After the morning dance with Diane, competitors transitioned from the couplet to a triplet of rowing, one-legged alternating squats (pistols), before attempting the hang cleans.
Just like the morning performance where the handstands were the defining factor, this workout proved to have its own hurdle. In every division from the Men’s, Women’s and Team events, competitors succumbed to the heavily weighted hang cleans. Those who managed to complete the allotted reps cemented their positions on the Leaderboard, while those who failed ran the risk of elimination.
Some of the day’s earlier questions became a step closer to being answered. Despite Regional Games veteran Jason Haywood improving in event two, his time of 15:45 was only good enough to secure him 10th in the workout, leaving him 18th overall and means he has a challenging task ahead of him leading into day two.
The brothers duo of Chris and Kieran Hogan are still well placed to become the first male siblings to qualify to the Games, both sitting inside the top 10 in a respectable 4th and 9th place overall.
Last year’s Games qualifier, Rob Forte proved 2011 was no fluke and showed consistency was once again the key in 2012. And consistence is just what Schwartz CrossFit Melbourne has proved all through the Open and once again today, closing out the Leaderboard in 1st place, showing they may just be the team to beat.
The story of the day had to go to Kara Gordon.
1. Kara Gordon: 11:56
2. Ruth Anderson-Horrell: 12:15
3. Jessica Coughlan: 13:50
1. Kara Gordon (4)
2T. Ruth Anderson-Horrell (7)
2T. Denae Brown (7)
Day 1 of the Australian Regional and already we’ve had a world record fall.
Kara Gordon’s amazing time of 11:56 smashed the previous record by 11 seconds and etches her name into the CrossFit history books. The 22 year old quickly chased down Amanda Allen, 41, after the row and blasted through the hang cleans in no time.
Her world record performance moves her into the overall lead, and more importantly gives her a wealth of confidence heading into Day 2.
“I was just stoked to have finished in 1st place, and I didn’t even know I’d broken the world record. I suppose it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” she said after the event. “I’ve come this far and I just really want to make top three.”
For last year’s winner, Amy Dracup, the workout was always going to be about redemption after her 10th place finish in the opening event.
“First up I had Diane, it’s actually my favorite workout in CrossFit and something I’m usually good at,” she said. “But today I became completely unstuck and I wasn’t very pleased with the result, but I’m trying to look forward.”
However, things didn’t go to plan for Dracup yet again. Despite making up a heap of ground during the pistols, last year’s winner couldn’t keep up in hang cleans and ended up finishing 6th with a time of 14:24.
She’s now 12 points behind overall leader in 7th place, and has some serious ground to make up if she is to qualify for this year’s Games.
Ruth Anderson-Horrell finished 2nd in the event and is now tied with Denae Brown for 2nd overall, while Amanda Allen sits in 4th place overall, after finishing event two in 4th place.
1. Rob Forte: 13:35
2. Brendan Clarke: 13:46
3. Chad Mackay: 13:54
1. Rob Forte (8)
2. Brandon Swan (11)
3. Brendan Clarke (12)
Event 1 for the men saw a surprise leader emerge, with Chris Saliba beating all the big names in Diane. However, after a long and heavy workout, the top three males had all been replaced, with Saliba, Josh Bromley and Jordan Bender all unable to finish within the 17-minute cut-off.
They weren’t the only ones, however. In the first heat, only two competitors managed to finish the workout, while only three managed to complete the 2k row, 50 pistols and 30 hang cleans (225 pounds) in Heat 2.
Twenty-year-old, self-trained CrossFitter Brendan Clarke, showed everyone he is a serious contender this year, winning the third heat, and moving to 3rd position overall. His nearest competitor was more than a minute behind him.
“Yeah it felt good. I took that heat out in 13:47, it was the one I was looking forward to and it worked out well,” he said walking out of the stadium. “The cleans were all right, I was just happy to get sets of five. When you get to 20 reps it really hits you.”
Clarke’s time however, would be beaten in the final heat of the day, with Rob Forte finishing his final hang clean in a time of 13:35. The dual Games competitor now leads the men by three points to Brendon Swan, who finished 6th in the event.
“I wasn’t too sure how I’d go with it, it turned out to be legs, legs, legs the whole way, so it was interesting to see how I’d actually go,” Forte said after the workout. “When I did it in training I only did 20 reps, so I wanted to see how it goes and leave it so I could push though with the crowd to get through the last 10.”
Event 2 also saw a lot of the big names put themselves back into contention. Even after Diane proved to be challenging today for Chris Hogan (9th), Kieran Hogan (4th) and Chad McKay (5th) they managed to work their way into the top 10. While Mark Corrigan also moved up the Leaderboard with a 4th place finish.
1. CrossFit Plus: 19:50
2. CrossFit Newcastle: 18:48
3. Tropic Thunder: 19:09
1. Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne (6)
2. CrossFit Newcastle (6)
3. CrossFit Plus (8)
For the teams, just getting through the event was going to be a challenge. In many regions across the world, the heavy hang power cleans have been too hard for competitors.
Australia was no exception, with more than half the teams unable to finish the workout within the 25-minute cut off point.
CrossFit Victoria won the first heat in a time of 21:04, before CrossFit New Zealand eclipsed that with a victory in the second heat. The Trans-Tasman locals in the crowd were seen rising to their feet to acknowledge the achievement.
In the final heat, CrossFit Plus stormed the field to win in a time of 18:02, a minute outside the world record set by CrossFit CDR Redlands last week. The win boosts them up to 3rd spot overall, and just two points behind leader CrossFit Schwartz, who finished 5th in the heat.
CrossFit Newcastle continued their consistent form, finishing 2nd in another tight contest with Schwartz’s CrossFit and are now 4th overall. Tropic Thunder came in 3rd, while CrossFit Brisbane finishing 4th in the event to keep their qualification hopes alive.
However, in typical CrossFit spirit the events loudest cheer was not for a winning team. CrossFit Athletic were struggling to finish the workout, and with just two minutes to go had a whole set of hang cleans to get through. However, anchoring team member Philippa Robinson had other ideas.
The 28 year old, who qualified for the individual event, but chose to represent her team instead, ripped amazingly through all 15 reps unbroken to storm home and give their team a much-needed 13th place finish.
The crowd cheered louder with each rep she completed until she ran to the finishing mats in a fit of smiles.
“I always knew I could do it in the gym, but I never knew I could do it that quick,” she said. “I could hear the crowd cheer and it was just awesome.”
After a long day filled with surprising and astonishing performances shown across all competitors, Day 2 is bound to keep us entertained and excited on the way to crowning the fittest athletes in Australia.