Day 2 of the South East Regional started out gloomy as storms rolled into West Palm Beach overnight. But that didn’t effect the athletes of the Dirty South as they arrived at the South Florida Expo Center ready to work.
“We are going to take 1st or 2nd in the first one. We are going to take 1st or 2nd in the second one. We are going to be top 3 by the end of the day, and that is the way we look at it,” says Pierre Soero of Hustle Hard powered by HEW.
Athletes were relaxed as they prepared for what would be another grueling day of workouts. “We are really excited because we got some of the lounging chairs (in the athlete village). We didn’t have any of those yesterday so we are off to a great start,” jokes team member Joey Konieczny of CrossFit Rx.
“I do better when I have to come back. It’s just another day. It’s just another workout,” says Brandon Phillips of CrossFit Kennesaw. He sits in 4th place after three workouts, propelled by a win in Workout 3.
On everyone’s minds were the one-armed snatches making their debut at Regionals this year. “I have (done a one-armed snatch), but at a much lighter weight at 25 or 35 pounds. I am pretty convinced there was a typo, and they meant to put 50 instead of 70,” says Harpa Magnusdottir of the CrossFit Inception team.
Sarabeth Phillips was confident going in, but wound up not finishing the workout.
“They’re heavy, but if you are technical with the snatch, then you can do it,” she says beforehand. “If you worked on your snatch and you’ve worked on Oly lifting, you can make it into a snatch and drop underneath it. At that point, it takes the pressure off the arms and shoulders.” Phillips dropped from 4th to 5th place overall after Workout 3.
Regional Workout 3: Dumbbell Snatches (100 lb)/ Sprints
1. Brandon Phillips (4:08)
2. Chase Daniels (4:17)
3. Nicholas Wall (4:20)
Without a doubt, the most dominating performance of the Regionals so far has been Brandon Phillips in Workout 3. In rounds 1 and 2, it appeared to be a neck-and-neck race between Phillips and Chase Daniels of Hard Exercise Works. By round three, Phillips took such a commanding lead that he still managed to win the heat 9 seconds ahead of Daniels, despite having to do his final sprint twice.
“I kind of got lost in the moment. I didn’t carry the dumbbell up to the very last station. So I brought it back, and I thought, ‘Oh shit, Chase is probably going to get done, and I really don’t want to race Chase,” Phillips says.
Phillips’ 1st place finish brought him to 4th place overall. “The very first workout I was nervous going in, and now I just want to go in and enjoy it. It is going to be hard for everyone to keep up with me in the rest of the workouts,” he says.
Daniels finished in 2nd place and says Phillips kept him motivated the entire workout. “I saw him out of the corner of my eye and was like, ‘I gotta go!’” he says.
Daniels remains in 1st place overall after Workout 3.
In Heat 3, Nicholas Wall of Optio CrossFit powered through the workout to finish 3rd in an exciting match-up with CrossFit Embrace’s Landon Brazell. The crowds were going crazy as it came down to the final sprint with Wall beating Brazell by 1 second.
Caution CrossFit’s Dominick Maurici sits in 2nd place in the overall standings after finishing 12th in Event 3. “I’m not in 2nd place. I’m in last place. I’ve got nowhere to go but up,” says Maurici. “It is so mental right now because it’s hard, but I’m having fun and am so honored to be competing in the circle of men I’m surrounded by. I’m not stressing about rankings. I’m having fun.”
AJ Moore of CrossFit Delray Beach finished Workout 3 tied for 15th place and fell one spot to 3rd overall. Moore was “no-repped” several times on his snatches. “I tried to put my head down and keep going. I didn’t think about it. I tried to stay constant and stay under red lining,” he says.
World Camp CrossFit’s Kirk Gibson came back with a vengeance finishing Workout 3 in 9th place after a disappointing 43rd place finish in Workout 2. Gibson, who had trouble with his pistols yesterday, had no problem with his one-armed snatches today. “I felt pretty confident out there,” he says. “I can move weight fairly well, it’s just technique things that get me. That was straight power. I usually can handle things like that.”
At just 19 years old, Gibson sits in 18th place and will be one to watch in the future.
Overall (Midday Day 2)
1. Chase Daniels
2. Dominick Maurici
3. AJ Moore
Regional Event 3: Dumbbell Snatches (70 lbs)/ Sprints
1. Lauren Brooks (5:20)
2. Talayna Fortunato (6:12)
3.Shana Alverson (6:34)
3. Jaime Gold (6:34)
Lauren Brooks of CrossFit Salvation wasn’t competing in the final heat of Workout 3, but she owned it with the fastest time of 5:20, almost a minute better than 2nd-place finisher Talayna Fortunato of CrossFit Real Fitness. This propelled Brooks to 11th place in the overall standings.
