While most of population is out toasting Cinco de Mayo, South West athletes hit the floor at Douglas County Fairgrounds to imbibe in Day 2 of the South West Regional.
Dumbbell snatches and sprints were the name of the game for Workout 3. And like we saw in Day 1’s workouts, athletes were put to the test and ultimately were separated by raw strength.
Sitting 34th overall entering Day 2, Brian Maier knew he needed to rise to the occasion. He did just that in Workout 3. Maier paced the way in the first heat, finishing his four sets of 100-pound dumbbell snatches ahead of the pack with an official time of 4:43.
“I had to crush that one. That was my workout," says an energized Maier, who bested Blake Bastian by 22 seconds. "I dug myself a big hole in Workout 1, [and] I’m climbing out now."
Bastian finished at 5:05, while Spencer Marx rounded out the heat's top three at 6:44.
To say Nate Beard breezed his way through Workout 3’s second heat would be an understatement.
The CrossFit Red athlete showed no signs of slowing down as he burned through the 100-pound reps to finish with a heat-best time of 3:44 — a mere 4 seconds shy of current world record-holder Lucas Parker of Canada West.
“Slow and easy, know what you can do and have the confidence," says Beard of how he attacked the event.
"Yesterday, I looked at my nutrition and I had nothing in me," he adds. "Both of the WODs I bonked. I really started eating a lot of food and I think it shows.”
In a close race to finish behind Beard, Gil Hollingsworth edged out Kyle Boyer, 4:52 to 4:59.
Like Maier, Tim Galloway believed he could close the gap with a strong Workout 3. And, like Maier, the CrossFit Infernal athlete took care of business in Heat 3. Galloway distanced himself from the pack early on and pushed through his reps and sprints to close out the workout with the top time in his heat of 4:19.
“It was definitely a sprint, but you had to have the strength component," Galloway says. "I knew I could do all right on this one and hopefully make up some ground.”
The final men's heat proved to be the most exhilarating.
In a second bid to break the world record, Hathcock, like Beard, came ever-so-close, but fell four seconds shy of Parker's mark with a time of 3:44.
"I did my first two WODs slower than in practice, so I was really disappointed yesterday," says a breathless Hathcock. "Today I was over a minute faster, so it feels good."
Hathcock's near-record time was not the only big splash from the final heat as a shirtless Matt Chan opted to slide headfirst across the finish line for a time of exactly 4 minutes. Chan's chest might be sporting a few war wounds, but his effort was enough to edge out Patrick Burke by 1 second.
Headed into Workout 4, Burke remains ahead of the competition at No.1 overall, followed by Chan and Hathcock.
In CrossFit, athletes often play to their strengths. Entering the morning workout, Hannah Caldas recognized Workout 3 was where she could make her mark.
"Yesterday’s [workouts] definitely were not my strong events," says a reflective Caldas, an Olympic hopeful covering the 100-yard freestyle in swimming. “Handstand push-ups have followed me since I started CrossFit and I don’t seem to be making too much improvement. I blame it on long arms and heavy weight."
The eventual Heat 1 leader was almost mechanical in her performance, evenly working her way through to finish at 5:45.
"The snatches today were a great workout for me," Caldas explains. "I have a broken rib so I was not too sure how that would affect my snatch today, but I didn’t feel it at all."
She adds: "I just felt like going for it. I gave it everything I had."
Besides Caldas, only Cyndi Frieling finished the workout within the 10-minute time cap at 6:40.
In the second heat, Whitney Cappellucci followed up her strong performance in Workout 2 with another great one in Workout 3. She rose to 10th overall following Day 1 and could climb even higher after besting Kim Hagger (6:39) and Nicole Christensen (5:54) to finish with a time of 5:54.
Workout 2 warrior Jasmine Dever was methodical in her approach to Workout 3, choosing to set the tone early and never waver. The Front Range CrossFit athlete once again led the way in the final heat and set a world record for the event at 4:57 as spectators roared.
“I picked a pace and stuck to it," Dever explains. "Not run too fast, not try to go out too fast. It’s a short workout but a pacer for sure.”
Rounding out the final heat was Becky Conzelman at 5:21 and Kristen Olson at 5:36. Both women also are from Front Range.
Heading into Workout 4, Colleen Maher of Front Range remains at No.1 overall, followed by Dever at No. 2 and Conzelman at No. 3.
It was all CrossFit IoTA in the first heat of the day. CrossFit Albuquerque got off to a strong start, quickly finishing the first set of 100-pound snatches; however, IoTA took over from there and steadily plowed through the remaining reps with relative ease en route to a 7:38 finish.
“The third round got heavy, but being in front of everyone that far gives you an adrenaline rush so that was helpful," says IoTA athlete Brandi Bastian.
Coming in behind IoTA with a time of 10:07 was CrossFit NRG. Of the nine teams competing in Heat 1, only IoTA and NRG finished under the 12-minute mark.
Practice paid off for Front Range Too in Workout 3 as the Denver-based outfit held off CrossFit Surge to take the top spot in Heat 2 with a time of 6:18.
“We’ve practiced this before, so we knew the pace we had to set," says Front Range Too athlete Matt Petty. "It’s really slippery out there. My goal was not to fall on the run because I knew the dumbbells I could do unbroken. We’re really happy.”
Coming in behind Front Range Too were CrossFit Surge with a time of 6:57 and CrossFit 801 at 7:32.
In what seemed like a page taken straight out of a movie script, Bomb Squad's Deana Gillespey closed out her team's heat-best time of 5:47 with the Gap Band's "You Dropped The Bomb On Me" blaring in the background.
“I just had to keep moving," Gillespey says of her strategy. "Do not stare at the dumbbell. I got no-repped my last two and I was so frustrated. I just had to get right back on it and sprint as hard as I could.”
Rounding out the top three in Heat 3 was Hacks Pack UTE at 6:04 and Wasatch CrossFit Blue with a time of 6:50.
Heading into afternoon, Hacks Pack UTE sits at the No. 1 spot overall, Bomb Squad is in 2nd and Front Range CrossFit is at 3rd.