January 13, 2012
2012 Regional Preview: Central East
By Josh Bunch

It’s not just a workout. On February 22, it’s the season opener. And you’re not alone. You’re working out with the world via the Internet. Welcome to the world’s newest sport. Welcome to the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.

As the Central East Region approaches this 2012 season opener, we have big shoes to fill. Arguably the largest of any in the 17 regions.
The reigning 2011 CrossFit Games champion, Rich Froning Jr., dwells within the hills of the Central East, as well as 2010 champion Graham Holmberg.
In fact, men of the Central East dominated at the 2011 Games with the most top 10 spots with Froning in 1st, Holmberg in 4th, and newbie Dan Bailey in 6th. Saying they are in contention to do the same in 2012 is putting it lightly.
At the 2011 Central East Regional, Bailey traveled home with a first place finish. Not just on the podium, but in five out of six workouts. Bailey not only took the day, he took records that still stand. Meanwhile, Joe Weigel remained a distant second and Nick Urankar in 3rd. 
Women of the Central East were as impressive as their male counterparts during Regionals. With Michelle Kinney leading the way to the podium, Lisa Shiu in 2nd, and Jaime Gold in 3rd. But, they didn’t stack up quite as well when it came to the Games finishes. This may be to their favor in 2012. Lisa Shiu has never sounded more hungry for the podium. Kinney seems un-phased in the least. She’s ready for the folks trying to steal her 2011 Central East title.
The biggest news to our top three women of the Central East in 2011 may be that one of them is missing. Gold will now be representing the South East as she continues her education in Florida. With one top woman gone, the field only gets more aggressive.
CrossFit Ann Arbor/Hyperfit USA (1st), Rogue Fitness (2nd), and CrossFit Murfreesboro (3rd), respectively followed the regions individual competitors all the way to the big show for what would culminate in our biggest demonstration of talent yet … the 2011 CrossFit Games.
As the team competition heats up, CrossFit Murfreesboro made some of the most drastic changes concerning their line-up. In fact they may leave team competition behind in favor of covering the individual field. Evan Satterfield of CrossFit Murfreesboro says, “We have more than 10 solo athletes in solid contention for regionals this year.”
Admittedly, it will be exceedingly difficult to best teams all over the Central East region in 2012. Choosing which athletes make up those teams will most likely be just as hard. After all, amazing quality in CrossFit is separated by fractions. And those fractions get smaller every day.
As a region the Central East is home to almost 120 CrossFit affiliates. None more well known than CrossFit Cookeville, home to Froning, and Rouge Fitness, home to Holmberg, Bailey, and many other top athletes.
How these athletes are preparing for the upcoming season is well documented. You have watched Holmbergʼs crazy consistency, Baileyʼs improvements, and with all eyes on Froning, he seems to use the pressure to become better than ever.
In CrossFit your only as good as your last workout, and the Central East is showing, workout after workout, just how serious this region is about keeping the titles, and adding more in 2012.