Fortunato kept a steady pace on her snatches to win the final heat. “Form, form, form. When it starts to get heavy, you can’t press it out, you have to drop under,” Fortunato says.
Fortunato maintains 1st place overall halfway through the South East Regional. Jaime Gold of CrossFit Affliction continues to show the South East that she means business as she tied for 3rd place in Event 3 and remains in 2nd overall. Gold was looking forward to the one-armed snatches, and the weight appeared to be no problem for her petite frame.
The crowd was on their feet in Heat 1 as Shana Alverson of CrossFit East Decatur and Brittani Blackburn of CrossFit eXalted duked it out to the finish. Alverson managed to beat Blackburn on the final sprint and ended up tying with Jaime Gold’s time. “It feels good cause I’ve been worried about any top finishes this weekend with the level of competition here,” Alverson says.
Thanks to her strong finish, Alverson now sits in 3rd place overall, but she isn’t booking her trip to California just yet. “I still have three more workouts to earn it so I can’t let myself get like I’m already there. It is me versus the workout. Let’s see what happens,” she says.
Emily Bridgers of CrossFit Decatur, who dominated the Open, struggled with the heavy weight of the snatch. She finished the workout in 9th place and remains in 7th overall. “That was heavy,” she says. “I got better as I went, but it didn’t get any easier,” she says. “This is nothing like the Open. I’m not going to lie. I’m not trying to let it affect me. It’s different. It’s a whole new ballgame.”
Looking ahead, however, Bridgers is feeling confident about Workout 4. “I’m expecting to win, and you can quote that if you want.”
Cheryl Nasso had a disappointing Workout 3 as she almost didn’t even make it through the first round of the dumbbell snatches. “Not my wheelhouse,” she says with tears in her eyes. “The first time I did a 70-pound dumbbell snatch was Sunday, and it showed today. I thought I would at least get through the workout so I was a little discouraged.”
Nasso finished the workout in 32nd and fell to 10th place in the overall standings.
Overall (Midday Day 2)
Event 3: Dumbbell Snatches (100/ 70 lbs)/ Sprints
1. Hustle Hard powered by HEW (5:32)
2. CrossFit Atlanta (6:04)
3. The Guerilla Squad (6:45)
Just like Friday’s heavy hang power cleans, the prescribed weight in Workout 3 caused problems for the women in the team event. Five teams failed to advance to Workout 4 by not completing the minimum requirement of each teammate finishing one round. “I got one snatch at 70 one time before today, and it was in the middle of cooking dinner for my kid,” says single mom Yessenia Rodriquez of SF CrossFit, who did not advance.
Cayce Wampole of CrossFit Spartanburg appeared to have no problem with the one-armed snatch as her team blew through the workout in the first heat. “It was pretty much a PR for me. I mean, I have gotten 70 once with each arm before, but not like today. I feel like Jello right now,” she says.
Hustle Hard powered by HEW dominated the workout finishing 1st with an unbelievable time of 5:32, 32 seconds faster than the next team. Their strong finish rocketed them to the 3rd spot overall. “We needed it. We expected to do good on this one because we knew we were strong with it. This WOD suited us, and we just muscled it out,” teammate Jonathan Adams says.
They were followed by CrossFit Atlanta, who once again had a strong showing thanks to Nicole Corey. “We stuck to our gameplan and that was it. She led us to (second place),” Mike Giardina says.
CrossFit Atlanta sits in 1st place overall. “We came to win, not just qualify. This is what we expected,” Giardina says.
Guerilla Squad rounded out the top three in Workout 3, bringing them to 4th place overall. The women of top teams CFNA Cockdiesel, CrossFit Vida Brickell, and Gardens CrossFit all struggled and failed to complete the workout within the 12-minute time cap. Miki Carey of Gardens CrossFit said the team felt “extreme pressure” after its strong showing yesterday, and her disappointment on Workout 3 was evident. “The dumbbell was over half my body weight and over half my two-armed snatch. It was defeating,” she says.
CrossFit Adrenaline finished Workout 3 in 7th place, only falling one spot to 2nd in the overall standings.
Overall (Midday Day 2):
1. CrossFit Atlanta
2. CrossFit Adrenaline
3. Hustle Hard powered by HEW
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