The final event of Regionals was a formidable beast. Many athletes in the Canada East Region admitted uncertainty and nerves. With the wide range of components to the workout, it stood to further separate the athletes further and offered a great opportunity for the underdogs in the standings.
The Team Event got everyone’s adrenaline pumping. With so many skills and fatigue a significant concern, the final ranking was a question mark throughout. Lusine CrossFit led for the majority of the Event, and finished the workout in the spot. The fatigue factor raised its ugly head for a number of women when they tried to complete their last muscle-up. Claude Leblanc-Bazinet struggled on her last rep, but got her muscle-up right before the cut off. The first set of muscle-ups made some teams nervous. The women of ShopCrossFit were two such athletes. “Previous to today, the girls had no more than 1 muscle-up,” said the male members of the team.
Equipe CrossFit Laval finished the workout behind the Lusine CrossFit leaders, and Lusine Montreal came 3rd. Montreal enjoyed the mix of gymnastics and strength components, focused on their individual thresholds, and tried to minimize the impact of the transitions.
Several teams used this workout as an opportunity to try and catch the leader, CrossFit Select. Usine CrossFit Ottawa surged to the first spot with their strong 5th place finish in Event 6, and Lusine CrossFit, winning this event, moved into the second spot to earn them a trip to the Games.
When it came to the women’s turn to take on the event, it proved exceptionally challenging. In the first two heats of women, only four were able to pick up the dumbbells for the famer carry. Jessica Cote-Beaudoin, Renee Martin, Isabelle Tardif and Ashley Werner fought through the deadlifts and muscle-ups, and toes-to-bars and wall balls to get the opportunity to run down the floor. Martin, Cote-Beaudoin and Tardif managed to get a number of burpee box jumps done as well. “It went better than expected, but it was hard,” Martin says. Cote-Beaudoin was thankful for her gymnastic background, and facing it for the first time, toughed it out.
The third heat was all about the race between Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Michele Letendre. Letendre seemed to want it make it clear: she deserves her ticket to the Games. She went out strong, and held her pace. She had practiced the workout several times before Regionals. “This helped me strike a good pace,” she said.
Afterward, she said the wall balls were the toughest. “With the bar and target, it was hard to focus,” she said. “I got dizzy a few times.”
Her muscle-ups were fluid and strong, not faltering in the last three reps. At the time of writing, Letendre’s time, 14:53. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet finished shortly behind Letendre in 16:09. In order to follow her strategic approach of controlled and steady, she slowed down, kept her emotions in check and went at her own pace. Finishing third was Lacey Van Der Marel, who managed to make her way to the burpee box jumps. She felt it was a good combination of movements overall, but found the hardest part was pacing herself.
Note: It was discovered later the women’s bars were loaded incorrectly at 205 pounds instead of 225, meaning Letendre did not set a world record time.
When the men took the floor, it was fairly certain that Albert-Dominic Larouche had earned a spot to the Games with his 18 points to Jeff Larsh’s 39. The contest would be for the second ticket to California.
The first heat turned into a fantastic battle between Vincent Tremblay and Matthieu Debreucq. Both were fairly close, with Tremblay in the lead heading into the last farmer’s carry. In a huge last minute surge, Debreucq overtook Tremblay and hammered out the three muscle-ups in a stunning time of 15:45. Holding the lock out of his last muscle-up, Debreucq, looked around, pulled into an L-sit, and started to cheer for everyone else in his heat. He turned to Tremblay, not yet done, and started to cheer him on, and ran out to encourage Dan Bosco on the farmer carry. When asked about the workout, he said he loved the it and he wanted to win his heat – it’s his trademark – winning his heat of the last workout. His biggest challenge? “Not to come off of the track too fast, know your capacity and stick with it.”
Debreucq set the time to beat, with Tremblay close behind at 16:07.
Even though Tremblay finished with plenty of time to spare, it was still a slog. “It was brutal, I couldn’t wait for those muscle-ups,” he said.
On the second farmer carry, he found his legs getting shaky, and his judge noted that all color drained from his face. He felt faint, but managed to keep going and finish the last three reps.
In Heat 2, two men were able to finish the workout – Jonathan Reid and Chris Cristini managed to complete the three muscle-ups. Cristini was happy with the finish. “The WOD sucked, but I finished it,” he said.
He did so in 16:56.
Jon Reid finished in a time of 16:33, which put him in 4th place. “I felt the worst heading into this WOD, but after, I feel the best I have all weekend,” Reid said. “I mean, the burpees were horrible, and I wasn’t looking forward to the deadlifts, but I’m really feeling good!”
Reid was happy with the top finish in his heat, “A good mother’s day present for my mom.”
The final heat contained the top three athletes, Albert-Dominic Larouche, Jeff Larsh and Matthew Lefave. Debreucq had set a pretty high standard, and even with their tremendous effort, none could top Debreucq. In a thrilling heat, Lefave finished 1st, with a time of 16:30, earning him the 3rd spot in the event. Larouche placing 5th at 16:46 followed him. Lefave and Larouche were the only two in the heat to complete the event. Afterwards, Larouche echoed what many others had said, “the worst part was the burpee box jumps,” but also that it went really well.
He is looking forward to his trip to the Games, and getting down to training.