Athletes of the South Central Regional arrived at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio Friday morning eager to get Event 1 started. Spectators filed in to kick off their Memorial Day Weekend bright and early, donning their affiliate shirts, taking pictures and cheering their teams on with squeals and shouts.
Returning this year, CrossFit Dallas Central (first place, 2013 Regional) may look familiar. However, don’t let the name confuse you—CrossFit Dallas Central is a completely different roster, with this being the first time four of the six team members will compete at regionals.
“We want to do well, and we will, but we aren’t comparing ourselves to last year’s team … because we are completely different. It’s a clean slate. Our focus first and foremost is doing the best we can do for ourselves. Setting personal PRs and having fun with it,” Corey Russell said.
Team Get Lifted (second place, 2013 Regional) is also another familiar name, boasting four returners with the podium on their mind.
“We want a podium spot always. And we want to do better than we did at the Games last year,” Fernanda Magana said.
With several other new teams in the mix, however, the South Central Region is only just getting started.
Some notables include CrossFit Big D, boasting 14th-place Open finisher and 2013 individual competitor Chase Ingraham, and CrossFit Cedar Park, with two 2013 individual competitors on the squad (Nikki Isbell, eighth place, 2013 Regional, and Carson Thomas, 34th place, 2013 Regional).
CrossFit Central Downtown Black, is also back and determined qualify for the Games with a whole new team roster after barely missing the cut in 2013. The team came out in full force with a first-place overall finish after Friday morning.
Kicking off the first heat, new kids on the block, CrossFit Abilene, came out strong with a 12:35 finish—the fastest among the 10 teams on the floor. The 10-month-old box is led by 25-year-old Aaron Wesson, coach to Roy Gamboa and Jessie Joe-Young.
“It was so great to get those first-day jitters out, and we went about 10 seconds faster than we did in practice. Our plan? Go big or go home—all out for all the workouts,” Brent Jordan said.
In the next heat, Event 1 would challenge muscle-up skills.
Jessica Huynh of Woodward CrossFit was happy when it was over.
“That was hard. I was really nervous. I got one but that’s all I had in me. This is my first regional, and I am with an awesome team—just trying to keep up. Everyone’s so encouraging,” Huynh said following the team’s 23rd-place finish.
In the final heat, the energy of the morning continued to rise as the finishing times grew faster. CrossFit Central Downtown Black set the tone for the rest of the weekend with a time of 8:02—the fastest of the morning—as each of their athletes flew through the muscle-ups and clean and jerks.
“We are going to finish podium, no questions,” said team captain Lisa Thiel.
Thiel has competed as both an individual and team member in the South Central since 2009. Most recently, she and teammate Ingrid Kantola finished in the top 12 as individuals at the 2013 Regional, but decided, this year, they wanted to help propel their team to the Games.
“We were sitting around one day in the office at the gym, and I asked Ingrid, ‘Ya know, what do you think about going team?’ She said, ‘Why not?’ And that was that—we were set and excited to be here with one of the best teams Central has ever had,” Thiel said.
Team Event 1 Results
1. CrossFit Central Downtown Black (8:02)
2. Get Lifted (8:31)
3. Team Ballistic (9:13)
With less than 60 minutes of recovery between heats, teams rose to the occasion of Events 2 and 3. Both events challenged several teams.
CrossFit Cedar Park took 24th place on the snatch and 20th place on the handstand walks.
“We knew coming into today that Day 1 would not be our best day. Sure we practice handstand walking, but more so in the gym, playing around for fun … And one of our guys completely missed his lift, but we are a team, so our team missed the lift, not just us,” Isbell said.
“We were nervous about today. None of us girls had handstand walked until about three weeks ago. Today we all got at least 15 feet, so we were pretty happy about that,” Amber Cortese of CrossFit Dallas Central said.
Others confidently approached the barbell and walked on their hands as if they were on their feet.
CrossFit Deep accumulated a total of 435 feet with three of its athletes going all the way.
“We have two girls who were former gymnasts and one guy that’s really good at gymnastics, so three people cleared. It’s been awesome. Us weaklings had to work on it,” Jeff Bowden said.
CrossFit Central Downtown Black took another first-place finish in both Events 2 and 3 with a total of 1,120 lb. on their snatch and 590 feet on their handstand walk. Six-foot-two, 215-lb. newcomer Brandon Mayernik snatched 265 lb.
In Event 3, all six Central athletes walked the arena floor on their hands as if it was another day of practice. Former individual competitor Chelsea McKinney was happy to end the morning by putting her competitive cheerleading background to practice and cheer her teammates on to succeed in the feat, as well.
“None of us had practiced reaching the whole 120 feet, but I was consistently making it 107 feet prior to today. I am happy with my 110 feet. As for the rest of the team, two of our athletes were not confident in it at all, so our goal was just that they make it a combined 50 feet. They ended up making it a combined 120 feet! It was exciting—and even more exciting to finish in first today,” McKinney said.
At the sound of the buzzer after the final heat, CrossFit Central Downtown Black is at the top of the Leaderboard.
“We just need to stay focused and keep our game faces on,” McKinney said.
Team Event 2 Results
1. CrossFit Central Downtown Black (1,120 lb.)
2. CrossFit Katy (1,115 lb.)
3. #TeamDensity (1,100 lb.)
Team Event 3 Results
1. CrossFit Central Downtown Black (590)
2. CrossFit Katy (530)
3. #TeamDensity (525)
1. CrossFit Central Downtown Black (3)
2. #Team Density (10)
3. Team Ballistic (13)
4. CrossFit Katy (14)
5. CrossFit EaDo (20)
6. Skyline CrossFit (20)
7. Pillar CrossFit (30)
8. CrossFit Abilene (31)
9. Team Deep (34)
10. Team CrossFit Kemah (37)