January 21, 2012
2012 Regional Preview: North East
By Sam Dudley
Find out who to look out for this year.
Find out who to look out for this year.


2012 Regional Recap

The sport of fitness’ ideals, were on full display for three days last June during the CrossFit Games North East Regional competition at Reebok’s world headquarters in Canton, Mass.

Legions of fellow athletes and CrossFit enthusiasts made the trek to Canton in order to support the 60 men, 60 women, and 30 teams who qualified for the Regional. In addition to the thrill of live competition, spectators also enjoyed microbrews and a full complement of intriguing Paleo dishes from various vendors. 

On Day 1, professional female rugger Phaidra Knight and indomitable 36-year-old Rob Orlando put on a show during an exciting afternoon during the Thruster Ladder. 

Knight managed to best the field by executing a 165-pound thruster, barely edging out eventual Day 1 leader Mel Ockerby, who thrusted an impressive 155 pounds. On the men’s side, Orlando attempted to set a record by thrusting 285 pounds. Unfortunately, he failed to fully lockout overhead. His 275-pound Thruster nonetheless won him the workout as he impressively and somewhat unexpectedly swept Day 1. 

While Knight and Ockerby faded considerably during Day 2, Orlando continued to persevere on the men’s side.  

Orlando ended up qualifying for the Games, finishing 3rd overall. It was impossible to ignore what was going on for 1st and 2nd place. There was a two-man showdown brewing between Austin Malleolo, an explosive 5’5” 24-year-old who finished 6th at the 2010 Games, and Daniel Tyminksi, the lean 24-year-old known as “Boomsauce,” who started doing CrossFit while serving in Iraq.  

The understated Malleolo and the flashy Tyminski excelled over the final two days of competition. 

Malleolo quietly went about his business, setting a world recording during Event 3 (21-15-9 DL/Box Jumps at 315#); he completed the entire workout unbroken in 2:56. However, later that afternoon, Malleolo and Tyminski went down to the wire in the 100s with Tyminski pushing ahead of Malleolo on his last overhead squat for the victory in that event. 

The second and third spots in the Women’s Division were up for grabs the entire weekend, but Kelly Steadman asserted her dominance over the field at the outset of Day 2. 

Steadman is a lone wolf. As of last June, she had only been doing CrossFit for a year as a means of staying in shape for ski season. Steadman lives a stone’s throw away from Sugar Loaf Resort in Vermont, where she trains alone in her garage. Steadman has never joined a CrossFit gym, but she credits coaches at CrossFit New England and Northshore CrossFit for teaching her the elements when she lived in Marblehead, Mass.

“It’s been a slow process,” Steadman explains. “I’ve kind of learned from the New England guys, and from YouTube. This was the first time that I’ve felt I could hold my own at an event like this. This is where it’s at. You can never beat CrossFit.”

By the end of Day 3, Stacey Kroon and Jenny Davis had overcome a resilient Ockerby to earn their shot alongside Steadman under the lights in Carson, Calif.

CrossFit New England went undefeated in the team competition; it was a truly dominant performance. Route 1 CrossFit protected its 2nd place overall finish by placing 3rd in Event 6 and CrossFit Fenway worked its way into 3rd place overall by capturing 2nd place in the final workout. 

Looking Forward to the 2012 Open
We all eagerly await this summer’s North East Regional, but the competition starts in earnest on February 22nd with the Open. 

Dave Charbonneau, an unaffiliated athlete, says he looks forward to crushing the sectional and marching on toward the 2012 Regional. Last year, the 25-year-old MMA fighter was ranked 8th in the North East in the Open, but he placed 5th overall at the Regional and narrowly missed out on the Games. 

The men’s field grows significantly deeper in 2012 with the addition of Spencer Hendel. The magnificently powerful Hendel is only 23-years-old, but he is already a four-year CrossFit Games veteran. He has recently relocated to Massachusetts, where he coaches at Reebok CrossFit One and trains with head coach Austin Malleolo. Hendel lived and trained in Charlotte, N.C., during the previous four years while attending Appalachian State University.