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Regional Report: Asia Sends New and Familiar Names to California

Published on Sun, 2012-05-06 08:06
By: 
Jennifer Tan

Hershey, Wagner & Shogun CrossFit are headed to California.

The last day of the Asia Regional has seen extraordinary feats of strength and spirit from all those competing in Seoul. The support from the spectators reached new heights, with those in the audience all too aware of what was at stake. Though CrossFit may be considerably lesser known throughout Asia than it is perhaps in the States or Australia, one couldn’t have guessed it. The smiles, sweat, tears and emotional highs and lows just go to show that CrossFit is making its mark here in Asia.

Teams
 
Event 5
Shogun CrossFit (745.00)
Reebok CrossFit Asia (650.00)
 
Event 6
Reebok CrossFit Asia (25:03)
Shogun CrossFit (27:02)
 
Overall Standings (Day 3)
1. Shogun CrossFit – Shogun proceeds to Games
2. Reebok CrossFit Asia
 
Today’s final fierce event witnessed Shogun CrossFit and Reebok CrossFit Asia battling between first and second place for the first half, but the final set of 20 muscle ups were what set Team CrossFit Asia behind as Shogun ploughed through to the last set of box jumps.  Unfortunately neither team made it to the end, though it was clear that both had put their all into the workout.
 
The points accumulated over the last three days mean Shogun CrossFit will proceed to the 2012 Games in California. Ashley Jensen, owner and team member, explained their preparation in the lead up to the competition. “When we found out what the workouts were for the regional we trained specifically to get better at these movements.  We also worked hard on communication and transitions, using a color code system to alert one another whether we were good to go (green) or needed to change (black). This [winning] is more than we could have ever imagined.  We’ve been open less than a year so this is truly amazing.”
 
Women
 
Event 5
Christen Wagner (145.00)
Candice Howe (140.00)
Nicole Tainatongo (115.00)
 
Event 6
Christen Wagner (17:59)
Candice Howe (19:42)
Vanessa Fung (19:45)
 
Overall Standings (Day 3)
1. Christen Wagner – Wagner proceeds to Games
2. Candice Howe 
3. Feng Yi Chew
 
Feng Yi Chew looked solid at the beginning of Event 6, finishing the deadlifts ahead of the other female competitors, but struggled with the muscle-ups from early on. It was clear to all that Chew was in pain, and the crowds showed relentless support for her persistence to keep going.
 
Christen Wagner sailed through the first two thirds of the workout, making it look easy, while Candice Howe tailed her until the last set of muscle-ups where she fell behind. Wagner moved onto the second workout of wall ball shots and toes-to-bars with very little effort, and though she did not manage to finish the workout, there was a notable margin between her and the other athletes by the end of the seventeen minutes.
 
Wagner spoke of the difficulty in finding the intensity required for the workouts with already fatigued muscles, but her approach to Event 6 may have been what helped her pull through: “I’m looking forward to it [Event 6] because the dynamic of the final WOD is good – it’s not just one long grueling workout, but it’s a combination of a lot of short, good ones.”
 
Men
 
Event 5
Michael Mogard (225.44)
Daniel Hershey (225.00)
Joseph Rank (215.00)
 
Event 6
Brice Collier (16:16)
Aaron Gardner (16:29)
Luke Richmond (17:01)
 
Overall Standings (Day 3)
1. Daniel Hershey – Hershey proceeds to Games
2. Joseph Rank 
3. Brice Collier
 
This harsh test of endurance was made even more challenging by the afternoon sun glaring down over the male athletes.  In Heat 1 Bilaal Broadway continued to impress with his speedy muscle-ups, as did Vijay Raj, with not only lightning-speed muscle-ups, but wall ball shots and toes-to-bar to match. As the final minutes approached Candice Howe could be heard shouting at Raj to just keep going, a clear example of the sense of unity between the athletes, who up until today may never have met one another. Talon Smith could also be heard shouting at Charles Winship from the barriers, counting him down to his next deadlift or muscle-up.
 
Aaron Gardner set the standards in Heat 2 as being the first athlete to finish the weekend’s final workout. It was impressive to see the athlete, who hours before had spoken of feeling extremely fatigued, grind his way to the final three muscle-ups with only seconds to spare. Luke Richmond came heartbreakingly close to finishing the workout, with only one muscle-up remaining.
 
Heat 3 provided Asia’s fastest finishing time, courtesy of Brice Collier. Head judge Steve Barriger kept an eagle eye over Collier as he whipped through the first and second workout of Event 6 and squeezed out the third with all his remaining strength and will.
 

Despite not taking a top 3 position in the final event, Daniel Hershey will advance to the Games, having put on a stellar performance throughout the last three days. He expressed his gratitude for the support from his wife, athlete Sarabeth Hershey (ranked 5th), friends and CrossFit Misawa. When asked what had kept him going throughout the Regional, his reply was simple: “I don’t like to lose.”

 

 

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