
500m row: 1:24
Back Squat: 405
Bench press: 325
Max pull-ups: 65
Biggest weakness/ what you are working on: I've been focusing on improving my metabolic conditioning, while working on my consistency and improving my mental game day in and day out.
CrossFit Inspiration: I have two CrossFit heroes. My first would have to be Gabe Subry for helping lay down my CrossFit foundation and helping establish my love for CrossFit. My second would be Jason Khalipa because he has presented me with many opportunities in the CrossFit community, and has helped take my CrossFit game above and beyond what I thought was possible.
Mark Bardo is an unaffiliated competitor out of the heartland of CrossFit, Santa Cruz. He has been doing CrossFit, primarily on his own at globo-gyms, for three years, with an athletic background outside the gym of wrestling. Mark finished 33rd at the 2011 Regionals with a 5th place finish in the Run/HSPU/Row workout.
Fight Gone Bad: 440
400m run: 0:56
500m row: 1:36
Clean & Jerk: 275
Back Squat: 380
Max pull-ups: 45
Biggest weakness/ what you are working on: Snatch
CrossFit Inspiration: Neal Maddox
Zack Height works and trains at Gabe Subry and Vince Carter’s CrossFit 209 Sport, where he has the opportunity to regularly train with some of the NorCal Region’s best, including Subry and Blair Morrison. His three years of CrossFit were preceded by collegiate baseball. Zack finished the 2011 Regional in 7th place and he has his sights set on Carson, Calif., this year.
400m run: 1:04
500m row: 1:30.7
Back Squat: 355
Bench Press: 300
Biggest weakness/what you are working on: My overall strength. Anything 1RM and I'm going to be middle of the pack at best.
CrossFit Inspiration: Greg Amundson