May 25, 2015
California Individual Report: Day 3
By Hilary Achauer
The California Regional is complete. 
The California Regional is complete. 

Ence and Bailey take first at the California Regional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year, Dan Bailey placed third at the SoCal Regional. This year, with NorCal and SoCal combined, Bailey occupied the top spot during the entire three-day competition, finishing in first.

What was the difference between 2014 and 2015?

Consistency, Bailey said.

“Last year I missed my snatch and bombed the last workout. If I had done that this year I wouldn’t have done as well,” he said.

Now that he’s made it to the Games, Bailey’s plan for the next few months is “work on my weaknesses and enjoy training.”

Neal Maddox and Jon Pera, the second- and third-place finishers, both said this is their last year competing as individuals.

“Six for six, baby!” Maddox said after placing second.

“This is my last year as an individual,” Pera said, “but I enjoyed the entire weekend.”

Brooke Ence, the winner of the women’s competition, was still in shock when the weekend was over.

“I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about first,” Ence said. “This is my second year as an individual competitor, and I honestly didn’t think I could do it.”

Ence will make her first trip to the Games this year.

Rebecca Voigt, who finished in fifth, is making her eighth consecutive trip to the Games, an all-time record.

“Eight is great!” Voigt said.

MEN
 

 
The win—and a new event record—for Event 6 came in the second to last heat. Ryan Hignell, who entered the event in 16th place, finished the 5 rounds of rowing, chest-to-bar pull-ups, and strict deficit handstand push-ups in 11:01.
 
Hignell said he completed this event faster than he was able to do in practice, saying he wasn’t going for an event record.
 
“I’ve had fun,” Hignell said, “and that’s what I cared about most.”
 
The second-place spot in Event 6 went to Chad Melton, who walked out among a lineup of Games veterans and steadily left them in his wake.
 
“This event was nerve wracking because of who was in my heat,” said Melton, who placed eighth at the 2014 SoCal Regional.
 
“My strategy was to go super smooth, stay calm, don’t rush, and don’t burn out,” Melton said. “I didn’t think I would do as well as I did.”
 
The second-place event finish moved Melton from sixth to fourth overall, and in contention for one of the five Games spots.
 
Bailey took first in his heat and second in the event. Throughout much of the event Bailey held a slight lead over Bridges, until midway through the pull-ups in the fourth round, Bailey dropped off the bar.
 
Bridges entered the event in seventh place, and knew he needed to perform well on this event to have a shot at the Games.
 
Instead of letting go, Bridges hung unto the bar. Bailey was able to make up the time on the handstand push-ups, and finished the event in 11:19, 6 seconds ahead of Bridges.
 
Finishing the event in fourth place moved Bridges from seventh to fifth overall, 9 points ahead of sixth-ranked Alcaraz.
 
“I wanted to go as hard as I could, and try to go unbroken,” Bridges said. “This was more than a minute faster than my practice time. I just wanted to go for everything unbroken.”
 
The final event of the day will determine Bridges’ fate.
 
“I’m going to give it everything I have, and hopefully come out on top,” Bridges said.
 
Men’s Event 6 Results
1. Ryan Hignell (11:01.6)
2. Chad Melton (11:15.4)
3. Dan Bailey (11:19.5)
4. Josh Bridges (11:25.0)
5. Jon Pera (12:15.2)
 
 
Julian Alcaraz got pushed out of the top five by Event 6, but he was determined to make his way back in. With only 9 points separating fifth and sixth going into the event, there was a spot up for grabs going into Event 7.
 
There was no room for error in this event, a sprint that took most athletes under 2 minutes. No athlete was going to stop, and every movement had to be flawless.
 
Although Bailey’s rings began to swing wildly as he worked through his 15 muscle-ups, he was one of the first athletes to the squat clean ladder, followed closely by the rest of the field. Calmly and smoothly cleaning each bar, Bailey moved ahead of the other athletes to take the win, securing first overall.
 
Right behind Bailey was Alcaraz, who finished 2 seconds behind Bailey. The second-place event finish shot Alcaraz into fourth overall, earning him his first trip to the Games.
 
“I’m from a small town: Tillamook, Wisconsin,” Alcaraz said. “I moved to Los Angeles to be an actor, and now it’s all CrossFit.”
 
“Event 7 was a mad dash,” Alcaraz said. “I started to lose control on the rings, but once I was at the weights I was good.”
 
Although Bridges took eighth on Event 7, he lost the fifth Games spot to Melton, another rookie.
 
“My goal was to be in the top five, but with it being super regionals, I wasn’t sure where I’d end up,” Melton said. 
 
He said the difference for him this year was consistency in training.
 
“Last year I had a regular job, and this year I focused on training and that made a difference,” Melton said.
 
