After a morning filled with Front Range CrossFit continuing its run in the team competition, Natalie McLain surging past her competitors and Chris Spealler making Workout 1 look like a cake walk, the tone for this year's Regional was set, and expectations of the South West athletes rose heading into the afternoon.
And ladies and gentlemen, they did not disappoint.
Workout 2 proved to be nothing short of a gauntlet, with numerous athletes—men, women and teams alike—falling short of the allotted time.
A mix of rowing, alternating one-legged squats and heavy hang cleans was more than some could handle. But the athletes who managed to power through ultimately put on quite the show.
Morning workout warrior Drew Canavero was again doing his thing in Workout 2, but it wasn't quite good enough to hold off CrossFit Infernal's Tim Galloway.
Galloway, who struggled in Workout 1, is primed to climb the ranking after leading the way in the first heat with a strong 14:26 performance. Still, it wasn't easy.
"That workout is tailored for a bigger guy," said the 6-foot-2, 225-lb. Galloway. "I was able to use my leverage on the row, then get through the pistols all right and then just gut check on the 225. I felt good."
The workout: 2000-meter row, 50 alternating one-legged squats and 30 225-lb. hang cleans.
Despite finishing behind Galloway, Canavero still managed to finish second at 15:40. The top two finishers in Heat 1 were the only ones to successfully complete Workout 2 in the 17-minute cap. Third place finisher, Brian Maier, barely missed the cut after coming in over the allotted time by just four seconds.
Where others struggled, Kevin Ogar excelled, and then some. The CrossFit Unbroken athlete broke through in Workout 2 to set a world record with a time of 12:14.
Ogar's world record proved to be short-lived, though.
Like Spealler in Workout 1, there was no stopping Matt Chan in Workout 2. The CrossFit Verve owner started out well, finishing first on the row and the one-legged squats. He hit the hang cleans hard by reeling off 10 unbroken to pace the way and break Ogar's mark by a full 10 seconds with a time of 12:04.
“Pace the 2K, all 50 [squats], try to get 10 [unbroken hang cleans], then whatever happens after that," Chan said of his approach.
When asked about his record-setting performance, he said, “If only they were all like that.”
Coming in behind Chan in the final heat were Matt Hathcock and Nick Zambruno, who finished with times of 14:13 and 15:07, respectively.
Looking at the Leaderboard heading into Day 2, Patrick Burke is sitting pretty at No.1 overall, followed by Spealler and Zach Forrest.
For the first women’s heat of Workout 2, the 135-lb. hang cleans also proved to be a tough assignment. Just three of the group’s nine athletes managed to finish within the 17-minute cut-off.
Of the three, Quinn Megargel posted the heat's top time: 15:31. And, making her accomplishment all-the-more impressive, she did it while battling a touch of the flu.
"Basically, I did one movement of everything during warm-up," Megargel explained of her strategy for competing while sick. "I just didn't have the stomach today."
Previous experience helped her close out the workout, she added.
"I started learning hang cleans in college so that movement is more familiar to me," Megargel said.
Emily Jaramillo was first to finish the row and eventually finished 2nd in the first heat with a time of 16:38. Mary Beth Litsheim, who topped her heat in Workout 1, finished 3rd at 16:48.
In the second heat, Whitney Cappellucci redeemed herself after struggling with Workout 1 earlier in the day. Staying focused and true to her mechanics, the CrossFit Albuquerque athlete led the way in the second heat with a time of 13:21.
"I knew I was going to make up some ground because I did so bad on Diane,” said Cappellucci of how she approached the event. "So, I had a different mentality because I had to do it. It was hard. I got really winded, but you just want to keep focused ... keep with your fundamentals."
Nipping at Cappellucci's heels were Kristen Olson, who finished 38 seconds later with a time of 13:59, and Nicole Christensen, who finished with a time of 15:14. Similarly to what we saw in the first heat, only four of 11 athletes in Heat 2 finished within the time cap.
In the final heat, Front Range's Jasmine Dever found her zone on the one-legged squats and broke through the hang cleans to put up a women's best time of 13:11. Right behind Dever were Colleen Maher, also of Front Range, and Emmalee Moore. Maher and Moore finished at 14:28 and 15, respectively.
After wrapping up their final few hang cleans, both Dever and Maher were quick to the side of another Front Range athlete, Becky Conzelman, coaxing her to a 16:05 finish. Following the heat, Maher explained why she wasted little time in rooting on her fellow athlete.
“Becky was way ahead of all of us and then her back tightened up," she said. "We knew that she was gonna have to push to get through that one. We’re a really close team. If one of our people is down, we’re going to be out cheering for them."
"They’d do the same thing for me. Or if it was Jasmine, they’d do the same thing for her,” she added.
Heading into Saturday, Maher, like she did for much of the Open, sits atop the overall Leaderboard, followed by Tiffany Hendrickson and Emmalee Moore.
Similar to the individual workouts, many teams were plagued by the cleans. A total of 12 teams failed to finish within the 25-minute cap.
In the first heat, only five of 14 teams completed the workout in time.
CrossFit 702 paced the way with a heat-best time of 18:42, nearly a minute-and-a-half better than 2nd place finishers, CrossFit 801 and Wasatch CrossFit Blue, who tied at 20:19.
For the second heat, Front Range and Hacks Pack UTE once again battled it out for supremacy, with the Tommy Hackenbruck-led crew getting the better of Workout 1's top team with a time of 17:21. Front Range finished 2nd with a time of 18:09, followed by Bomb Squad and CrossFit Evolve, who tied for 3rd at 18:36.
Heading into Day 2 and Workout 3, Front Range CrossFit is the top team overall, followed by Hacks Pack UTE and Bomb Squad.