"Going into [the Games], I think the most important thing is being aware of our individual strengths and weaknesses," Egyed says.
In the South West Region, the CrossFit community has a Bomb Squad and it’s comprised of six of Arizona’s talented competitors – Peter Egyed, Aimee Berensci, Will Trujillo, Deana Gillespey, Josh MacDonald and Katie Jo Peterson. CrossFit Fury is going back to the Games.
When the dust cleared at the end of the 2012 CrossFit Games Open, four of the Bomb Squad’s six members qualified as individuals for the South West Regional. On the men’s side, Trujillo placed seventh overall, while Egyed – four-time Games competitor – took 23rd place, making them two of only three male competitors from Arizona to break into the top 25. On the women’s Division, Berensci placed 13th and Gillespey took 40th.
Even after qualifying individually, the six teammates decided to come together for another shot at the Games as a team. “We really sat down and weighed it out and we were all confident that, together, we could go to the Games versus going individual and just competing at Regionals,” Egyed says.
It seems their gamble has paid off, as the Bomb Squad nudged out MBS CrossFit to place third, behind Hack's Pack UTE and Front Range CrossFit, earning them a coveted spot on the podium and a ticket to the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games to be held in Carson, Calif., in July.
Several weeks after that podium finish, the Bomb Squad has returned home from Regionals and it’s business as usual for the team. Each of the six team members train individually daily and train as a team twice a week.
“We were happy to have our (Regional) early,” Berensci says. “We wanted to get it done and get it over with and not have to have weeks of waiting, watching everyone else do it before we got the chance.”
Egyed says he believes his team’s success is due largely in part to preparation. “I felt that we were prepared at Regionals, and that it went exactly as planned,” he explains. “Regionals were heavier than I expected … I was surprised by the weight of them, so it makes me wonder what to expect from the Games.”
With things being unknown, it is difficult to practice the logistics. Since the team knew Regional workouts, they could practice with the heavy weights, transitions and skills. “Going into [the Games], I think the most important thing is being aware of our individual strengths and weaknesses,” Egyed says.
Berensci agrees. “Deana and Will are the strength on our team and great at weightlifting,” she says. “Peter and I are great at the work capacity. Katie Jo is a runner and has a great ‘get ‘er done’ attitude, and Josh is strong all around – a great leader and strategist.”
In addition to continuing to train their strengths, the team is diligently working weaknesses, both physical and mental. “We’ve got to be prepared to swim or for that odd event. They’re going to throw something at us so we are trying to be as prepared as possible,” Egyed says. “I feel the most important thing is just mentally being sound. You can make small changes, but really, as long as you go into it being ready for it, that’s the most important thing.”
Trujillo admits he has been working on improving his mental focus and visualization during training and competition. He says this has not been a focus in previous years. “I’ve been working on incorporating breathing patterns,” he says. “I have a strategy now.”
And although the CrossFit Games are still four weeks away, the Bomb Squad’s plan is in motion. “We’re ready to take Front Range and UTE on. And New England … they’re our focus right now,” Berensci says. “We come in here everyday and [Peter] is yelling at us, ‘Beat UTE!’ We love what we do, love representing the gym, and we have the same goal – to get to the podium at the Games this year.”
Trujillo adds: “We are going there to f-ing win! You shouldn’t enter a contest without the goal of winning. We didn’t do that at Regionals, so now we’ve got people to chase.”