A torrential downpour greeted athletes and spectators as they arrived at the South Florida Expo Center for the final and most important day of the South East Regional. Competitors filled the warm-up area working on their snatches in preparation for Event 5.
You could feel the energy coming off Jessica Denney of CrossFit Atlanta, who could not wait to hit the snatch ladder. “I am feeling awesome. I am going to try to run (the snatch ladder),” she says. “I am hoping for a 160 power snatch, and if I have to go to squat, 170.” She topped all female lifters of the day at 175.
Irving Hernandez, who had some back issues after Event 4, was in the building bright and early. “I feel much better. If I can do my PR (on the snatch ladder), it will be good. I am going to give it everything I got,” Hernandez says, whose snatch PR is 205 pounds.
Stretching by herself in the athlete’s village, Leah Polaski of CrossFit Atlanta, who entered the day in 3rd place overall commented on her “fly-under-the-radar” approach to competitions. “That’s kind of my M.O. I don’t win events, I just try not to have any blow-ups in any of them.”
Chase Daniels of Hard Exercise Works was feeling good, though his legs were feeling tight after the previous two days’ work. His approach to the snatch ladder: “Don’t suck.”
Daniels, who entered the day with a comfortable lead in 1st place overall, said he has had an awesome time at the event. “Every workout was hard. It was a great test of the sport,” he says.
Spectators filled the arena ready to see some heavy weight get lifted. Andi Lannom was most excited to watch CrossFit Adrenaline, who has had a phenomenal performance at its debut Regionals and sits in 2nd place overall. “For a small box from Cartersville, Ga., I am most excited about seeing them work as a team as they always do,” she says. “They got here as a team, they work as a team, and they are going to leave here as a team.”
Randall Greer of Hard Exercise Works says he is excited to see his box hopefully finish with the top man and the top team at Regionals. “That is the expectation.”
The pressure is on as only the top 18 men and women and the top 12 teams after Event 5 will advance to the final workout of the South East Regionals.
Regional Workout 5: Double-under/ snatch Ladder
1. Brandon Phillips (255)
2. Will Hall (245)
2. Chase Prime (245)
There was standing-room only for the men’s snatch ladder as the crowds packed the arena to watch the South East’s men lay it all on the line.
Once again, Brandon Phillips stole the show taking 1st in the event by completing a 255-pound snatch. Earlier in the day, Phillips said reaching 245 would be ideal. After missing a rep at 235, Phillips remained composed, completed the rep, and moved on with the crowd going wild.
“Coming into this event, I knew it would favor me a lot,” he says. “I just wanted to come in here, have fun, and enjoy the moment. I knew I needed a 1st place.
Hopefully, it will move me up a little further going into this last workout.”
Phillips moves up a space and is 2nd overall heading into the last workout of the day.
Chase Daniels remains in 1st place overall after finishing the snatch ladder in 17th place. With Phillips only 3 points behind, it will be interesting to see who finishes in the top spot.
Guido Trinidad of Peak 360 CrossFit felt “exhilarated” after Event 5, finishing the snatch ladder in 6th place,which brought him to 3rd overall. Trinidad matched his PR of 235 pounds. “I have been waiting for moments like this. They write books about it,” he says.
CrossFit Paragon’s Irving Hernandez’s goal was to make it to 205 pounds, and that’s exactly what he did. “The 205 went easy,” he says, adding that once he missed at 215, he was able to get 50 double-unders to round out his score.
Hernandez sits in 4th place overall, 12 points behind 3rd.
Dominick Maurici of Caution CrossFit stormed out of the arena after getting “no-repped” at 205 pounds. “Very disappointed. Very disappointed. I had a good rep,” he says. “I got it up twice. Not happy.”
Maurici finished in 32nd place, which moved him down to 5th place overall.
Several fan favorites failed to make the cut to move on to Event 6. Jared Davis of CrossFit Southside, who won the South East Regionals last year, finished in 30th place overall after a disappointing run on the snatch ladder. Davis, who was suffering from back problems after Event 4, failed at 165 pounds. “It’s one of those things. (Regionals) was a little tough for me. A little heavier. But it’s been a blast to be around all my buddies,” Davis says.
Also ending his stint at Regionals is Noah Ohlsen of Peak 360 CrossFit, a 20-year-old who was a judge at last year’s Regionals and made it his goal to compete this year. Ohlsen was clearly disappointed by his performance on Event 5 though he said his trip to Regionals was “amazing.” He finishes Regionals in 24th place overall.
Nineteen-year-old Kirk Gibson of World Camp CrossFit just missed out on making it to Event 6 despite finishing the snatch ladder at 235 pounds and placing 4th in the event. “I definitely learned a lot of things. I think I have a good shot at being a big person next year. I should have done better. You live and learn,” he says.
Gibson finished 20th overall.
Overall (Day 3 Midday)
1. Chase Daniels
2. Brandon Phillips
3. Guido Trinidad
Regional Workout 5: Double-under/Snatch Ladder
1. Talayna Fortunato (160.00)
2. Jaime Gold (150.18)
3. Sarabeth Phillips (150.11)
The women’s snatch ladder did not disappoint as new PRs flew up overhead all over the floor. The 20 double-under requirement did not appear to affect the lifts, and the women agreed. “The double-unders were fine. I tried to control my breathing, a nice easy 20. It’s not that bad,” said Sarina Woodworth of CrossFit 239, the first woman to get past 130 pounds. She finished 4th at 145 pounds. “My goal was to hit 145, 150 was a bonus.”
