"The hang cleans were a deal maker or breaker."
After a short mid-day break, the South Central athletes returned to Freeman Coliseum recharged and ready for another grueling workout. While Workout 2 would pose a new set of challenges, the same pressure to keep or improve upon their current standings left the competitors quiet and focused. With a rowdy crowd behind them, the momentum began as the day’s early movers and shakers managed to keep on progressing and new faces made their way up the Leaderboard.
- Aja Barto (13:13)
- Jason Hoggan (13:53)
- Crockett Ladd (14:14)
Overall Standings Day 1
- Bryan Diaz
- Jason Hoggan
- Jeff Germond
For the men’s event, the crowd was on their feet and the excitement only grew as solid performances began to roll in. In the first heat, the pack of competitors stayed tightly knit, but it was Scott Wells who established the time to beat by powering through the cleans and finishing with a time of 15:36.
Shortly after, the big story of the day began to play out as Paul Smith and Jeff Germond stayed within striking distance of one another for the entire duration of heat two. Smith, who was slowed down slightly by his pistols, pulled fully ahead when he reached the cleans, ultimately completing his 30 reps ahead of Germond and the rest of the competition. Unfortunately for Smith, a momentary oversight and perhaps a lack of oxygen led him to forget about the final sprint to finish line. The crowd began to roar with chants of “Run!” and Head Judge Adrian Bozman ran to Smith’s side to remind him (and his judge) that the timer was still running.
One person who didn’t drop the ball, however, was Germond, who noticed the slip and came back to beat Smith by one second across the finish line. “I had a brain fart. I thought I was done. I was talking to my judge. I thought it was over with,” Smith says. “But that’s the way it goes. I think we both dropped the ball on that one.”
Coming into the third heat, Crockett Ladd continued to raise the bar setting a new time to beat of 14:14 and by the final heat the South Central intensity was in full swing. As the familiar names took to the floor, the heavy cleans quickly became the differentiating movement of the competition, separating a pack who were all strong on the row and pistols. The final showdown of the day ensued as Jason Hoggan and Aja Barto raced for the win. Hoggan established a small lead in the cleans, but Barto finished with the most impressive time of the day at 13:13. “It was gorgeous, man. They were three movements I’m not too shabby with,” he says. “Pistols don’t play to my advantage, but I had enough hamstring flexibility there, so I was able to knock them out and the heavier load with the cleans kind of separates the men from the boys.”
- Azadeh Boroumand (12:07)
- Katherine Anderson (13:26)
- Karen Pierce (13:31)
- Azadeh Boroumand
- Karen Pierce
- Ingrid Kantola
The first heat of the women’s event took the day for another dramatic turn as only two competitors within the group managed to power through the complete workout within the 17-minute time frame. Ady Shea, winner of Workout 1, got off to a promising start, but was unable to complete any of the hang cleans. Unfortunately for Shea, this means she won’t be advancing any further in the competition.
Within the same heat, Leah Shullenberger had the strongest performance coming in at 14:53, but it was Denisse Kneip who stirred up the crowd with a near-photo finish as she sprinted across the line at 17 minutes flat. Going into Heat 2, Katherine Anderson made her presence known by placing a new time to beat of 13:26 on the board, slightly edging out Karen Pierce.
It was the final heat of the Women’s event, though, that had people talking as Azadeh Boroumand firmly established herself as the one to beat. Through the row and pistols she once again found herself racing Amanda Schwartz, but when it came to the cleans, she dominated the field pulling well ahead with a finishing time of 12:07. Similar to Barto, Boroumand knew her strength made all the difference in this workout. “The hang cleans were a deal maker or breaker. Everybody got through the row and the pistols. But the hang cleans were definitely heavy for some people,” she says. “I was trying to stay focused. If there was anyone ahead of me, [I was thinking] just get to the weight and knock it out.”
CrossFit Dallas Central (17:35)
CrossFit Central Competitors (18:05)
CrossFit Lake Charles (18:43)
CrossFit Central Competitors
CrossFit Dallas Central
CrossFit Lake Charles
In the team competition, CrossFit Lake Charles continued to impress with their steady climb up from the lower end of the rankings. The team blazed by the competition in Heat 1 and set the benchmark time of 18:43 for all others to match. Team member Ashley Navarre said, “I think we had a better strategy than everyone else.”
However, she was tight-lipped about explaining that strategy. She said the cleans might have been the toughest part of the workout, but the team wasn’t really worried about them going in. “We just had to get through it.”
After doing so well on the first day, they are setting their sights high. “Go big or go home,” she said. “We knew we were better than what we were ranked.”
CrossFit Lake Charles came into the competition ranked 23rd after the Open, but are currently within Games qualifying range at 3rd.“We are dark horses,” she says.
As the teams continued to perform, two things became clear. One, there are a lot of ways to perform a pistol and two, your anchor can make or break you. Team RCC experienced this first-hand as their female anchor knocked out her cleans to pull them just ahead of Body Armor.
The final heat showcased another exciting battle for the top finish. Get Lifted, who finished 1st in the Open, struggled to keep up when it came to pistols leaving the door open for the women of CrossFit Dallas Central and CrossFit Central Competitors to pass them by and go head to head. It was CrossFit Central who managed to win by 30 seconds. “Order was a big determining factor for us. We started out with a strong guy. Obviously Toby is a strong guy,” team member Julianne Kennedy says. “Pistols aren’t his thing but he pulled them off today. I’ve never seen his pistols look as good as today. I think order was key. If we had changed it, we probably would have had a different outcome.”