Event 7 Results 
1. Dan Bailey (1:18.9)
2. Julian Alcaraz (1:20.0)
3. Kenneth Leverich (1:20.7)
4. Jacob Heighes (1:22.1)
5.  Neal Maddox (1:23.2)
 
CrossFit Games Qualifiers
1.  Dan Bailey (601)
2.  Neal Maddox (538)
3.  Jon Pera (504)
4.  Julian Alcaraz (496)
5.  Chad Melton (496)



WOMEN

 
 
The top-three finishes in Event 6 didn’t come from the fourth and final heat. The top times didn’t even come from the second-to-last heat.
 
The winners of Event 6 all competed in the second heat of the day.
 
Valerie Voboril, Annie Sakamoto and Lisa Warren came in first, second and third overall, with Voboril turning in a time more than a minute faster than the winner of the final heat, Voigt.
 
What’s more, Voboril completed the 5 rounds of rowing, chest-to-bar pull-ups and strict deficit handstand push-ups with a smile, taking time to wave at the crowd, in between sets of 16 unbroken chest-to-bar pull-ups. The win moved Voboril into 10th place, 69 points out of sixth place.
 
Voboril said it was the energy of the crowd that pushed her to the win.
 
“The crowd makes all the difference in the world,” she said. “My chest would tighten, then I’d look at the crowd and I could breathe. It was a good comeback.”
 
For most of the final heat, Chelsey Grigsby and Voigt traded off the lead. Voigt started the event in sixth overall, and was desperate to crack the top five. Grigsby was trying to hold her own amongst the Games veterans around her.
 
In the fifth and final round, Voigt pulled ahead on the pull-ups, completing them in two sets. She was done with her pull-ups before Grigsby got to the bar.
 
From there, just 9 strict deficit handstand push-ups stood between Voigt and a heat win. She completed them one at a time, taking short breaks.
 
Voigt kicked up to the wall, one rep left, and then her arms gave out. She stood up, shook out her arms, and completed the rep, then sprinted to the finish line, finishing in 15:11.
 
Voigt’s fourth-place event finish moved her from sixth to third overall.
 
“I was really happy with my performance on that,” Voigt said, “I executed it exactly as I planned.”
 
“I needed that,” she aded.
 
“This event was brutal,” Grigsby said. “I just paced myself. I fatigued faster than I expected, and the row was harder than I expected. I was about a minute slower than in practice.”
 
As far as her plans for the next event, Grigsby said she just wants to “get it done.”
 
Event 6 Results
1. Valerie Vorboril (14:39)
2.  Annie Sakamoto (15:06.3)
3. Lisa Warren (15:10.3)
4. Rebecca Voigt (15:11.0)
5. Chelsey Grigsby (15:44.2)
 
 
Charis Chan, the winner of Event 7, had her motivation to finish with her during the event, embroidered on her socks: a beer and a donut, her treat when the weekend was done.
 
Chan, who over the last three days worked her way up the leaderboard to the final heat, won the event with a time of 1:24.8.
 
She completed the 15 muscle-ups unbroken, and then moved quickly through the clean ladder. Even the final 175-lb. squat clean didn’t slow down the 5-foot-1, 125-lb. Chan.
 
“I practiced (this event),” Chan said, “and this was faster than the practice. The adrenaline helped.”
 
When asked how Chan managed to work her way up the leaderboard in a highly competitive regional, she said the secret was, “consistency, and sticking to my plan.”
 
Right behind Chan was Ence, who also completed all 15 muscle-ups unbroken. Although she tripped on one of the bars during the clean ladder, Ence finished in 1:29.0.
 
“That event was extremely fun, until I ate shit,” Ence said. “I was willing to let that happen to place well.”
 
After Chan and Ence finished, Lindsey Valenzuela and Voigt were still working on their muscle-ups. Valenzuela got to the first bar in the clean ladder at about 1:45, but quickly worked through the squat cleans to take eighth place in the event.
 
Behind Valenzuela was Alessandra Pichelli, who finished in 2:41 and tied for 12th place, a placing that moved her from sixth to fourth overall, earning a spot at the Games.
 
Although Voigt took 21st on Event 7 in 3:17.5, she was able to stay in the top five, earning an all-time record of eight consecutive CrossFit Games appearances.
 
Event 7 Results
1. Charis Chan (1:24.8)
2. Brooke Ence (1:29.0)
3. Lisa Warren (1:29.9)
4. Chyna Cho (1:42.5)
5. Bianca Casciari (1:56.0)
 
CrossFit Games Qualifiers
1. Brooke Ence (538 points)
2. Lindsey Valenzuela (514 points)
3. Chyna Cho (511 points)
4. Alessandra Pichelli (478 points)
5. Rebecca Voigt (473 points)