Article

Regional Report: SoCal Athletes Showcase Endurance and Strength

Published on Tue, 2012-05-08 13:34
By: 
Hilary Achauer

At the end of Day 1, Bill Grundler and Kristan Clever are sitting at the top of the Leaderboard.

The crowds grew as the day wore on in Pomona, Calif., the mid-day sun beating down on athletes battling it out on the black asphalt. Amid enthusiast support from Axiom CrossFit and choreographed dances and chants from CrossFit LA, the men, women and teams took on Event 2, a workout that showcased endurance, strength and strategy. 

Men
 
Event 2
1. David Millar: 12:38
2. Jon Pera: 12:41
3. Mike Cahill: 13:12
 
The first day of the Southern California Regional started off with some surprises. Bill Grundler showed that a 42-year-old can hold his own against 20- and 30-year olds by coming in 1st in Event 1, and newcomer Colin Jenkins came out of nowhere to grab the 2nd spot in the first event of the day. 
 
Event 2 combined a 2,000-meter row with 50 pistols and 30 hang cleans at 225 pounds for the men. The first heat revealed the difficulty of this event. The event had a 17-minute cutoff, and by 16 minutes no athletes finished. Paul Gregrow was the only one to finish in the first heat. With a time of 16:50 he came in just under the time cap.
 
Colin Jenkins, competing in the second heat, had a lot to prove after his impressive performance in Event 1. Jenkins started off strong and was the first to the hang cleans after smoothly moving through the pistols. His fans from CrossFit Ventura cheered him on, holding handmade, oversized letters spelling out his name.
 
Jenkins made short work of the hang cleans, easily winning his heat with a time of 13:41. The next closest competitor in his heat was Gregory Pitts of CrossFit Pacific Beach, who finished in 15:25. 
 
Jenkin’s score won him 5th in the event and 2nd place overall. “I had no real game plan,” Jenkins said after the event. “There is no point going too hard on the row; my main goal was to do sets of threes on the cleans. I am looking at it as the whole weekend and I want to save my back. I could’ve done 7 or 10 reps to start out with, but I really want to avoid fatigue for the rest of the weekend.”
 
In the final heat, a number of the male athletes were looking to gain some of the ground they lost after Event 1. “There’s nothing left to lose now. I’m going to do everything I can,” Dave Lipson of CrossFit Invictus said.
 
Lipson was one of the first off the rowers, followed closely by Leverich, who had something to prove after Event 1. The workout was decided by the hang cleans, which stalled out many of the leading athletes. Rather than linking his hang cleans, Leverich dropped the weight after each. Jarett Perelmutter of Brick CrossFit struggled with the weight, squat cleaning each one of his reps. Lipson made the weight look easy, but David Millar, who got 25th place in Event 1, handled the weight quickly and stealthily to finish first with a time of 12:38. Jon Pera was right on his heels, followed by Mike Cahill. 
 
Bill Grundler finished in 4th place with a time of 13:26, which was good enough for him to hold onto his first place spot at the end of the day. Colin Jenkins maintained his second place spot, and Jon Pera moved into third overall at the end of Day 1.
 
Women
 
Event 2
1. Andrea Ager 12:26
1. Valerie Voboril 12:26
3. Lindsey Valenzuela 12:54
 
Event 1 for the women saw a world record setting time by Kristan Clever, with a just-as-impressive2nd place finish by her Valley CrossFit teammate, Becca Voigt, especially considering that Voigt is 5’9”, and Diane is a workout that usually favors the shorter athlete.
 
Things got heavy and long for Event 2, a workout that proved challenging for the early heats, with only three women finishing under the 17-minute time cap in the first heat: Shira Meidav, Katie Crowe and Rachel Doucet. 
 
In the second heat, Shanon Humphrey of CrossFit Temporary Insanity was first off the rower, followed closely behind by Katie Hogan. Hogan moved through the pistols like she was walking down stairs, and she was the first to the power cleans. Hogan has no trouble with heavy weight, and she demolished the 135-pound hang cleans and then dove to the finish line on her hands and knees, to win her heat with a time of 13:24. Humphrey was close behind, showing no sign of the injury that landed her in the hospital after the 2011 Regionals.
 
In the final heat, red-haired Anne Austad of CrossFit Eagle Rock was the first off the rower, but Madelyn Curley and Andrea Ager of Brick CrossFit quickly followed. Going into Event 2, Ager said she knew she had to take advantage of her height and speed. “I knew the hang cleans would be the make-or-break factor,” Ager said. “I tried to do what works best for my body, which is to go fast.” 
 
Next to each other and wearing matching black sports bras and orange and black shorts, Curley and Ager faced each other as they did their rapid pistols, looking like mirror images of strength and grace. 
 
“My goal was to break up the cleans into 10-8-6-4-2,” Ager said. “But it didn’t go that way at all.”
 
Instead she abandoned her original plan and completed the last 10 hang cleans unbroken, to the cheers of a roaring crowd. “I knew that even if I went through the pistols first, everything would depend on the cleans.”
 
The last five hang cleans turned into a race between Lindsey Valenzuela, Ager, and Voboril. Ager and Voboril tied with 12:26.
 
After she finished, Voboril’s held her baby girl in her arms while she stayed on the competition field and cheered on her competitors. Clever, the winner of Event 1, tied for 4thplace with Voigt. 
 
The first day of the SoCal Regionals ended with a chink in the Valley CrossFit armor, with Clever in 1st place, Voboril in 2nd, and Voigt in 3rd. Ager is close at their heels in 4th place.
 
Team
 
Event 2
1. Team CDR Redlands 16:57
2. Invictus: 17:28
3. CrossFit SoCal: 17:31
 
The first team event set up a head-to-head race between Team CDR Redlands and CrossFit SoCal. CDR Redlands won the first event, but SoCal was close behind in 2nd place.
 
“I think the CDR Redlands/SoCal rivalry is going to be a trend. We were right behind them in the first event,” Ben Kongesor, of CrossFit SoCal, said. 
 
The second team event, a combination of rowing, pistols and heavy hang cleans, tested the strategy and endurance of the teams. Teams employed a variety of tactics, from starting with their strongest rowers to get an early lead, to leaving their strongest for the end to catch up if needed. 
 
Many of the women in the first two heats struggled with the 135 lb. hang power cleans, with several of them doing single sets toward the end.
 
CrossFit CDR Redlands and CrossFit SoCal were pitted against each other in the second heat as the bleachers filled with red CDR shirts. 
 
“We each had our own strategy — mostly focusing on how hard we were going to row,” CrossFit Redlands said.
 
Kongesor of SoCal said the team’s goal was to move heavy weight fast. “My biggest weakness was the hang cleans,” Kongesor said.
 
CDR Redlands started the event full of confidence. Calvin Davis completed his cleans in a blazing two sets of 10 and five. “We went into this thinking we were going to set a world record,” Davis said. They did just that, finishing with a time of 16:57. “We’re going to the Games.” 
 
The 2nd-place spot was grabbed by Invictus, helped along by Ayo Anise. She handled the 135-pound clean like it was an empty bar. The sea of green — the enthusiastic Invictus crowd — exploded when their team finished with a time of 17:28. Despite finishing in 3rd place in Event 2, CrossFit SoCal held onto its 2nd place spot overall, continuing the fierce SoCal/CDR rivalry going into Day 2.

 

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