It is always perfect weather inside McCook Athletic and Exposition Center. But the competition was hot in the town on Lake Michigan. With the green carpet rolled out for athletes of North Central, the feel of community in this close-knit Midwest region was strong as the announcer called the first heat of teams.
The workout was a familiar one – Diane, but this couplet is no easy lady.
The gauntlet was thrown down in Heat 1 when Rodney Hamby of CrossFit SoMO finished first with a 3:38, taking this 59th place North Central Open athlete to 18th overall. Calm and well paced, Hamby describes the Heat with one word: ”Solid.”
Heat 3 had the crowd on their feet with Chad Smith, Next Generation CrossFit and Tom Ragusa of Fit Bodies CrossFit racing to the wall for the first 21 HSPU. It was a tight race between these two athletes, with Chad Smith finishing at the 2-minute mark. Ragusa was 5 seconds behind and George Fairley rounded up the top 3 finishers of that heat with a 2:18 Diane.
Heat 4 was where is got hot. With all the athletes leaving their deadlift bars within seconds of each other, the pace was one that had the crowd on their feet. Kyle Kasperbauer of CrossFit Omaha tied Chad Smith’s impressive 2-minute time, while adhering to strict handstand push-ups for nearly the entire workout. Second in the North Central Open and in Heat 4 was Justin Allen. Brandon Pastorek, 1st place North Central athlete finished with a 2:51, sending him to 11th overall after Event 1.
1T. Kyle Kasperbauer
1T. Chad Smith
3T. Tom Ragusa
3T. Pete Rasmusen
Heat 3 of the Women’s competition had the crowd on its feet. From 3, 2, 1 … go, Kristin King blew thru the deadlifts and HSPU with a quiet grace, tying Elisabeth Akinwale to the wall for the first set of HSPU. But King’s steady pace proved successful, as she was first to advance to her set of 15 deadlifts. King held that lead until the end, finishing with an amazing time of 2:22 – a huge PR. “I’m incredibly excited,“ she said.
With a previous PR just a few days ago of 3:10, her energy was magnetic. “CrossFit makes me want to dance,“ she joked, but admitted she does not feel as confident going into Event 2.
Megan John, of CrossFit Manhattan Kansas was close behind, easing past Akinwale to secure 2nd place. A crowd favorite, Akinwale added more aggression to her kip and rounded up 3rd in this crowd-pleasing heat.
1. Kristen King
2. Megan John
3. Elisabeth Akinwale
In Heat 2, CrossFit AMRAP dominated the competition, leading the pack until the final set of deadlifts. “We rehearsed it,” said team member Eric Farrell, “but for some reason or another, on the last set of deadlifts it was like holding on for dear life.” They fell to in 6th their heat with CrossFit Lincoln placing 1st.
Heat 3 was a tight race between CrossFit Jenks and Quad City CrossFit, with Quad City hitting the wall first for HSPU. But it was Jenks that secured the win. “It lit my ass up,” said Jenks member and Games veteran Breck Berry.
1. CrossFit Jenks
2. QCCF Awesome
3. CrossFit Bellator 1