As the final day of regionals got underway, rumors circulated of a stomach virus affecting many South West competitors. The time cap was a savior for those teams with members too sick to compete and which would’ve otherwise had to withdraw.
Front Range CrossFit and CrossFit Max Effort continued on without their affected teammates, completing each event as far as they could and taking the time cap and penalty for the incomplete reps.
Roots and CrossFit The Club reported teammates being sick, but both teams powered through Day 3. You couldn't tell anyone from CrossFit The Club was sick, as the team finished both events with top scores, and earned the event record for Event 8.
In a spectacular three-way tie for points, the South West’s top three teams are CrossFit The Club, BackCountry CrossFit and East Valley CrossFit. All three teams will be going to the Games for the first time.
In Event 7, having one male/female pair complete each work station together meant the team would need a solid strategy on pairing and order to finish this event on top.
“That workout is really about the first two couples going out to do the row and double-unders as fast as possible. We knew the first two teams had to sprint. It’s all about pacing ... and sprinting to the end. We practiced that strategy and it’s what we implemented today,” said Chris Dozois of BackCountry Black.
Most of the teams started with the men on the rower and women on the double-unders, but Salt Lake City was the opposite, which worked well as the team's first pair got to the deadlift station seconds after top teams CrossFit The Club, BackCountry Black and East Valley CrossFit.
CrossFit The Club’s second pair breezed through the toes-to-bars, giving the last duo a clear field of play, but the pair could not get an edge on BackCountry Black in the deadlifts and both teams’ last duos hit the the toes-to-bars at the same time. Determined not to give up the top spot on the Leaderboard, BackCountry Black powered through the toes-to-bars, resting as little as possible and finishing ahead of CrossFit The Club.
“That was the play on this, to come in this morning and seal up the podium. Now it’s about finishing the event and staying on top,” Dozois said.
As East Valley powered through the last set of toes-to-bars, Salt Lake City snuck by and stole third, giving BackCountry just a little more breathing room on the Leaderboard as they sat in first place, four points ahead of East Valley.
Team Event 7 Results
1. BackCountry Black (15:23)
2. CrossFit The Club (15:44)
3. Salt Lake City CrossFit (15:58)
Pull-ups and overhead squats are two standard movements that most elite athletes can do easily, but with this being the last event of the regional, teams knew this relay was their last chance to move up the Leaderboard.
After a weekend of grueling events, attempting to do the pull-ups unbroken was going to be a challenge for many. Teams really needed to strategize on how to break up the reps so they didn’t wear out their shoulders for the overhead squats.
BackCountry Black took the lead over CrossFit The Club as Becky Conzelman bypassed Autumn Hawkins on the pull-ups and then the squats, giving them a big lead. Hoping for a quick time, BackCountry Black’s second female completed her pull-ups nearly unbroken, only to get stuck on the overhead squats.
CrossFit The Club bypassed BackCountry and never looked back. The team's anchor Sheena Hammer breezed through her pull-ups and overhead squats unbroken, and the team claimed its second event record for the weekend.
“It felt good and it was so fun up there," Hammer said. "I am pretty confident in my pull-ups. I have practiced them unbroken every time and with our crowd right there it fueled me.”
Salt Lake City maintained a steady pace and caught up to East Valley. While East Valley rested on overhead squats, Salt Lake City pushed through and finished the event in second place, with East Valley close behind in third.
After the final results were tabulated the top three teams each had 35 points.
“I just found out. I am elated. I am very excited. That’s fantastic. We had to work really hard because we had a big flub on Day 1, and to be able to fight back into first makes us really excited,” said Chase Heywood, of CrossFit The Club. “I am excited. It is going to be fun. We have a good family and a good little community. It will be fun to train for another few months together.”
Dozois, veteran BackCountry athlete and patriarchal figure for the team, was overjoyed by his teammates' performance.
“I’m extremely proud," he said. "This is a brand new team with three people who have never been to this level of competition. The stress, pressure and expectations all on their shoulders. In the first year to go to the Games is a huge deal.”
David Foster, attributed the community at BackCountry to a lot of their success this year: “We have a very encouraging box behind us, with great ownership, fellow athletes and coaches. They helped bring us to this point.”
“This weekend was all about consistency," said East Valley CrossFit teammate Seth Darst. "It was about everyone coming in and doing their piece. Like taking first in that first event.”
East Valley teammate Samuel Leehe added: “I think we dealt with frustration really well. If we missed a rep or got no-repped, we kept our heads straight and continued to do what we needed to do.”
Team Event 8 Results
1. CrossFit The Club (10:34) Event Record
2. Salt Lake City CrossFit (11:38)
3. East Valley CrossFit (12:24)
1. CrossFit The Club
2. BackCountry Black
3. East Valley CrossFit