The morning started out early but that was no deterrent to the crowd of over 2000 that filled the stadium to watch one of most anticipated events of the weekend.
One by one competitors lined up to the bar, where their training and technique over the last few months was put to the test. Many flattered but some faltered as they lifted weights they had never attempted before. Athletes sacrificed themselves in the name of the team or individual glory.
In the women’s event we almost saw another world record fall. In the teams division the battle for 1st place was no closer to being decided. The loudest cheers of the day, if not the weekend had to go to Chad Mackay whose spectacular performance got the crowd on their feet as he came close to completing the ladder. It has left for a nail biting finish as we move into the final event of the weekend.
1. Chad McKay: 265
2. Jason Haywood: 245.09
3. Mahdi Te Heuheu: 235
1. Chad McKay (24)
2. Rob Forte (28)
3. Brendon Swan (28)
Rob Forte may have been leading the men’s competition heading into the final day of competition, but it was Chad MacKay who had all the momentum. The 2010 Games qualifier finished 2nd in Event 3 and won the chipper workout to surge to 2nd overall, and make a serious challenge for the title.
Of the early competitors it was crowd favorite Jason Haywood who impressed the most in the first event of the day. The 26 year old snatching 245 pounds and lifting the 2,000 strong crowd to their feet.
His performance sees him jump to 7th on the Leaderboard, but with just the one event remaining, his hopes of making his first ever Games are over.
“I’ve been climbing the ladder all week, you know, so it’s bitter sweet, a bit of déjà vu from last year, but it’s all good,” he said.
Haywood’s efforts never looked like being beaten until Chad MacKay got the 245 pound bar. With a strong build, the snatch ladder workout was always going to suit the 30-year-old.
With the crowd completely engaged, MacKay snatched all the way to the 275 pound station, where he finally met his challenge. Acknowledging those in the grandstand with a series of waves, MacKay walked off the arena as the winner of Event 5, and the new leader of the men’s competition.
He now holds a four-point lead over Rob Forte, who finished 10th in the workout, but refused to get carried away with his position.
“It’s more about effort for me, I don’t really care about rankings,” he says.
Brendon Swan put in another consistent performance and has quietly cemented his place in the top three, while last years Spirit of the Games winner, 20-year-old Brendan Clarke moved down to 5th after struggling in the workout.
The event was also one of the most dangerous we have seen so far this weekend with many athletes putting their body on the line. Kieran Hogan (4th overall) will most likely have a big bruise on his head after more than 200 pounds came crashing down on it, while Drummond Williamson was also knocked to the ground after a failed snatch.
1. Kylie Lindbeck: 170.16
2. Kara Gordon: 140.37
3. Amanda Allen: 140.20
1. Kara Gordon (11)
2. Ruth Anderson Horrell (14)
3. Amanda Allen (21)
Heading into the final day of the women’s competition the top three had already started to form, with Kara Gordon, Ruther Anderson Horrell and Amanda Allen slowly building a gap from the rest of the field.
While none of them were secured in qualifying spots to the Games, a good performance in the snatch ladder would pretty much book each of them tickets to the Home Depot Center in July.
But grabbing the bar before all of them was Kylie Lindbeck, hailing from CrossFit Base in the nations capital.
If there was a workout that suited the 27-year-old, this was it. With a personal best snatch of 75 kg’s, a top finish in the event was always going to be on her radar.
One lift after another, Lindbeck moved her way up the ladder, with the crowd cheering louder with each snatch she performed. Her super performance, however, finally came to an end, and the weight eventually proved too much for her at the 175 pound stage, as she failed to lift the bar.
So impressive was her performance that it was not only 30 pounds better than her nearest rival, but also one lift away from equalizing the best female score in all Regional events so far this year (175 pounds by Lindsey Valenzuela).
Kara Gordon finished 2nd in the event to extend her lead on top of the Leaderboard, while Amanda Allen claimed 3rd to cement her place in the top three. Ruth Anderson Horrell finished 5th, and remains 2nd overall.
For last year’s winner Amy Dracup, her quest to qualify for the Games again is over. She finished the snatch ladder in 10th position, leaving her 33 points outside the top three.
The event also saw the end for a number of other competitors. With the field now being reduced to 18 for the final workout.
1. Southern CrossFit: 990
2. CrossFit Victoria: 985
3. CrossFit Brookvale: 980
1. Schwartz's CrossFit Melbourne (22)
2. Tropic Thunder (26)
3. CrossFit Athletic (28)
The snatch ladder was always going to be make or break for the teams, as they fought to make the final event. Twenty-five teams went into the workout but only 12 would survive the cut-off to the next stage
After finishing top five in all events so far, Schwartzs CrossFit Melbourne was always going to be the team to beat, however, it was Southern CrossFit that took the honors.
Their combined total of 990 pounds ended up being the best score of the event with CrossFit Victoria and CrossFit Brookvale coming in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
While the event was team based, there were many great individual performances along the way. In particular Jarrod Smith from CrossFit Brookvale and Linzey Beister from Reebok CrossFit Gold Coast, who both snatched 245 pounds.
”It felt good, I was just a bit nervous as usual but the crowd’s always amazing so you’ve got to love CrossFit for that,” Smith said after the workout.
Schwartzs CrossFit Melbourne finished 8th in the workout, but still holds onto the top spot on the Leaderboard, while CrossFit Newcastle again slipped out of the top three with a 10th place finish.
With one workout remaining only 10 points separate 1st place and 5th place, and qualification for the CrossFit Games are truly up for grabs in this division.