It’s the fourth time Central East athletes take the floor. It’s the fourth time they draw from a reserve of strength held especially for days just like these, when the world watches you be your best. It’s the fourth time within two days of competition that athletes are met with cheers from a crowd that knows exactly how they feel at the halfway point in a competition that will decide the remainder of the season.
If these athletes weren’t CrossFitters, it would show by now. All athletes have shown their dedication to the Sport of Fitness.
Event 4 is a quilt of movements that test the entire body. It’s back squats, pull-ups, shoulder-to-overheads, and front squats. And it’s a lot of them. Stations were set up quickly for the first heat of teams to tackle the workout and at the Ohio Expo Center, it seemed like there was no rest for the weary – leave the day’s first event with the Leaderboard and then move on to the next.
Each member of The Afterburners is active duty Air Force, but the team burned out as time was called in Heat 2. Todd Skelton was called in to the team just three days ago and gave credit to Leah Pound and Abbey Rogers. The team credits it’s placing to their females. “The only reason we got the opportunity was because of the girls,” Skelton says.
The stakes were definitively high in the third and final heat. SPC CrossFit declared they would take a world record in this event and finish every single rep. With the music lower than previous events, the sound of the weights dropping to the ground after being stripped from the bar echoed against the clock.
At 12:23, the women of SPC moved into their third round and the men took on the remaining time while other teams fell victim to the intensity and the fatigue this workout brings with it.
Team SPC did not finish every rep of the workout, but with a total of 863 reps they set a new world record of 25:37 (it was later broken by CrossFit Invictus in SoCal.) Each rep not completed results in an additional second to the final score for each team.
1.SPC CrossFit (25:38)
2.The Afterburners (26:53)
3.Rogue Gahanna (26:55)
1. SPC CrossFit
2. Rogue Gahanna
3. CrossFit Maximus
The men of the Central East entered the floor for Event 4 with less than excitement written on their faces. They know what's in store and they know this hodgepodge of a grinder will be one of the least forgiving workouts within their weekend.
For the individual men’s division, Event 4 carries a whole different mental make-up thanks to Guido Trinidad. Trinidad finished the tall order of Event 4 in15:56. Chris Weir, 40, the oldest competitor in the individual male division, finished 1st in his heat with a time of 21:29.
Pull-ups quickly become the deciding factor. Athletes like Jayce Stewart pulled ahead by pulling his chin over the bar. Competitors like Chris Weir leave behind a little piece of themselves coming off the bar with a bloody pull-up ridden appendage. “Most of the workouts are heavy and skilled,” Weir said. “I have the skills, but with this one I made up for lack of strength with grit and left a piece of me out on the floor.”
There was a strong showing of support and a sea of yellow yelling at the top of their lungs as CrossFit New Albany watched four of their trainers, Adam Rogers, Dane Youtz, Rich James and Joe Herren battle it out on the floor. Herren and Youtz fought for the top spot as their friends and family cheered them on. Transitioning from the overhead squats to the pull-ups, Herren seemed to be feeling the ails of fatigue, but Youtz completed the last of his 360 reps in 20:23. “Family, gym, girlfriend … I have a lot of support here,” Youtz said.
Holmberg and Bailey were tentative before Event 4 began. “Longer WODs with higher rep counts are my weakness,” Bailey said. “I plan to stay smooth, relaxed with short breaks and see what happens.”
Holmberg’s sentiments reflected the same feeling saying, “High volume repetitions are my weakness, but it’s so CrossFit. My goal is to go as fast as I can and pick up the bar quicker than I want to,” he said.
In the end it was Rich Froning who dominated the complexity and the demand of the lifts coupled with the pull-ups. Transitioning from pull-up bar to barbell, Froning moved like a machine. With the largest and loudest crowd of the weekend, chants of Froning’s rep count were heard. Froning destroyed the field with a world record breaking time of 15:29. In pure Froning fashion, he throws his shirt down post workout, and brings his competitors home to finish alongside him.
It came down to “a little bit of strategy,” Froning said. “Just knock the back squats and wing it from there.”
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning’s workout as it will be the least strenuous.” Froning hit the 285 snatch last week. Will he do it again? “We’ll see what happens,” he said.
1. Rich Froning (15:29)
2. David Stowe (16:19)
3. Joseph Weigel (16:31)
1. Rich Froning
2. Dan Bailey
3. Graham Holmberg
The women of the Central East took the final workout by storm.
Workout 4 for the women is separated in half with only two heats. Competitor Merrill Mullis, in Heat 1, kept up what appeared to be a furious pace, but was among a large group unable to finish the workout. Mullis said her plan for the night was to rest up, “and make sure my body is taken care of. Tomorrow is a new day.”
As the top Central East women enter the floor, current leader Julie Foucher smiles as she thinks of the game plan she described pre-workout. ”Just do what I practiced.”
The Central East women moved through each rep. As Lindy Barber predicted, the back squats were obviously a challenge after suffering a broken back. Michelle Kinney did not let the weights get the best of her, and Smith, well paced, forged ahead. Foucher made every female on the floor appear as if they were in slow motion.
As Foucher gets better with every rep, she pulled away leaving the field in a battle for 2nd. Reminiscent of Froning’s Event 4 finish, the crowd cheered Foucher home, counting each rep aloud for her.
Kinney picked up her barbell to begin the overhead squats just as Foucher completed her final unbroken set of shoulder-to-overhead, crushing yet another world record by nearly 4 minutes, finishing in 14:44. Foucher ended Event 4 with not only the best female time, but with the fastest Event 4 time across the board.
1. Julie Foucher (14:44)
2. Michelle Kinney (20:03)
3. Lindsey Smith (21:05)
1. Julie Foucher
2. Lindsey Smith
3. Heather Welsh