May 25, 2013
Australia Regional Report: Leaderboards Tighten Up
By Siobhan Kent, Megan Drapalski and Emma Walsh

"It was pretty tough, but nice and short and sweet," Kaitlyn Sheppard said.

While Event 4 overwhelmed many competitors with its length and volume, Event 5 would pass in the blink of an eye with the short bursts of box jumps and deadlifts.

In the Team division the target to beat in Event 5 was set by SoCal’s Brick CrossFit, but CrossFit Active would soon challenge their top position worldwide. After powering through the deadlifts with an impressive speed, the Sydney based team took the ‘world record’ title, finishing with a time of 6:51. Day 2 proved to be an incredible success for CrossFit Active finishing both Events in first place.  

The women concluded the day with a nail-biting finish in the final Event. Amanda Allen and Ruth Anderson Horrell completed their last of nine box-jumps in a photo finish, with Anderson Horrell sneaking into the number one position by just one second.

While the women’s event saw a close finish between the region’s top ranked athletes, the men’s event shuffled the Leaderboard with Chad Mackay slipping into second place. Dual CrossFit Games competitor Rob Forte stole the overall lead from Mackay after finishing second in the final event of the day.

The fleeting nature of Event 5 proved to be the perfect conclusion to Day 2, with athletes falling to the floor from exhaustion and the fans chanting from the sidelines.  


There was no sign of the athletes or the crowd beginning to wane as the teams stepped into the arena for Event 5. The heats started at a steady, but sedate pace, and finished with a world best time.

One male and one female were required to complete 21-15-9 Deadlifts (275lbs/185lbs) and Box jumps (30”/24”) with a cut-off time of 11 minutes.

CrossFit Attitude stood out in heat 1 with both athletes looking comfortable throughout, and completing the work in 8:16, while the rest of the field were still on their sets of 15.

“It was pretty tough but nice and short and sweet,” CrossFit Attitude’s Kaitlyn Sheppard said. “We had to keep pushing hard and I was trying to get them all unbroken. I reckon we’re about to pull up pretty sore after those deadlifts.”

CrossFit Brookvale entered the competition area in order to progress through to Day 3, but were unable to complete any repetitions due to injury.

The second heat was more closely contended as the men from CrossFit Cronulla and Inner West CrossFit raced through their sets. CrossFit Cronulla’s female athlete started the first set of deadlifts very strongly but began to falter, opening up the field for Tropic Thunder’s Alahna Gibbs to bring her team from the back of the heat into first place with 8:07.

“I knew that workout was going to be a strength for our team, short and hard,” Gibbs said. “[I’m] feeling good now, that’s my kind of workout – short and heavy.”

The excitement in the arena increased as the top 10 teams lined up for the third and final heat. The men from CrossFit Horizons and CrossFit Active stayed close to each other, starting the set of nine deadlifts at exactly the same time.

CrossFit Active’s Luke Starr finished his final box jumps with a time of just over three minutes, easily beating his 2011 individual time of 4:11. Courtney Fitzharris of Active made a fast transition into her deadlifts and pulled away from CrossFit Horizons and the rest of the competition to ensure the pair secured a world best time of 6:51.

The result places CrossFit Active in third place overall at the end of Day 2.

“Yesterday wasn’t a good day for us, mistakes happen in sport and things didn’t go our way,” Team captain, Luke Starr said. “[Today] we pulled together as a group, and we were more vocal in our support and encouragement of each other.”

Team Event 5
1. CrossFit Active (6:51, WR)
2. CrossFit Horizons (7:57)
3. Tropic Thunder (8:06)


With the heavy deadlift in Event 5, athletes with bigger builds performed better than those with lighter frames, with some competitors failing to complete the workout inside the eight-minute time cap.

In heat 1, Madelaine Jacques dominated the field going unbroken on all her deadlifts to finish in a time of 4:04, eight seconds in front of second place Neville, after finishing last in Event 4.

“Finally! A WOD for the short people, and something that plays to my strengths. Everything so far has been hard with me jumping for the high bar and rings,” Jacques said.

Kate Mitchell won heat 2 in a slower time than Jacques, finishing with 4:12 after coming from behind to beat second place finisher Puawai Munro-Halkyard and Samantha Drescher in third spot.

