The CrossFit fans arrived early on Day 2 of the Southern California Regional competition. The always-enthusiastic CrossFit LA crowd showed up ready and in full force. CrossFit LA member Matt Cipolla painted his face blue in support. “There is sunblock underneath,” he said.
With temperatures already climbing, sunblock was just as important as spandex and knee socks for spectators and competitors alike.
Heading into Event 1 of the day, a combination of dumbbell snatches and sprints, all eyes were on the men, women and teams at the top of the Leaderboard. Can Bill Grundler and Kristan Clever maintain their spots at the top? Who would come out on top in the CrossFit CDR Redlands/CrossFit SoCal rivalry?
Skill and strength were tested in Event 3, which required precision, technique and strength in a movement not typically seen in CrossFit competitions—the one-armed dumbbell snatch.
1. Dave Lipson: 3:46
2T. Jon Pera, Kenneth Leverich, Ronnie Teasdale: 3:53
Event 3 for the men kicked off with four rounds of 10 one-arm dumbbell snatches followed by a sprint. In the first heat, Kevin Bell of CrossFit Chino Hills struggled with his snatches, but kept a smile the entire time. Bell wasn’t the only athlete feeling the spirit of friendly competition. Anders Varner of CrossFit Pacific Beach and Basile Beaty of CrossFit Mean Streets high-fived each other during their sprints, reminding everyone that, above all, CrossFit is fun.
In Heat 2 Ronnie Teasdale of CrossFit Mean Streets and Tory Morgan of CrossFit Code 3 were neck and neck for much of the event. Teasdale pulled ahead to win with a time of a 3:53, a score that bested many of the men in the final heat.
Heat 3 saw 11 men fighting to earn a spot at the top of the Leaderboard. Greg Pitts of CrossFit Pacific Beach took an early lead, moving quickly through the snatches and pacing himself during the sprints. Josh Golden of CrossFit Grover Beach overtook Pitts, but failed multiple times on his last set of dumbbell snatches, allowing Erik Fay of Rancho Cucamonga to pull ahead and finish first in the heat with a time of 5:07.
Before the final heat of the day, Jon Pera of CrossFit Rancho Cucamonga said he was focusing on his own performance. “I can’t control anyone else but myself. I try to stay true, and not let other people’s performances affect my mindset,” he said.
David Lipson of CrossFit Invictus took an early lead, not slowed in the least by the 100 lb. dumbbell snatches and winning the event with a time of 3:46. After Lipson finished, a neck-and-neck race developed between Jon Pera and Kenneth Leverich. Pera and Leverich started their last run at almost the same time, sprinting to the finish for a tie with a time of 3:53, a score that also tied Teasdale’s time from Heat 2.
After the event, Leverich said he changed his nutrition over the last year. “Between training, school, and work I wasn’t eating enough and I wasn’t even sleeping eight hours,” he says.
Leverich was all smiles after tying for 2nd place in Event 3, which put him in 2nd place overall. “It was awesome, I loved that finish,” Leverich said. “I tried to move faster, I was sprinting as hard as I could. I made a dive, but we hit it [the dumbbell] at the same time, it was just perfect timing.”
1. Lindsey Valenzuela: 4:07
2. Rebecca Voigt: 4:38
3. Katie Hogan: 5:00
The 70-pound dumbbell snatches proved challenging for the women in the first heat of Event 3. Only one woman finished under the 10-minute time cap in Heat 1, Amanda Barelli of CrossFit Ethos. Linda Leipper, competing with a fractured wrist, completed the workout in 10:35.
In Heat 2, a race developed between Katie Crowe and Kristen Curry, who were neck and neck on the snatches in the final round. Caught up in the moment, Crowe first forgot to move her weight forward and then didn’t touch her dumbbell after the last sprint, knocking her back to 4th place in her heat.
Katie Hogan showed off her strength and technique in Heat 3, taking an early lead. Hogan, who finished with a dive for her dumbbell with a time of 5 minutes even, was closely followed by Shanon Humphrey, who came in 2nd in the heat with a time of 5:42. Heat 3 was the first in which all the women advanced from the first round of snatches.
The final heat saw the “elite eight” fighting for a top spot. “I feel good, I am really excited for today,” Madelyn Curley said before the event. “I wished the hang cleans could’ve gone a little faster, but I am so excited about Diane. I PR’d by 40 seconds. I feel good about the dumbbells, I feel like I can get it overhead and that’s what counts, right?”
Rebecca Voigt took an early lead in the final heat, but began to slow down in the third round of snatches. That’s when Lindsey Valenzuela made her move, using her Olympic weightlifting background to her advantage.
All women paced themselves during first few sprints, giving themselves time to recover for the physically taxing snatches. As Voigt started to fail on the dumbbell snatches, Valenzuela made her move, winning the event with an astonishing world record time of 4:07. She was followed by Voigt, who finished with a time of 4:48. This puts Voigt in 1st place overall going into Event 4, followed by Valerie Voboril and Kristan Clever.
1. CrossFit SoCal: 5:02
2. Invictus: 5:19
3. Orange Coast CrossFit: 5:23
In the team Event 3, it came down to how quickly and effectively the women could get the 70-pound dumbbell overhead. In the first heat, CrossFit Costa Mesa had no trouble with snatches, winning their heat. Jane Rheinhardt of CrossFit San Diego popped her arm out of the socket on her first set of dumbbell snatches, her face contorting in pain as the medical crew helped her get her shoulder back into place. After consulting with the medics and her teammate, Rheinhardt decided to stop competing. “It’s happened once before,” Rheinhardt said. “I wanted to keep going.”
The second heat saw Brick CrossFit and CrossFit LA take an early lead, with CrossFit LA athlete Shirley Brown easily handling the dumbbell. The female athlete for CrossFit Inferno struggled with her first dumbbell snatch for more than eight minutes, with her fellow competitors gathering to cheer her on and offer advice on technique, along with CrossFit Inferno affiliate owner Bill Grundler who cheered her on from the sidelines.
The teams in the final heat took to the asphalt to the sound of vuvuzelas and cheers from the packed bleachers. Before the event, the CrossFit CDR Redlands team said they were sticking to their game plan. “We expected to be top five, but you never know. The SoCal Region is competitive so you just have to hope for the best. We’re going to go out here and do our best. Strategic rest is our only strategy.”
SoCal and Invictus took an early lead, with CrossFit SoCal’s Jacquie Johnson — a 2011 individual Regional competitor — easily handling the 70-pound dumbbell. “Were here to have fun. The weekend is the fun part. The last six months was when we put in the work,” Justin Nahama of Invictus said.
With a sprint to the finish, CrossFit SoCal finished in 1st 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.