January 16, 2012
2012 Regional Preview: North Central
By Alex Tubbs



2011 Highlights

Out of the top three men and women from the Open, Phillip Kniep and Deborah Cordner were the only athletes to move on to the Games.

Shelly Noyce won the Masters Women (55-59) competition at the Games. Not only is she one of the Fittest on the Earth, but her family also shares her passion for fitness. Her son Bobby and daughters Lindsay and Jamie also competed. Here’s Bobby doing “Karen” with a twist. 

With less than one year of CrossFit under her belt, Elisabeth Akinwale finished 13th in her first CrossFit Games competition.  She had a dominant 1st place finish in the “Killer Kage” event, beating the 2nd place finisher by 42 seconds.

Deborah Cordner had a disappointing start at the Games after not completing the first event, thus being eliminated. This year she has made swimming part of her training regimen, incorporating it one to two times per week. It will not be her weakness this year.

North Central News

The North Central Region is the largest region in the U.S. when it comes to size, but that hasn’t stopped the athletes from getting together. Small local gatherings are popping up all over the place and even some of the major competition tours have made stops in the Midwest.

Three-time Games competitor Brandon Pastorek has decided to leave CrossFit Rockford and open up his own affiliate, CrossFit VisOne.  The new location isn’t the only big change for Brandon; he will be his own coach this year.

This year, Akinwale will be back for more, but this time in a new gym with new programming. She has moved from CrossFit Chicago to CrossFit Construct and along with other big-name CrossFitters is following the programming of Rudy Nielsen (Outlaw CrossFit).

Kniep (CrossFit Lincoln) became part of the Again Faster Competition Team. He won his place on the team by working his way through eight brutal workouts in the online “Beat the Again Faster Competition Team” series.

The athletes of CrossFit Omaha are entering their 5th year of CrossFit competition. These veterans are always a force to be reckoned with. Stacie Tovar, Ricky Frausto, and Libby DiBiase and the rest of the CrossFit Omaha athletes look to make it big in 2012.

2011 North Central Open Standings



1st Jon Alexander

2nd Phillip Kniep

3rd Breck Berry

4th Drew Hymer

5th Macy Mitchell

1st Deborah Cordner

2nd Jessica Hellyer Schulz

3rd Kelley Jackson

4th Ginny King

5th Erin Cunningham

2011 North Central Regional Standings




1st Phillip Kniep

2nd Brandon Pastorek

3rd Armand McCormick

1st Stacie Tovar

2nd Elisabeth Akinwale

3rd Deborah Cordner

1st CrossFit Valley Park

2nd CrossFit Omaha

3rd CrossFit Springfield

2011 Reebok CrossFit Games Results




Brandon Pastorek – 21st

Armand McCormick – 23rd (tie)

Phillip Kniep – 37th


Elisabeth Akinwale – 13th

Stacie Tovar – 37th

Deborah Cordner – DNF (Swim)


CrossFit Valley Park – 8th

CrossFit Omaha – 20th

CrossFit Springfield – 34th



Masters Men


Masters Women

Denny Hawkins (55-59) – 7th


Barb Landerth (50-54) – 5th

Laura Ranken (50-54) – 16th

Shelly Noyce (55-59) – 1st

Karen Wattier (55-59) – 4th

Rhonda Pierce (55-59) – 8th

Cindi Little (55-59) – 12th

Linda Berry (60+) – 7th