On the second day of the Southern California Regional competition, athletes showcased their strength during the one-arm dumbbell snatch in Event 3 and their endurance in Event 4, a long workout featuring high reps of squats and shoulder-to-overhead presses combined with a ridiculous amount of pull-ups.
The individual women are undoubtedly the stars of the SoCal Region, but after his impressive performance in Day 1, all eyes were on 42-year-old Bill Grundler. Would he be able to finally make it to the Games?
“I thought I would be decent at Diane,” Grundler said about Event 1. “The second one I just wanted to be in the top 10, but with this whole thing I just want to let it fall. I am going to give it my all and see what happens. As long as I am performing I can’t control what the other athletes are doing.”
David Lipson of CrossFit Invictus took an early lead in Event 3, the first workout of Day 2, to win the event with a time of 3:46. After Lipson finished, a neck-and-neck race developed between Jon Pera and Kenneth Leverich, which culminated in a sprint to the finish for a tie with a time of 3:53, a score that also tied Ronnie Teasdale’s time from Heat 2.
As the men started Event 4, temperatures climbed into the mid 80s, heating up the pull-up bars and barbells. Most athletes were taping their hands to protect against the hot metal in a workout that included 120 pull-ups, along with back squats, shoulder-to-overhead presses, front squats and overhead squats.
Only one athlete finished under the 22-minute time cap in Heat 1, Jason Rosser of CrossFit Grover Beach. All of the athletes were showing their exhaustion and the heat of the day, breaking up their pull-ups into shorter and shorter sets and the event wore on.
In Heat 2, Nathan Lauritzen of CrossFit Foothill took an early lead, which he maintained even though his hands were torn and bleeding. Lauritzen tied for 1st place with Aaron Wolf for this heat. Matt Lodin, whose grip was comprised due to a broken thumb, finished in 3rd in the heat.
Heat 3 came down to Tory Morgan and Ronnie Teasdale. Morgan won the heat with a time of 18:37, with Teasdale right behind him. David Lipson stalled out on the pull-up, but completed the workout just before the buzzer.
In the final heat of Event 4, Kenneth Leverich took an early lead, followed by Bill Grundler.
Ryan Fischer of CrossFit Mean Streets quickly pulled ahead in a workout that played to his strengths. Before the competition began, Fischer said he was looking forward to the later workouts. “That’s where I’m going to make my money,” Fischer said.
True to his word, Fischer held his lead throughout and won the workout with a time of 16:52, followed by Jeremy Kinnick in 2nd and Kenneth Leverich in 3rd place.
Kinnick has slowly climbed the Leaderboard over the two days of competition, ending the day in 3rd place. “I’m really gonna try to put up something respectable in the snatch, and then Event 6 should be really, really good for me,” Kinnick said. “I’ve been doing this stuff for about five years. I’ve learned, I know going out really hard is a bad idea. My experience has definitely helped me with strategy.”
Grundler, who dazzled the crowd on Day 1, stalled out on the pull-ups, doing them one at a time in the final set of 40, but finishing just under the buzzer with a time of 21:54.
Day 2 ended with a major shakeup in the Leaderboard for the men, with only Jon Pera hanging onto a spot in the top three. Will Grundler and Jenkins be able to work their way back on the final day of competition?
1. Jon Pera
2. Kenneth Leverich
3. Jeremy Kinnick
Lindsey Valenzuela used her Olympic weightlifting background to set a world record in Event 3 with a time of 4:07. Voigt, who finished with a time of 4:48, followed her for 2nd place. This put Voigt in 1st place overall going into Event 4, separated by just one point from Valerie Voboril in 2nd, and Kristan Clever in 3rd.
A breeze came up as the first heat of Event 4 took to the competition floor. The long workout with a 22-minute time cap challenged the first few heats. While working on her pull-ups, Amanda Barelli of CrossFit Ethos suddenly dropped to the floor. According to medics, Barelli blacked out and hit her head and neck on the ground. She was taken away in a stretcher to a waiting ambulance; no word on Barelli’s condition at press time.