“I come from bodybuilding, so strength is my strength basically! That WOD was my favourite so far, the rest have had too much gymnastics in them for me,” Mitchell said.

Heat 3 saw Ashley Higgins dominate the field from the first set of deadlifts, staving off comebacks from Jennifer James and Andrea Miller in 3:54. It was also the first heat where all athletes managed to complete the workout inside the cap.

Packed with crowd favourites, heat 4 was closer than the rest, with three athletes in contention for first place the entire way. In the end it was Ruth Anderson Horrell who clinched victory from Amanda Allen and Kara Webb by mere seconds in a time of 3:46.

“That was really hard actually, it’s the legs. But I’m feeling better after today, it was a better day for me than yesterday. It's just really about recovery for tomorrow so I can give it heaps, because tomorrow’s workouts are brutal,” Anderson Horrell said.

“And today’s workouts have been brutal also, so the body is going to be sore. I just want to do my best again tomorrow and see where it takes me.”

Allen jumped down from her final box jump just one second after Anderson Horrell and a second after that Webb joined them on the mat.

“My strategy was to go totally unbroken in the deadlifts, just grind them out and don’t stop on the box jumps,” Allen said.

For Webb, this workout was vindication for 2011 where she failed to finish within the time cap at the Australia Regional. This year, she completed the Event twice as fast.

Event 5
1. Ruth Anderson Horrell (3:46)
2. Amanda Allen (3:47)
3. Kara Webb (3:48)


While some of the women struggled with the heavy weight, the deadlifts proved even more problematic for the men with only one athlete completing the workout in under four minutes, two completing it in under five minutes and numerous athletes failing to complete inside the eight minute cap.

Pete Maxwell dominated not only heat one, finishing in under four minutes, but also the field. With a demonstration of sheer strength, Maxwell completed the entire workout in the time it took Hayden Lavanda to complete his 21 deadlifts.

“It felt good. I felt in control the entire time,” Maxwell said. “I was about 15 seconds faster than in training and it felt easier, even after the monster workout this morning.”

Heat 2 saw Matt Reilly continue his strong performance from Event 4, getting an early lead before Alex Ranieri overtook him to win the heat in 5:37.

In heat 3, Scott Hutchison and Nathan Beves went rep for rep before Hutchison prevailed, despite receiving a no rep on his final box jump.

The superstar-studded final heat was completely different to the first three, with no one holding the lead from the first set of deadlifts. Brandon Swan charged early before Rob Forte steadily caught him to contest the lead.

However, the quiet achiever of the weekend, Rory Boyden, came from behind in the outside lane to finish the workout just one second before Forte, with a time of 5:07, after Swan struggled to get through the final round of nine deadlifts.

"Box jumps are one of my strengths, so it was a matter of trying to stay consistent on the deadlifts. I was working on that since the workouts came out. But, I was surprised when I came off the last box jumps, and realised that I was first," Boyden said.

Forte's second placing in that heat bumped him up the Leaderboard to first place, overtaking Chad Mackay, and finished off a stellar day for the CrossFit Frankston athlete.

"That was one second slower than my time [in the same workout] in 2011 and I was pretty happy with that. I had a bit of a blowout yesterday in the muscle ups so it's good to be back right up there on the Leaderboard," Forte said.

Chad Mackay, dubbed "The Unit," continued his consistent progress through the weekend thus far, making up time in the latter half of the workout after being the last athlete off the 21 box jumps, for a solid finish in 5:18.

The best time of the day in this workout, however, stayed with Pete Maxwell from heat one with 3:39. The win saw him jump to 33rd place overall.

Event 5
1. Pete Maxwell (3:39)
2. Wade Lack (4:53)
3. Scott Hutchison (5:01)

Overall Standings

At the end of Day 2 the overall women’s standings are as follows: Kara Webb sits in first place (12 points), Ruth Anderson Horrell is in second (24 points) and Pip Malone rounds out the top three (27 points).  

For the men, Rob Forte holds the top position (42 points), Chad Mackay sits in second place (42 points), and Matt Healey is currently in third place (50 points).

In the team’s division, Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne is still dominating first place at the end of Day 2 (20), CrossFit Horizons will go into Event 6 in second place (25 points), and CrossFit Athletic sits in third (25 points).