Talayna Fortunato of CrossFit Real Fitness continues to dominate the Regional, securing her overall 1st-place ranking by taking 1st in Event 5 with a 160 snatch. Fortunato’s snatch PR is 170 pounds, but she said her goal for the ladder was to reach 160. “I’ve hit 160 a lot. I’ve hit it sore,” an upbeat Fortunato says.
Jaime Gold of CrossFit Affliction wowed the crowd by reaching 150 pounds. “It felt good. We had the crowd going, and everyone is so hyped up you can’t help but pull,” she says. “My coach always tells us, you gotta pull with everything you have, so I did. It feels great, but it is not over until it’s over.”
Gold finished 2nd in the event and remains in 2nd place overall.
Sarabeth Phillips of CrossFit Tuscaloosa set a 5-pound PR and was pleased with her 3rd-place finish. “Hopefully, it can keep me in there,” she says. She is in 7th place overall.
Shana Alverson of CrossFit East Decatur, who was disappointed after falling to 4th place overall after Event 4, had a smile back on her face thanks to her 5th-place finish in the snatch ladder.
Alverson reached 140 pounds and is back in the top 3 overall. “All that matters is to get the numbers I need at the end of the day. We keep it close for ya’ll in the South East. Keeps it interesting. The fans… I am definitely feeling the love this weekend,” an emotional Alverson says.
Emily Bridgers said she was disappointed with only reaching 135 pounds after making it to 145 pounds when she practiced the workout at home. Bridgers cited soreness as a reason for not making it further. Her 7th-place finish in the event, however, bumped her up to 4th-place overall.
Leah Polaski, who was in 3rd overall before Event 5, fell to 5th place after finishing 17th in the snatch ladder. She capped out at 115 pounds. Polaski remained positive and said snatches were not her strength so she was “ok” with it.
Overall (Day 3 Midday)
1. Talayna Fortunato
2. Jaime Gold
3. Shana Alverson
Team Regional Workout 5: Snatch Ladder
1. CrossFit Atlanta (1080)
1. The Guerilla Squad (1080)
3. Hustle Hard powered by HEW (1035)
The women’s team snatch ladder started out slowly with many women getting hung up at 125 pounds. But things heated up once Jessica Denney of CrossFit Atlanta took the floor. Denney, who made a name for herself in last year’s team thruster event, finished today’s ladder at 175 pounds. No other team woman was able to get past 150 pounds. The crowd was going crazy as Denney power snatched to 160, making it look like easy. She went on to squat snatch 175. “I just PR’d 10 pounds,” an ecstatic Denney says. “It feels awesome. I love PRing on the mat!”
Denney, who moved this past year and is a new member of CrossFit Atlanta’s team, was excited by her contribution. “It means a lot (to the team). These last few days are the first time we have actually come together as a team. It means a lot.”
Individual male competitor and Denney’s boyfriend, Brandon Phillips, looked on with pride. “Makes me think I need to work harder,” he says laughing.
CrossFit Atlanta’s women lifted a combined 400 pounds to take 1st among the females.
CFNA Cockdiesel’s women dominated the Event, the only team to have all three girls make it to 135 pounds. “We had a tough day yesterday, and we got to go back to old school CrossFit North Altanta and have fun with it,” says Andrea Kwiatkowski. “So we came out today with smiles on our faces, and I honestly think that’s the game-changer.”
The women lifted a combined 425 pounds, placing them 2nd among the women.
The women of Hustle Hard powered by HEW lifted a combined 390 pounds giving them 3rd among the women.
The roof was almost blown off by the roar of the crowd during the team men’s snatch ladder. The noise was deafening as Paul Beckwith of the Guerrilla Squad just about ran the entire ladder, progressing further than any other team male. Beckwith’s PR on the snatch is 330 pounds, and despite attempting 295 pounds three times, he just fell short of getting up the lift and ended with 285. “I was too amped up!” he says. “I pulled too high.”
The Guerilla Squad from Carolina CrossFit tied for 1st place with CrossFit Atlanta, which brought them up to 4th place overall. The men and women on the team lifted a total of 1,080 pounds. They finished 7th at the end of the competition.
CrossFit Fort Walton Beach also had the crowd on their feet as Jacob Kendrick made it to 265, a 50-pound PR- that’s right, 50 pounds. “The crowd really amped me up,” Kendrick says.
The men of CrossFit Fort Walton Beach all PR’d their snatches with their team coming in 16th place in the event and 20th overall.
CrossFit Atlanta tied for 1st place thanks to strong showings by their men and women. “You can’t ever get anything like that -- the crowds!” Mike Giardina says. “Watching Paul (Beckwith) knocking out 285 got me pretty amped up. The crowd yelling for him. It was so amazing.”
CrossFit Atlanta comes out of Regionals in 1st place overall, with a 6-point lead over the next closest team. “You are never going to relax on a workout, but it will help our team have fun out there. Without any pressure. Really comfortable,” a proud Giardina says.
CrossFit Adrenaline kept 2nd place overall after tying for 6th place in Event 5 and finishing 4th in Event 6. Each of their men set a 20-pound PR in Event 5. “We’re happy,” Stacey Adams says.
Hustle Hard powered by HEW took 3rd in Event 5 with a total combined weight of 1,035 pounds. That, and a 7th-place finish in Event 6, kept them in 3rd place overall.
Overall (Day 3 Midday)
1. CrossFit Atlanta
2. CrossFit Adrenaline
3. Hustle Hard powered by HEW