With Oh, Canada still echoing in the giant Richmond Oval, Workout 1 went down in blazing fashion.
Jason Cain, who won the Canada East Regional last year, destroyed the workout in 2:11. Jeremy Meredith was 2nd in 2:41, and Steve Howell was 3rd in 2:55.
Despite finishing one and two, Cain and Meredith didn’t hit their goals in Workout 1 and looked for redemption in Workout 2, where the weight got heavy after a 2K row and 50 pistols.
Some described the cleans portion of the first men’s heat of Workout 2 as “complete devastation.” No single athlete completed the workout in Heat 1, and only 11 competitors overall finished all 30 hang cleans.
In Heat 2, the men came off the rowers almost in unison at about 7:30, and big D.J. Wickham, a Games veteran from both the Aromas and Carson eras, won the heat despite a nasty fall under the bar toward the end of the reps.
Tyson Takasaki led the top athletes off the rower in Heat 3, followed closely by Steve Howell and Cain. Cain banged out reps effortlessly, but struggled with the cleans, falling several times and only finishing 22 reps. The score put him in 19th in the workout and dropped him to 7th place overall.
Last year’s Games representatives dueled each other right to the finish, with Lucas Parker (13:16) narrowly beating out Jeremy Meredith (13:43). Ray Krumme, who was 4th in the Open, finished 3rd (15:17).
Parker didn’t expect to win.
“I figured Jeremy would finish first,” he said after the event.
Parker anticipated being slower on the C2 and pulled a 1:50 pace for most of the 2K before slowing down to 2:00 for the last 200 meters. He was fast on the cleans, but failed on his 30th rep and had to pull one extra.
“I missed my last rep!” he says. “I like to pride myself on good movement, but chalk that up to sweat running down into my hands. Actually, chalk that up to not enough chalk.”
With chalk buckets running dry at the end of the day, Steve Howell actually chucked Parker a block of chalk mid-workout to help his fellow athlete out. Parker, of course, knows he owes Howell, a non-paleo and decidedly Canadian alcoholic beverage for his chivalry.
Overall, Meredith is in 1st with four points, Parker is 2nd with six, and Howell is in 3rd with seven. Five other athletes have 20 points or less, so it’s still anyone’s game. With heavy dumbbell snatches opening the day tomorrow, expect more movement on the Leaderboard.
There were few surprises in Workout 1 for the women, as the top athletes from last year’s Regional and this year’s Open asserted themselves.
Former gymnast Jolaine Bloom won the event in 2:46 after banging out effortless handstand push-ups, while Heather Gillespie was 2nd in 2:56. Emily Beers, who competed in the Games on the CrossFit Vancouver team last year, was 3rd in 3:17. Canada West’s 2011 individual Games athletes weren’t far behind, with Angie Pye in 4th (3:26) and Alicia Connors in 6th (4:33).
When things went heavy in Workout 2, six women were eliminated from the competition, including Sally-Anne Hickin, who was in 10th. In the first two heats, only three women completely finished the entire event, including Games veteran Lauren Pryor, who moved through the hang cleans with complete ease.
“It hurt my leg the most,” Pryor said of lowering the weight, which was light for her. She maintained about a 2:10 pace on the row and knew she could make up ground at the end. She took 4th overall on the workout, which will help her climb back from 32nd on Workout 1.
In the final heat, former rower Emily Beers was deliberate in powerful and came off the rower in front. Surprisingly, shorter former gymnast Jolaine Bloom was right behind her, and the two dueled on the pistols.
When it came time to pull the cleans, Beers slipped her grip on the first rep, which brought screams of “hook grip!” from the crowd. Somewhere in San Diego, Coach Mike Burgener was frowning.
As expected, Angie Pye and Alicia Connors made their moves on the bars, and Connors punished the cleans to blow past the field and take 1st in 12:52. She referred to the cleans as “Christmas at the end of the workout.”
Her teammate, Pye, finished just after her in 13:05, and Beers was 3rd in 13:37.
Pye took a page from Chris Spealler’s book in Workout 2 and decided not to pay attention to anyone else in the field.
“I knew I couldn’t go mental on the row,” she said. “I know my pace … I knew there would be girls coming off the rower before me.”
Pye tried for sets of six on the cleans but couldn’t stick to the plan as the reps piled up.
The top three from Workout 2 are also the top three on the leaderboard, though the order is different. Pye sits in first with six points (via a tiebreaker), Beers is 2nd with six points as well, and Connors is 3rd with seven points. Five other athletes are within eight points and a spot at the CrossFit Games.
Pye’s hold of top spot in tenuous, and the spirited, friendly competitor is inspired by the women pushing her.
“I knew there would be fierce competition here, but girls have come out to play!” she said with a smile.
Connors echoed her sentiments.
“It’s my third year competing in Regionals, and each year it gets harder—the movements are harder, the weights are heavier, it’s more competitive.”
A modified Diane featuring partner deadlifts and handstand push-ups tested the teams, and one box stood out well above the others. Team Taranis, coming off a 3rd place finish at last year’s CrossFit Games, was first in 4:56. The team isn’t the same one from last year, as Tyson Takasaki is competing as an individual and Sara Stamm-Bergland is pregnant, but their absence didn’t slow the Victoria crew down as they won the first event by almost a minute.
CrossFit AI out of Calgary was 2nd in 5:55, and CrossFit B.C. of Vancouver took advantage of home turf and finished 3rd in 6:07.
Workout 2 was a sea of fitness chaos, with rowers and barbells and bodies spread across the competition floor.
In Heat 1, no team finished the workout. As the third athlete strapped into the rower, every team had an athlete waiting to move on as someone stalled on the cleans. CrossFit Regina and Prairie CrossFit were close to finishing, but neither box made it through all the reps.
In Heat 2, 15 teams hit the floor and six boxes logged all the reps. CrossFit Fraser Valley led from start to finish and clocked in at 18:25. The team boasts three of the top 10 individual men from the Open, and that gave them the edge over Synergy Strength, which was only 15 seconds behind (18:40). CrossFit B.C. finished 3rd for a second straight event in a time of 21:06.
CrossFit Ramsay was one of few boxes to finish, and they fully expected to be working when time was called. Ryan Bonnett had only attempted a 225-lb. hang clean once but managed to get 15 of them when it mattered, and the team finished in 24:35. Bonnett might have received some extra juice from the CrossFit Ramsay crew, who sent a bus full of 23 people from Calgary to cheer the team.
Overall, CrossFit B.C. sits in 1st with 6 points, and they’re closely followed by CrossFit Fraser Valley Centaurs (seven points) and Synergy Strength (also seven points, via tiebreaker).
If tradition follows, these Canadian athletes will be heading to the Pacific for an all-natural ice bath in hopes of recovering for tomorrow morning when heavy dumbbell snatches and a high-volume triplet will challenge them.