With the start of the 2012 CrossFit Games fast approaching, athletes across the South West Region are ramping up their preparations and workouts for the upcoming season.
As we saw from a year ago, the South West appears poised for another strong showing. Top athletes Chris Spealler, Matt Chan, Tommy Hackenbruck, Patrick Burke, Zach Forrest, Eric O'Connor, Peter Egyed, Cherie Chan, Taylor Richards-Lindsay, and Jasmine Dever return as the major event challengers and are predicted to anchor the region in 2012. However, there are a number of dark horse contenders on the rise in the South West who have the potential to provide a wrinkle or two at this year's Open and Regional competitions.
If there is one thing that is certain about the South West Region this year, there is no shortage of confidence. The competitors have been pulling out all the stops in preparations for this year's Games. Tweaking of diets, training with top coaches. and testing their merits at various unsanctioned CrossFit events has given us a good idea of who to focus on as we near the start of the 2012 CrossFit season.
After previously competing primarily in team events, Hendrickson will be shifting to women's Individuals in 2012. The 31-year-old brings an extensive gymnastics background to the table, having won two Big West championships while at Boise State. She currently coaches at Wasatch CrossFit in Utah. Hendrickson is confident her extended training with top athlete Tommy Hackenbruck and Wasatch CrossFit owner Damon Stewart will have her climbing the ladder and in contention for a top-three finish at the South West Regional in May.
Height: 5’ 2”
Weight: 128 pounds
Push Press: 115 pounds
Dead Lift: 310 pounds
Back Squat: 225 pounds
Fully recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in 2011, Beard is a rising contender in the South West men's bracket after placing second at both the Life as RX Chicago and Turkey Challenge in 2011, while benchmarking well at this year's Front Range CrossFit Winter 4-day Camp. Beard, who trains with ZoneReady's Chris Gizzi, is a former Air Force Academy football standout and Olympic weightlifting qualifier. He was introduced to CrossFit in 2009 and has gradually risen in the sport despite a hectic (and sleep-deprived) travel schedule for work that requires him to make more 150 flight segments a year.
Weight: 205 pounds
Grace : 1:11
Clean and Jerk: 354 pounds
OHS: 315 lb
Snatch: 273 lb
9th at 2010 South West Regional
Colorado Open: 5th Just returned from Achilles Tendon surgery
Life as RX Chicago 2011- 2nd behind Phil Kniep
Turkey Challenge 2011 – 2nd Place behind Matt Chan
Cappellucci was a former rugby player at the University of New Mexico and was introduced to CrossFit through a friend nearly four-and-a-half years ago and quickly took to the sport. The 24-year-old has previously competed primarily in team events, but looks to make her mark in the women's individuals in 2012. Despite suffering a back injury at the 2012 OC Throwdown, she fully intends to take part in this year's Open and, if all goes well, make a major push at the South West Regional. Cappellucci posted strong PR numbers - 355lb on dead lifts and 255lb on back squats - and, like Hendrickson, could add a wrinkle or two in the women's individual events, providing that she is fully recovered from her injury.
Height: 5’ 7”
Dead Lift: 355 lb
Back Squat: 255lb
Clean and Jerk: 190lb
6th at 2011 South West Regional
13th at 2012 OC Throwdown
Despite being relatively new to the scene, Zambruno of CrossFit Scottsdale has his eye on this year's South West Regional. The former University of Southern California tri-athlete became enchanted with CrossFit after witnessing the 2011 Games in person, which, as he put it, caused him to "fall in love" with the sport. He made waves at various unsanctioned events in recent months including strong performances at the Furious Fundraiser at CrossFit Fury in Goodyear, Arizona, and at the OC Throwdown in Costa Mesa, California and appears poised to raise the bar in 2012.
Height: 6’ 0”
Weight: 180 lb
Clean: 275 lb
Dead Lift: 465 lb
Back Squat: 335 lb
CrossFit Total: 975 lb
31st at 2012 OC Throwdown