Staff and athletes started to trickle in as early as 6:30 AM, and by 9, the bleachers were already full. Held in Toronto, ON, the first day of the Canada East Regional is highlighting the popularity of the sport in the region. Regionals are off to an intense start.
The teams cracked the tension in the room, tackling the team version of Diane. CrossFit O-town took the honor of winning the first heat of the event, coming out of the gate strong, and held the lead the whole way. Transitions proved to be key for the teams; changing plates, crawling under boards and sprinting.
Demonstrating a bit of the nervous energy that was present in the building, the second heat had the first false start of the day. This heat was a show down between Lusine Montreal and Usine CrossFit Ottawa. Ottawa took the lead when the men came out for the second round, and held it down for the rest of the way.
Equipe CrossFit Laval wins the award for the best team costume; despite the discomfort for the ladies, all sported meticulously coiffed moustaches. Lusine CrossFit came out strong. Never to be counted out, Brossard caught up, and the men were the first back to the handstand push-ups. Quebec City and CrossFit Select continued to push, keeping the heat interesting. Lusine took the heat, followed by Brossard and Select.
After the first three heats, the top three teams are Lusine Crossfit, Usine CrossFit Ottawa and Lusine Montreal. All teams are moving on to the second event.
The first heat of the women contained the first surprise of the day. There is no other way to describe it: Martine Laganiere rocked Diane. Laganiere set a challenging pace for everyone, with a time of 3:18. Steady and methodical, she worked her way through the workout unbroken, only called back for one HSPU in the final nine.
Not to be outdone, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Michelle Letendre gave the crowd an incredible race. Neck and neck the whole way, the two athletes demonstrated two very different, but clearly effective, styles. Leblanc-Bazinet edged Letendre by 1 second, with blistering times of 2:04, and 2:05, respectively. Both times beat the previous World Record for the event, with Leblanc-Bazinet taking the title. Lacy Van Der Marel followed in 3rd, with a PR time of 2:41. Langaniere of the first heat sits 4th after the event.
The final 9 handstand push-ups to be the determining factor in the men's competition in Central East. The final heat of four was a flurry of activity, with the twelve top seeded men hammering it out. Albert-Dominic Larouche pulled ahead on the first set of HSPUs, and kept the lead, finishing with an event winning 2:13. On the other side of the floor, Matthieu Debreucq, showing some incredibly smooth and consistent HSPUs, finished at the 2:44 mark. Simon Paquette sits in 3rd with his 2:46 time.
By the end of the first event, it’s already standing room only at the Canada East Regional. With the tension broken, excitement and anticipation fills the air. It’s only going to get better and louder.