"We're aiming to go to the CrossFit Games as a team this year, and I'm aiming for the Games as an individual in 2015," Sammy Wood of CrossFit Athletic said.
While many athletes in the 2014 CrossFit Games Open were focused solely on 14.3 over the past few days, former regional competitor Sammy Wood had another major competition on her mind.
Just one day after the eight-minute AMRAP of heavy deadlifts and box jumps was announced live in New Orleans, La., Wood found herself on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, competing in the Commonwealth Games Trials for the Australian Olympic Weightlifting team.
While Wood didn’t make the team, competing was part of the deal for her Olympic lifting coach from Triumph Weightlifting Club, Martin Harlowe.
“I started Olympic lifting in May 2013 to help my CrossFit and the deal was doing comps,” Wood said. “I entered a competition in November last year and did well and qualified for the Shadow Team for the Commonwealth Games.”
“You had to hit a qualifying total, which differs depending on weight class, and if you got the minimum then you automatically qualified for the Shadow Team and from there they selected the Commonwealth Games team,” she added.
In order to qualify in the 69-kg and under category, Wood needed a minimum total of 165 kg, which was made up of the combined total of her snatch and clean and jerk.
Wood weighs in at 64 kg, which makes her “very light” for the 69-kg and under category and her lifting total of 169 kg even more impressive.
“I’m ranked No. 1 in New South Wales because of my Sinclair total,” Wood said.
After competing over the weekend and setting a new clean and jerk PR of 91 kg, Wood shifted her focus back to the Open on Monday and attempted 14.3.
By the end of the workout, Wood completed 142 reps, which ended up being the 166th-best score for the women in the Australia Region—her worst result so far this Open.
She admitted the weekend’s weightlifting competition had a bit of an effect on her performance.
“It was my worst workout out of all of them so far, but it still went well,” Wood said. “It’s my least favorite but there’s still two more weeks.”
“I had a plan of doing the sets of 10 and 15 deadlifts unbroken, and then I split the 20 into eight, seven, five, did the 25s in sets of five and then went with six, three and three for the 30.”
Wood’s best result so far in the Open was in 14.2’s combination of overhead squats and chest-to-bar pull-ups, where she posted the 17th-best score in the region, completing 207 reps.
Heading into Week 4 of the Open, Wood sits in 44th place in the Australia Region and is on track to qualify for this year’s regional as an individual. However, her focus this year is team.
Training out of CrossFit Athletic in Sydney under coach Paul Walton, Wood believes the team has what it takes to go even further than the Australia Regional in 2014.
“(Walton) went to the CrossFit Games in 2012, which is what made me come to this gym,” she said. “You’ve got to go where the best coaches and athletes are.”
“We’re aiming to go to the CrossFit Games as a team this year and I’m aiming for the Games as an individual in 2015,” she continued. “At the moment we’re more regional athletes, so we’re better when it gets hard and heavy.”
On the team Leaderboard, CrossFit Athletic was in seventh place in the region following 14.3.
“We have four guys and four girls training with the team at the moment in case of injury and two of them have been to the Games in 2012,” Wood said.
The team roster is made up of Wood, Walton, Rachael Cleave, Christie Jenkins, Karen Lyle, who went to the Games in 2012, Jarrod Smith, Kurt Foggo and Douglas Hemingway.
“We train together on weekends. We all have different jobs so it’s hard to get together during the week,” Wood said.
Walton is in charge of programming for the team and said the decision to go team for the 2014 season came down to what the individuals wanted to do.
“If we all want to go team, then we go team. If they want to go individual like last year, then that’s OK, too,” he said. “There’s no pressure.”
“Over the past couple of months, like most people, we’ve also tried to ramp up the volume to improve aerobic capacity so we can handle the Open,” Walton added.
Sitting inside the top 48 in the Australia Region after Week 3 of the Open, and with her team placed inside the top 10, Wood is likely to be competing at the WIN Entertainment Center in May for the Australia Regional.
But unlike previous years, the 26-year-old has her sights set further than just the Australia Regional, with a trip to Carson, Calif., in July with CrossFit Athletic now on her radar.