In December 2012, CrossFit Wilmington started the process of rebuilding their team. With three returning members from the 2012 Mid Atlantic Regional team — Cody Lambert, Amanda Welliver and Melissa Hoff — they looked to fill the remaining spots.
Wilmington didn’t have to look far to find strong competitors.
“A lot of CrossFit competitors got their start here at Wilmington,” Lambert, captain of Team Wilmington, explains. “Our owner and coach, Tony Cowden, has built a solid foundation. We’ve had teams qualify for the Games in 2010 and 2012. This year, in addition to our team going to the Games, we have two Masters athletes going to California.”
Wilmington completed their team with Will Hall, Joe Welliver and Amanda Hodge. Hill was injured in a competition in late 2012, but recovered and became a strong addition to the team. Welliver has a background as a college athlete, as well as competition experience. Hodge competed with an affiliate team in 2011 and qualified as an individual in 2012.
“I’m proud of the whole team. I think we’re stronger than ever,” Lambert says.
Heading into the 2013 Regional, Wilmington’s goal was to make the podium. They were aware of their strengths and weaknesses and had a plan.
“We knew we were going to take a hit the first day,” Hall says. “We had a plan for every workout. As the weekend progressed, we were climbing out of the hole. Events 6 and 7 were going to be our best ones.”
And they were. They finished the final day’s events with second- and first-place finishes, respectively.
As they prepare for the Games, Wilmington encounters the same challenges of other teams with scheduling time to train together. Lambert says they do half of the training on their own and the other half together, primarily on weekends.
It has taken commitment and sacrifice by all members to ensure the success of this team. Joe and Amanda Welliver are married with a 2-year-old son.
“It’s really been an exercise in time management for us. The team is very family oriented. They’ve never made it (childcare) an issue and everyone has been very helpful,” Amanda says, as her young son can be heard playing in the background during the interview.
Helping one another is characteristic of this team. Hodge was a Mid Atlantic Regional qualifier for the past two years, but was sidelined due to injuries and complications stemming from Chrohn’s disease and colitis.
“I finally got a handle on my health and have kept that my number one priority. It’s very easy for my body to react negatively to intense training if my mental and physical health isn’t on point,” Hodge explains. “Tony’s knowledge on nutrition and health and the support of Wilmington played a big role in me figuring out how to live and train without being on medications. I know what I’m capable of doing and I feel like this is just the beginning for me.”
Team Wilmington will soon see the results of their dedication and hard work.
“We’ve hit a lot of weaknesses and improved our strength. In the past two weeks, we’ve increased our volume,” Joe says. “We’re ready. We want it to hurry up and get here."