"Typically, I get really nervous so I thought I'd dress up to take my mind off the actual competition and have a little more fun this time," Matt Healey said.
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The Teams kicked off Event 2, taking to the stage in numbers. In the end it was Functional Strength CrossFit who would prove victorious, claiming top spot for both events.
Events 2 and 3 also saw the re-emergence of former Regional champion, and 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games competitor Amy Dracup, who dominated the burpee muscle-ups. Proving her veteran status is not to be taken lightly, Dracup tore through all 30 reps with 15 seconds to spare on the clock.
In the end, it was the men’s overhead squat ladder that changed the tune of the day as CrossFit Cronulla’s Matt Healey entered the arena in a weightlifting onesie. Healey’s entrance was met with raucous laughter from the crowd and a few odd stares from his fellow contestants.
Events 2 and 3 have posed a problem for women all around the world so far and it would prove no different for the Australian women. Between the heavy overhead squats and the burpee muscle ups – two of CrossFit’s most challenging movements – the field was clearly split into the good and the great with different athletes standing out in each.
Just three completed the 30 burpee muscle-ups workout within the seven-minute time cap. The first women to finish all 30 reps arrived in the third heat. Nine seconds before the time cap, Amy Alessi reached the finish mat (6:51).
“My coach told me to break it down, do 10 as fast as I can, another 10 as fast as I can and then finish it off,” Alessi said. “It all went according to plan, and just in time!”
A few seconds later, Jessica Coughlan dropped from the rings and ran to the finish mat as the buzzer sounded. She clocked a perfect 7-minutes flat.
The fastest female time in the Australia Region for the 30 burpee muscle-ups was set in Heat 4 with Amy Dracup finishing in 6:45 after starting and finishing the overhead squats at 175-lbs.
“It was my plan actually. I went in at 175-lb. I knew that was going to be my upper limit. I got one at the next bar, felt a little funky in my elbow so decided to call it a day and rest knowing that I could potentially win the muscle-ups and it paid off,” Dracup said.
“It was much tougher than in training. It didn’t take that much out of my triceps and shoulders when I rehearsed the whole weekend. But it all comes down to on the day and I got there so I’m happy.”
Kara Webb was heartbreakingly close to completing her muscle-ups, locking out her arms on her final rep as the clock ticked over to seven minutes.
Pip Malone was the clear standout in the three-rep-max overhead squat, easily making her way from her starting weight of 175-lb up to 190-lb before failing to get her third rep at 195-lb. Kara Webb and Ruth Anderson Horrell were close behind capping out at 185-lb.
“The 190-lb overhead squat was what I wanted. I was surprised by the amount of adrenaline when I stepped out on the arena,” Malone said.
The Australia Regional came to a painful end for Emma Teede who injured her shoulder at the end of the overhead squat ladder, and was unable to move onto the burpee muscle-ups in Event 3.
1. Pip Malone (195.10)
2. Kara Webb (190.10)
3. Ruth Anderson Horrell (185.10)
1. Amy Dracup (6:45)
2. Amy Alessi (6:51)
3. Jessica Coughlan (7:00)
Although some may question Matt Healey's choice of clothes, none could dispute his performance on the floor in heat 2. Like Mikko Salo, Healey struggled at his chosen opening weight of 255 lbs. After four failed attempts, Healey got the weight overhead and navigated the technical and unruly overhead squat three times just within the time cap.
“Typically, I get really nervous so I just thought I’d dress up [in a wrestling costume] to take my mind off the actual competition and have a little more fun this time,” Healey said.
“I tend to get too nervous, which takes too much energy out of me, so I went with this approach. It made me stay a little more relaxed throughout the day.”
In the end, in the muscle-ups Healey went on to beat Michael Roach’s winning time from heat one by finishing first in a time of 4:25.
In Heat 3, like last year on the Snatch ladder Chad Mackay was the standout, completing the overhead squats at 285-lbs despite major shoulder surgery in October 2012. In January of 2013 he was still unable to lift his arm above his head but he has had a solid few months of rehabilitation and training, because, unlike the other heavy lifters in the field, Mackay went on to complete his 30 burpee muscle-ups in the ninth best time of 5:40.
“I was hurting bad at the end of the burpee muscle-ups – I haven’t hurt like that for a while. I failed my last rep but I couldn’t have gone any harder,” Mackay said.
The Hogan brothers and Kevin Manuel all tried to get past 275-lbs., but failed. Manuel and Mackay were the first and second finishers on the muscle-ups, Mackay going to cheer on Chris Hogan as Hogan struggled to complete his final reps, stopping short at 27.
In Heat 4, while Brandon Swan and Rob Forte completed the 285-lb. overhead squats they were unable to complete their 30 burpee muscle-ups. Forte set a breakneck pace from the outset completing nine muscle-ups in just 1:30 before succumbing to muscle fatigue.
“I stuck to the same pace that I did in training but the shoulders burnt out in the ring dips, and I had a few no reps,” Forte said. “It’s not the result that I wanted on that one but hopefully it doesn’t push me too far back.”
The fastest time of the day was set by Rory Boyden, who finished the burpee muscle-ups in 4:23, narrowly beating Healey.
Event 2 and 3 proved too much for some as Patrick Fitzsimmons, Aaron James and Zack Williams recorded a DNF.
1T. Rob Forte (285.30)
1T. Chad Mackay (285.30)
1T. Brandon Swan (285.30)
4. Kevin Manuel (275.30)
1. Rory Boyden (4:23)
2. Matt Healey (4:25)
3. Michael Roach (4:30)
Events 2 and 3 were an organized mess of athletes demonstrating the ultimate in CrossFit strength and mobility with the women starting on the overhead squats while the men completed a seven-minute AMRAP of burpee muscle-ups three reps at a time. Then, they swapped and the shoulder fatigue from part one began to be evident.
CrossFit Functional Strength was the standout affiliate of the day with the women performing overhead squats just under 195-lbs. – just 10-lbs. below Lindsey Valenzuela’s impressive 205-lb. effort at the SoCal Regional. The men lived up to the high standards set by the women, with Richie Patterson lifting 285-lb. into a full squat snatch.
“The guys went a couple of pounds heavier than we thought, and the girls went a little lighter, so hopefully it evens out. With the muscle ups, the boys did what we thought we’d do. The girls did well, a couple of reps less, but they still did well. Overall, happy with what we did,” Patterson said.
In total, eight teams will not be taking part in Day 2 after recording a DNF for Event 3.
Team Event 2
1. Functional Strength CrossFit (1130.00)
2. Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne (1120.00)
3T. CrossFit Athletic and Southern CrossFit (1070.00)
Team Event 3
1. Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne (98)
2. CrossFit Active (90)
3. CrossFit Athletic (89)
After three events, the overall men’s standings are as follows: Mackay is in first (14 points), Keegan Wolfenden is in second (19 points), and Matt Healey is in third (25 points).
For the women, Kara Webb is in first (8 points), Pip Malone is in second (11 points), and Amy Dracup is in third (14 points).
In the team standings, Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne has already separated itself from the pack by accumulating just 5 points across the three events. CrossFit Athletic and CrossFit Horizons follow behind with 19 points each.
Tomorrow, the athletes take on two events, first a chipper (Event 4) and second a couplet of deadlifts and box jumps (Event 5).