The women in Heat 2 battled hard. None of the women finished the workout in this heat, but Carlie Stone of CrossFit Inland Valley held the lead by finishing her last set of pull-ups when the buzzer sounded.
Anticipation built as the judges prepared the competition floor for the final heat of Event 4.
“I just want Event 4 to go as well as I know it can,” Madelyn Curley said before it began. “I love the push press and pull-ups — the 50 squats I could do without. My plan is to catch up on the pull-ups.”
Valerie Voboril pulled out ahead early in the workout, with Kristan Clever and Andrea Ager close behind. Voboril and Rebecca Voigt, separated by one point on the leaderboard going into the workout, faced each other as they worked through their 50 front squats.
Using her gymnastics background to her advantage on the pull-ups, Anne Austad moved ahead of the Valley girls, chasing Voboril and Ager who moved into the lead. In the end it came down to who could finish the last set of 40 pull-ups the fastest. The crowd exploded as Ager was the first to the bar for her final movement, 30 shoulder-to-overhead presses at 45 pounds.
Knowing it was hers to lose, Ager finished the 30 reps unbroken, her Brick fans counting every rep, to win the event with a time of 17:29, which put her in 4th place overall. Austad came in right behind her, finishing in 17:42, followed by Voboril who finished in 3rd with a time of 17:53.
“I had a good idea I would have a good time,” Austad said after the event, “But I had no idea I would keep up with those [Valley] girls.” In fact, none of the Valley girls finished in the top three in this event.
“I could hear the announcer and I tried not to get too much in my head, I just kept thinking it’s me and the barbell, me and the barbell, me and the barbell,” Austad said.
The final event shook up the Leaderboard for the women. Voboril is in 1st overall, followed by Voigt and Clever. There are no guarantees going into the final day of competition, with only one point separating 1st and 2nd place on the women’s Leaderboard, and one point between the 3rd and 4th place athletes.
1. Valerie Voboril
2. Rebecca Voigt
3. Kristan Clever
The first workout of Day 2 showcased the teams’ strength with the dumbbell snatch, with CrossFit SoCal finishing in first with a time of 5:02, four seconds shy of the world record, putting them in 1st place overall. CrossFit Invictus finished in 5:19, moving them up to 2nd place after Event 3.
Going into Event 4, the teams were competing against the clock as much as each other. Thus far, no team in any Regional competition had managed to finish the workout under the 25-minute time cap, and the SoCal teams wanted to prove this is one of the toughest regions in the world by doing just that.
As with many of the team workouts, this event relied heavily on strategy and speed of transitions. Much of the responsibility also rested on the women. The two women in this workout had to complete every movement before the men could start their work.
The teams battled the mid-day sun beating down on the barbells and pull-ups bars as they fought to do a daunting amount of work in under the time cap. In the second heat, Outlier finished far ahead everyone in the heat, with 24 shoulder-to-overheads remaining. With 60 fans braving the sweltering heat to watch their team, Outlier managed to best their practice time “by one rep. Heavy isn’t our forte so we aren’t looking forward to the snatches,” one of the Outlier competitors said.
In the final heat, Invictus pulled ahead to an early lead, followed closely by CrossFit CDR Redlands. The Invictus athletes had seamless transitions, and picked up speed as the workout progressed. When Invictus and CDR Redlands started the last set of overhead squats, it became apparent both teams had a chance at completing the workout under the time cap.
The male athletes on both teams ripped through their overhead squats. The CDR Redlands team fell behind when one of the women grabbed the barbell before the athlete was done with his reps, causing the bar to tip and costing the team precious seconds.
With the crowd counting out their last reps, Invictus moved to the final 25 shoulder-to-overheads and finished the workout in 23:32, the first team to finish this workout worldwide. CDR Redlands was close behind, finishing in 23:38. The final event shook up the Leaderboard, putting Invictus in 1st place with 10 points and CDR Redlands behind them with 13 points. Event 4 knocked SoCal into 3rd place at the end of the Day 2 with 21 points, with CrossFit 760 nipping at their heels with 23 points.
2. Team CDR Redlands
3. CrossFit SoCal