Southern California will send 10 men and 8 women to the Masters Competition at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games.
The SoCal Regional has come and gone, and the top fittest men, women and teams are training diligently to represent at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games.
But there is another group of competitors who have been training since the Open and are ready for their moment to shine. This year, SoCal will be sending 10 men and seven women, eight of whom are veteran Games athletes, to the Masters stage at the StubHub Center later this month.
Masters Men 40-44
The new Masters 40-44 Division has three men representing the SoCal Region.
Bill Grundler finished second overall in this division, but opted to compete in the Men’s Individual competition at the Regional, opening a space for 21st overall finisher and celebrity trainer Ron Mathews.
Fourth-place Open finisher Jeremy Herider is a former professional baseball player and owner of Monster CrossFit.
“I played for the Reds and Diamondbacks,” he says, “and never made a World Series, so this is kind of like my World Series.”
Bryan Wadkins, 10th after the Open, participated in the 2013 SoCal Regional with CrossFit RXD. Though his team placed 22nd at Regionals, Wadkins, 40, will compete as a Master at the Games.
“I wasn't peaking during the Open,” he says. “But I am usually able to use my mental toughness to push through the Open WODs pretty well. After a few weeks, I started to realize that I could qualify (for the Games) if I kept doing well. At that point, things got real. By the final two workouts, I was pretty serious and focused. It was all business.”
Masters Men 45-49
The Masters Men 45-49 Division is also filled with first-time Games competitors from SoCal.
The Open went well for Mike Fournier of Cyn Gym CrossFit and Greg Smiley of Precision CrossFit. Worldwide, they finished in 19th and 15th, respectively, and will both be representing SoCal in Carson, Calif.
Masters Men 55-59
Representing Masters Men ages 55-59 are veterans Jon Hults (third), and Robby Lorber (13th).
Hults will make a return to Carson this year; he competed in 2010 and placed 10th in the 50+ Division. Unable to compete in 2011 and 2012 due to shoulder and knee surgeries, Hults is ready for a comeback.
“I’m very excited to be going to the Games this year,” he says. “The Open is great to see where you stack up with the rest of the CrossFitters in the world, but the Games is where you get to meet the best guys in the world face to face, get to know them, learn from and compete with them.”
Despite injury just prior to the 2013 season, Lorber, a returning 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Masters 55-59 Division athlete, managed to snag another shot at the big stage.
“Considering I tore my quad six weeks before the Open started, I was pretty pleased with my performance,” he says. “I'm just grateful the wall ball WOD didn't come up first. I was just focused on doing my best one WOD at a time.”
Masters Men 60+
In the 60+ Division, SoCal will be sending three men to the Games this year.
Newcomer Gary Marshman (12th) will be accompanied by veterans Ron Gellis (16th) and Richard Santa Maria (19th).
At the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, Santa Maria and Gellis placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 60+ Division. This year, Gellis is the oldest male competitor at 65 years old.
Marshman has had some good training company, and is hoping that will give him an advantage.
“I’ve had the privilege of working out daily with Jon ‘Mouse’ Hults who will also be attending the Games in the 55-59 age bracket,” he says. “Couldn’t ask for a better CrossFit partner!”
Masters Women 45-49
Veteran Cynthia Truax (third), and newcomer Jennifer Kawaguchi (19th) will head to the Games this year. Truax placed ninth at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games in the same division.
“This year is a little different from last year’s preparation for the Games,” Truax says. “I’m having to baby a couple injuries and be really smart about how I train so that I will be at full capacity come July 22. I feel confident and actually have learned more about myself and programming during this year’s preparation, than any other.”
Kawaguchi, from CrossFit TSAC, will be looking for redemption this year after missing qualification by three places in 2012.
Masters Women 50-54
Fan favorite Bonnie Lynn, and first-time Games competitor, Elizabeth Terris will represent in the Masters Women 50-54 Division this year.
Lynn placed first worldwide in this year’s Open, and in 2011, she took eighth at the Games. Last year, she bettered her rank to fifth in Carson.
“I'm excited and nervous,” Lynn says. “But looking forward to seeing a lot of the other Masters competitors that I've competed with the last couple of years. We're a great bunch of folks, and I really have enjoyed the camaraderie. We support each other, not just during the Games, but through social media (Facebook), or at other competitions throughout the year.”
As for Terris, this will be her first competition.
“I’ve been working with Vital Physical Therapy three times a week training my inspiratory muscles. The most important things I have done, however, is to start believing in myself. Some days this is easier than others but just like my front squat, it’s getting stronger.”
Masters Women 55-59
Terry Ferrari from CrossFit La Verne will be making a return trip to Carson after finishing 14th in the world in the Masters Women 55-59 Division.
“This is my second opportunity to compete in the CrossFit Games. I feel very lucky to have made it to the top 20,” she says. “However, I am scared to death. I think that I have finally figured out that this is way out of my comfort zone and I am hoping that the anxiety will simmer down before I get out of my car at the (StubHub Center).”
Masters Women 60+
After placing 10th in the Masters Women 55-59 Division at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, Donna Walters will be returning to the Games along with Lynn McTaggart.
Walters swept first place worldwide in four out of the five Open Workouts, which puts her first in the world going into the Games.
McTaggart, 68, finished 19th overall and is the oldest woman competing at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games. Though she was a long distance runner for most of her life, she was forced to stop running after she broke her hip in 2010, and thus dedicated her training time to CrossFit.