Day 2 began with some sore athletes, a bigger crowd and lots of energy. A world record was set in Workout 3 as former NFL player Paul Smith bested a time set by Brandon Phillips in the South East Regional by seven seconds. On the women’s side, Azadeh Boroumand continued her domination, and in the team competition there was a lead change as CrossFit Dallas Central seized the top spot with a standout performance, with Bayou City CrossFit climbing into second as CrossFit Central Competitors dropped to 3rd.
Workout 3 called for power and technique due to the heavy dumbbell snatches. Absent technique, power was absolutely essential. The individuals and teams that excelled got through the snatches quickly and efficiently. Competitors used a variety of techniques to get underneath the dumbbell. The strongest athletes used a muscle snatch, pulling the weight up without having to dip or bend their knees. Most, however, lacked the strength to do this and used squat and split snatches with mixed results. The problem was often the inability to drop underneath the weight, necessitating a press of the dumbbell to full extension, which in turn wore the shoulders out in short order.
Paul Smith (4:01)
Courtney Wuistinger (4:17)
Aja Barto (4:17)
The 100-pound dumbbell was a challenge most male competitors dealt with in a convincing fashion. In the first heat, Stephen Hanchey emerged from the pack on the last round of snatches with a time of 6:33. In Heat 2, Courtney Wuistinger powered through the snatches to establish an early, insurmountable lead. There was, however, a race for 2nd in the heat as Micah Shockley and Ryan Bielefeldt sprinted to the finish line, the former athlete coming in a second faster.
Heat 3 saw a world record, with Smith heaving the 100-pound dumbbell like it was nothing. His time of 4:01 bested Brandon Phillips’ time of 4:08 set earlier in the day in the South East Regional. On the snatches, Smith relied on strength and a non-stop pace to see him through the workout.
Again, there was a race for 2nd place involving a Bielefeldt brother. This time, Aaron Bielefeldt (4:42) bested Crockett Ladd (5:05) by pulling away on the last few snatches.
The last heat was a dramatic affair as Aja Barto, Jason Hoggan and Bryan Diaz swapped the lead early on. As Barto pulled away, mostly because of his strength on the snatches, Hoggan and Diaz contested that 2nd spot until Zeph Littleton raced into the picture after round 3 of the workout. With Diaz and Hoggan slowed by the snatches, Littleton seized his opportunity and grabbed 2nd place with a time of 4:31.
Barto said he felt great after the workout. “The back’s tightening up a bit, but I’ll get ice and I’ll be good to go for [Event] 4,” he added.
According to Barto, the key to the snatch was to “keep going and really drive from the ground up and use my power. I think that’s where a lot of guys had trouble — accelerating from the ground. That’s a heavy dumbbell. It’s an unfamiliar movement in CrossFit. It’s constantly varied but we don’t practice it a lot.”
Azadeh Boroumand (5:13)
Brista Mayfield (5:35)
Holly Mata (5:52)
It’s an understatement to say the female athletes struggled with the dumbbell snatch. In heat one, by the 3:30 mark, all but one of the women were still on their first round of snatches. Jessica Malone emerged from the pack, but got stuck on the second round. As she struggled, she sought out coaching tips from someone in the crowd. Jaci Gehling advanced the furthest in this heat, reaching the third round of snatches.
Katherine Anderson, a tall and powerful athlete, was the top performer in heat two. The snatches did not slow her down, and she finished the workout in an impressive time of 6:09. Candice Walls finished the 40 snatches but time expired as she was sprinting back to complete the workout. Six athletes didn’t get past the first round of snatches.
In the last heat, Azadeh Boroumand finished her first 10 snatches in a mere 38 seconds. The outcome was never in doubt as Boroumand secured her place at the top of the Leaderboard with a day’s best of 5:13.
“I woke up a little sore from yesterday … but once I got warmed up I felt pretty good,” Boroumand says. “I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’ve never really done 70-pound one-arm dumbbell snatches in a workout … I knew it was going to be heavy and I wanted to see if I could maintain the intensity. The run was a nice little rest.”
Holly Mata and Candice Ruiz battled it out for 2nd place, with the former pulling ahead on the snatches, improving her overall standing by three places.
CrossFit Dallas Central (5:13)
CrossFit Cedar Park (6:40)
CrossFit Dallas Central
Bayou City CrossFit
CrossFit Central Competitors
In Heat 1, only one team finished the workout: CrossFit Deep Ellum at 9:03. The other teams failed to beat the 12-minute cap. In Heat 2, CrossFit Strong started fast only for CrossFit Elite to seize the lead and never let go. For the other teams, the struggles with the snatch continued. By the six-minute mark of Heat 2, four teams were still on their first round of snatches, with the female athletes struggling the most. In the end, three teams finished the workout in heat two: Elite CrossFit, Mission CrossFit San Antonio and CrossFit Austin.
Going into Workout 3, CrossFit Central Competitors and CrossFit Dallas Central were neck and neck at the top of the Leaderboard, but a race in this workout never materialized. The team from Dallas established an early lead thanks to the singular strength of Jules Kennedy who had no trouble at all with the snatches. Like a well-oiled machine, CrossFit Dallas Central finished in 5:14, by far the best time of the day.
“We just wanted to go fast,” Kennedy says. “I mean there's no real strategy. Everyone has to do the 10 reps three times so there’s no strategy in that. We just wanted to be fluid in our movements and yeah, go as fast as we can.
“We practiced a lot before coming here and today we got really warmed up with the weight so it wasn't an awkward thing to handle.”
Both CrossFit Central and CrossFit Lake Charles — the 3rd place team going in — struggled in the workout. At the end, several competitors gathered around CrossFit Central’s Jessica Stephen, lending their support as she strove to finish the last round of snatches.