It is a gorgeous, sunny day in Northern California. To the sound of bagpipes, the athletes filed on to the field, eager and nervous for the day ahead. The day started off with the National Anthem, masterfully sung by Lyle Sadie Belger, 9-year-old daughter of the event’s MC, TJ Belger. A CrossFitter herself since age 5, she said she was very nervous singing in front of such a big crowd, but applause broke out as she hit those high notes, and the crowd went nuts when she finished. What a great beginning to the 2012 NorCal Regional.
The hoodies from the early morning chill were quickly tossed aside as things heated up in the first event, Team Workout 1. Nerves were evident as a few athletes fumbled as they attempted to kick up into their first handstands, but everyone quickly collected themselves and settled in. As they all knew, any little mistake could be costly.
In Heat 3, CrossFit 808, Rocklin CrossFit Honey Badgers, and Diablo CrossFit Anejo pulled out early in the heat, leading what would be the fastest heat of the day by minutes. Although the race stayed tight all through the second round of the men’s deadlifts, it was the incredible work of the Rocklin men who enabled their team to break away. Rocklin’s men came to the bar, and in the rush of adrenaline started their deadlifts with the women’s bar, but even with two no-reps at the women’s weight, the men went on to the 20 deadlifts at the men’s weight, and sprinted to the finish line with the winning time of 4:48.
Diablo CrossFit Anejo was right behind the whole workout, but the final round of women’s deadlifts proved to be an unexpected struggle, and Diablo fell out of the top three. CrossFit 808 stayed consistent, clearly on fire, focused and determined to make their mark, finishing in 2nd with 5:09.
CrossFit Redding came from behind with a strong finish of 5:13 for 3rd place, and this performance is even more remarkable given that one of the men slated to compete for their team had to pull out due to injury at the last minute, requiring plenty of last minute changes to the team strategy and breakdown. The CrossFit Redding team members said they couldn’t be happier with their finish and they are especially appreciative of the hard work of the women who “made the difference, with the girls making up time in the HSPUs.”
1. Rocklin CrossFit Honey Badgers 4:48
2. CrossFit 808 5:09
3. CrossFit Redding 5:13
Heat 1 was a tough race for the first heat of women, with many of them struggling to finish in the time cap, but Kelly Edelmann was consistent, calm, and cool, demonstrating early on the recipe for CrossFit success, finishing the event in a strong 7th place.
In Heat 2, Lauren Fisher led from the very beginning with a strong time of 2:39 for 4th place, putting her right at the top of the pack.
Heat 3 brought on the top NorCal Open finishers, and the crowd intensity grew, as all knew this race would be fast and close from start to finish. Annie Sakamoto pulled ahead quickly, even with strict handstand push-ups. As she completed her reps cleanly and used quick transitions, resorting to kipping HSPU only in the last round, Sakamoto finished 1st with 2:05.
Former gymnast Laurie Galassi, of CrossFit Santa Cruz, worked consistently to finish in 2nd place with 2:27, and Elyse Umeda, of CrossFit 808, caught up with the leaders, right behind in 3rd place with 2:31. Elyse Umeda said she is “extremely happy with a 19-second PR.”
1. Annie Sakamoto 2:05
2. Laurie Galassi 2:27
3. Elyse Umeda 2:31
In Heat 1, James Wolfe took the heat early, moving to 1st by the first round of HSPUs, and although Myles Lewis came close, no man in this heat could move ahead and Wolfe won the heat with 2:56. Lewis finished behind in 3:03.
In Heat 2, Jesse Baz and Travis McRoberts fought for the lead throughout this heat, inching ahead of each other in turns, but in the end McRoberts pulled ahead for 1st in 2:21, earning a 4th place finish overall. This heat demonstrated the difficulty of this workout as men struggled in the end with the requirement to keep the heels on the wall for a valid rep, and this slowed down many.
Heat 3 gave us the surprise 3rd place finisher for this event, Noel Famy. With a killer time of 2:13, Famy blew his heat away, and the crowd found a new athlete to watch in the competition.
The final heat of the Men’s Workout 1 brought out a full field of experienced competitors with most of these male competitors already having Regional and four having Games experience as well. Neal Maddox, Joey Warren, Gabe Subry and Jason Khalipa charged full speed to start this heat with incredible intensity.
Maddox was soon ahead of the pack, faltering only once or twice with a no-rep call. Khalipa inched ahead at the final deadlifts, but Maddox pulled off the win, finishing in 1:58 for 1st place and Khalipa just two seconds behind in 2nd place with 2:00. In 3rd place for this heat, Blair Morrison finished in 2:24 for a 5th place finish overall.
1. Neal Maddox 1:58
2. Jason Khalipa 2:00
3. Noel Famy 2:13