Change is in the air in Canada West.
Many top athletes have opted for the Team competition, creating opportunity for other competitors hoping for a podium finish. One Masters athlete decided to take a shot at the Regional, aiming to give other individuals a run for their money. It’s going to be a tight race across all three divisions at this year’s Canada West Regional.
Tyson Takasaki may not enjoy the worldwide fandom of Lucas Parker yet, but he’s a fantastic athlete with a huge engine. Their duel – smaller and faster vs. bigger and stronger – will be closely watched by those who would describe the ‘perfect’ CrossFit athlete.
Emily Beers may breathe a little easier without Angie Hay in the mix. But she won’t be satisfied with second place. Jolaine Bloom qualified as a Masters athlete this year, but is competing at Regionals in an attempt to make it as an individual.
The decision by some top competitors to compete on their affiliate teams has pulled other Games-level athletes into the team category. When Mark Cassibo and Nate Beveridge — who finished first and third in the Open, respectively — announced they would compete with the Fraser Valley Centaurs team, others followed suit.
Jason Cain decided to compete for CrossFit 306. Joe Scali joined 604. In fact, of the top 10 men in Canada West, half chose to compete on a team instead of individual.
Chelsea Miller, who finished fifth in the Open in Canada West, will join the CFC Crew team.
Angie Hay competed at the Games last year as an individual, and she’ll be competing on Taranis this year as they try to make it back to Carson, Calif.
Heather Gillespie, who made it to the Games in 2012, suffered a hand injury in training this week.
"I'll wrap it tight and let the pain there distract me from the pain everywhere else," Gillespie says.
The shifting landscape of competition will make for a tighter competition. With a very high level of talent on the men’s side of several teams, it could well come down to which has the strongest women.
The CrossFit Fraser Valley Centaurs, though stacked with top male athletes, has only one female in the top 20. CrossFit 204 has two. CrossFit 306’s top-ranked female in the Open was Viki Cirkvencic, who finished 26th in the region.
While the addition of Angie Hay will undoubtedly help Taranis, their team doesn’t have any other women who qualified as individuals.
What will help most — a solitary superstar? Games experience?
We’re about to find out.