NorCal CrossFit holds the top spot at the California Regional.
On Day 2, NorCal CrossFit expanded its lead with a win on Event 3 and two top-five finishes on Events 4 and 5.
Below NorCal, the leaderboard shifted, with CrossFit 808 moving from fourth to second place. CrossFit Foothill pushed Invictus out of fifth place and into seventh. Invictus, the 2014 CrossFit Games champion, is only 9 points out of fifth place. While Invictus is not out of contention, the team will need flawless performances on Sunday to make it to the Games for a seventh time.
Team Event 3 saw another event record fall as NorCal CrossFit finished in 17:12, demolishing the previous record of 17:34 set by CrossFit The Club at the South Regional last weekend.
To put this in perspective, the majority of the teams in the early heats did not finish the difficult couplet of running on the TrueForm Runner treadmill and wall-ball shots within the 20-minute time cap. The best time in the previous heat was 19:04, set by CrossFit Sweat Shop.
“In practice we were never able to finish under the time cap. Our adrenaline and the energy on the floor really helped us a lot,” Rikus Pretorius of CrossFit Sweat Shop said.
In this event, the order of athletes is crucial. The first female-male pair took on the majority of the work, with a longer run and more wall balls. After the middle pair completed their work, it was up to the final pair of each team to complete their work—0.3 miles on the treadmill and 30 wall-balls shots—as quickly as possible.
CrossFit CrownTown started off the event in the lead, followed by CrossFit Davis and then CrossFit 808. However, the first female athlete for NorCal, 5-foot-9 inch Molly Vollmer, made up time on her 50 wall-ball shots, finishing just as Brandy Richardson of CrossFit 808 stepped on the finish mat.
From there, the lead traded off between CrownTown, Kinnick and 808—until Jason Khalipa got on the treadmill. A bigger athlete not known for his running prowess, Khalipa looked smooth and fast as he took long, powerful strides to finish up his 0.4-mile run.
Next to Khalipa, Jeremy Kinnick flashed hand signals to his teammate working on her wall balls, letting her know how much mileage he had left to run.
By the time the final female-male NorCal CrossFit pair started their running and wall balls, the event win was all but guaranteed. The only question was: could this team set another event record?
Their anchor, Pat Barber, finished his 30 wall balls in about a minute to clinch the win and the event record for NorCal.
His teammate, Jen Zambruno, said the trick to this event is to stay steady but fast.
“This was definitely a running workout, not a wall-ball workout,” Zambruno said. “We were able to borrow a TrueForm Runner from CrossFit Salinas. We used it every day for our warm-up.”
“We were right around our practice time, but that was without the run at the end. We were happy to beat CrossFit The Club’s record, because they’re a great team of runners. They won the running event in the Games last year,” Zambruno said, referring to the 6-mile relay run.
Invictus, who for so many years dominated both the SoCal Regional and the CrossFit Games, struggled in this event, taking 17th place.
“Today didn’t go as we had practiced,” Bryce Smith of Invictus said. “The guys were catching the girls.”
“Yesterday I injured my knee doing all the thrusters,” said Catherine Blatner of Invictus. “My partner caught up to me because I was essentially doing wall balls on one leg.”
Team Event 3 Results
1. NorCal CrossFit (17:12.6)
2. CrossFit 808 (18:06.9)
3. CrossFit Foothills (18:16.8)
4. Kinnick (18.23.1)
5. Diablo CrossFit Anejo (18:47.0)
Team Events 4 and 5—the 1-rep-max snatch and handstand walk—require speed and accuracy. With just one minute per member allotted to set a 1-rep-max snatch, each athlete had only a few attempts. Some, like Jason Khalipa, only made one lift. After Pat Barber snatched 225 lb. and missed 235 lb., Khalipa walked up to the 265-lb. barbell, snatched it smoothly, and stopped, satisfied with his lift.
Khalipa’s was not the heaviest lift of the day—that title went to Jordan Atwell of CrossFit Redding, who snatched 277 lb.
Team Event 4 is scored as a total of each teammates’ snatch, which means that one person’s heavy lift does not guarantee a win. Solid overall lifting led EndGame Athletics, competing in the Heat 1, to take the Event 4 win with a 1,122-lb. total. The team’s female athletes snatched 147 lb., 152 lb. and 152 lb. and its male athletes snatched 207 lb., 227 lb. and 237 lb. This win moved EndGame up to from 21st to eighth place.
Team Event 5, the 100-ft. handstand walk relay, was dominated by Honolulu’s CrossFit 808, which has two teams at the California Regional. CrossFit 808 took first place, getting all teammates across the line on their hands in 4:31.6. Competing in an earlier heat, CrossFit 808 Plan B finished in 4:55.2.
The most touching moment of Event 5 came as Jeremy Kinnick watched his wife and teammate, Giermaine Kinnick, walk on her hands. As Jeremy cheered on his wife, tears streaming down his face while she finished the last bit of the handstand walk.
“This event was emotional,” Jeremy said after the event, still wiping away tears. “Giermaine couldn’t walk 10 feet on her hands (before this event). Today she walked over 70 (feet).”
“She’s put in so much hard work,” Jeremy continued. “Just wait until you see her handstand push-ups tomorrow!”
Team Event 4 Results
1. EndGame Athletics (1,122 lb.)
2. NorCal CrossFit (1,120 lb.)
3. CrossFit 808 (1,110 lb.)
3. CrossFit Costa Mesa (1,110 lb.)
5. Ruination CrossFit (1,105 lb.)
Team Event 5 Results
1. CrossFit 808 (4:31.6)
2. CrossFit 808 Plan B (4:55.2)
3. CFCM (5:06.1)
4. NorCal CrossFit (5:11.6)
5. CrossFit Shifted (5:32.9)
1. NorCal CrossFit- (470)
2. CrossFit 808 - (455)
3. Kinnick - (392)
4. Diablo CrossFit Anejo - (380)
5. CrossFit Foothill - (360)
6. CFCM - (356)
7. Invictus - (351)
8. EndGame Athletics - (340)
9. CrossFit CSA - (339)
10. Team CrownTown - (330)