“Once you’ve tasted victory, you want to do it again."
When it came time for the final event, there were few points separating the top athletes and teams in Canada East. Would we see a shake up on the Leaderboard, or would the leaders solidify their spots?
While the women’s event was the Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Michele Letendre show, Melissa Faichuk of the first heat grabbed everyone’s attention — she finished in 6:20.
In the second heat, Stephanie Roy and Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault went out fast, but it would be Tina Balfe who took the heat.
“Because they were two movements I could do well, I just thought, ‘Give it all you got,’” Balfe said.
She seemed to gain momentum, overtaking Roy on the last set of rope climbs. Balfe hit the last set of squats and finished in 6:14. Roy posted a time of 7:16.
Fatigue hit as the athletes came back to the rope for the third time in Heat 3. Rachel Rodriguez was out fast, but Julie Villeneuve was first back to the rope for the third round. She built her lead from there. Villeneuve posted the best time in the heat, coming in at 5:48.
“I’m happy with this event,” Villeneuve said. “I’ve only be CrossFitting for a year at CrossFit Laval. I’ll be working on my muscle-ups and pull-ups for next year.”
The last heat of the event started with the understanding that Leblanc-Bazinet and Letendre would be heading to Carson.
Jenn Lymburner was off the ropes first, but she couldn’t catch Leblanc-Bazinet or Letendre on the squat cleans.
Leblanc-Bazinet sprinted through the whole thing. She strung all the squat cleans together. She started the fourth round at 2:56, and the last set of squat cleans at 3:50. She’d finish the event in 4:08, setting a new world record.
Letendre, coming in behind Leblanc-Bazinet, ran through the last sprint, flopping her arms in exhaustion. She jumped on her mat at 4:58.
Isabelle Tardif finished in 5:32 for third place in the event.
All of the athletes were feeling the effect of the six previous events.
“This next event is going to be survived,” Paul Tremblay declared.
In Heat 2, Mike Deboever, one of the few athletes to have his hands intact at the end of the weekend, was off the ropes first by a long shot. He finished his cleans in the lead, but forgot to move his barbell. It would be Deboever, Jimmy Schutz and Olivier Tremblay traveling together in the third round.
“I knew I had strong rope climbs and cleans, so that allowed me to walk and recover between the two ends,” Deboever says.
Capitalizing on his quick rope climbs, Deboever was able to regain the lead and finished in 6:35. As the men started to finish, they all turned and started to cheer each other on. Everyone wanted to get through the weekend’s events.
The story of Heat 3 was Dylan Weller and Jeff Larsh. The two athletes stayed in contact for the whole heat. With every round, Larsh picked up a bigger lead on the squat cleans. Ending on the lifts, Larsh was able to take the lead and finish in 5:25. Maguid Nicholas was behind Weller, and was able to catch Weller on the final set of squat cleans.
After winning his heat, Larsh was focused on his community.
“I’m more proud about the community we’ve built than anything I’ve done on the floor,” Larsh said.
The announcer reminded the crowd of the tight race for second as the final heat walked onto the floor.
Nothing was cemented, especially with Matthieu Dubreucq in the mix. The athlete from CrossFit Laval has a history of taking the final event of the Regional weekends — and in dramatic fashion.
It was Jean-Michel Riendeau off the ropes first, but the order quickly changed on the sprint. The men were quick to hit the squats cleans and Jonathan Laniel was the first to move his bar. Pascal Baillargeon followed in second with Larouche in the third spot.
Laniel grabbed the lead and held on to it. It was a fight for second. Baillargeon was right beside him, with Brandon Crump and Albert-Dominic Larouche not far behind.
As Laniel started the third round at the 2-minute mark, Jay Rhodes pulled behind Baillargeon for the third spot.
Laniel finished in 4:42.
“I’ve been waiting all weekend for this event,” Laniel said afterward.
Rhodes would capitalize on the final set of squats, grabbing the second spot from Baillargeon, finishing at 5:11. Baillargeon would jump on the marker as the third athlete to finish at 5:22. The three athletes would take the top-three spots in the event, with Larsh taking fourth.
With 29 points separating the first and fifth teams, there was the possibility of some movement in the top five heading into the final event.
By the start of Heat 3, no team had cleared the coral. CrossFit Urbain of Heat 2, was the closest, managing to get their sixth athlete on her third round of squat cleans. She fell one rep short at the buzzer.
At the 10-second countdown, all of the teams swayed back and forth, in anticipation of the 3,2,1 … Go! The first set of athletes flew up the ropes. It was CrossFit Firepower back to the rope first. CrossFit Laval, CrossFit Select, Physics CrossFit and CrossFit O-Town were on their heels.
The first woman down the floor was from Select. She was followed by L’Usine CrossFit 30 seconds later. CrossFit Select continued to build their lead, with Peter D’Amor sprinting down the floor, leaving the rope for the fourth athlete. L’Usine followed.
As Select pulled ahead, and L’Usine followed with them, it was becoming more certain that these would be Canada East’s representatives at the Games.
CrossFit Select was the first team to get the fifth athlete on the floor at 11 minutes. L’Usine followed 20 seconds later. Firepower overtook Laval, and ran down the floor third, with Team We Are Fitness on their heels.
CrossFit Select’s sixth athlete hit the floor at the 14-minute mark. L’Usine CrossFit followed at the 14:44 mark. Select’s athlete mastered the rope climb, never slowing down. But L’Usine had Select in its sights, overtaking them, and finishing with a small lead. CrossFit Firepower would take the third spot.
The biggest victory of the heat was CrossFit Cambridge Thunder. Their second female athlete struggled on the rope climbs, but managed to achieve the six required to run down the floor.
L’Usine CrossFit would take the top spot, with a time of 17:18. CrossFit Select followed in second four seconds later, at 17:22. Firepower hopped on the mat at the 18:17 mark.
Over all Standings and Regional Results
After slogging through the weekend’s events, Canada East will be sending some familiar faces to the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games.
For teams, L’Usine CrossFit and CrossFit Select fought a tight race to earn the first and second spots, respectively. Joining them on the podium in the third spot is CrossFit Firepower.
“Once you’ve tasted victory, you want to do it again,” Dominic Adam said of L’Usine’s victory.
They will be bringing two new members with them in their return to the CrossFit Games.
For the women, Canada East will again be sending Leblanc-Bazinet and Letendre to the Games. Leblanc-Bazinet was the top finisher, with Letendre taking second, as reversal of last year’s result. Joining them on the podium in the third spot is Isabelle Tardif.
For the men, Albert-Dominic Larouche earned another ticket to California. Joining him will be first-time Games competitor, Simon Paquette. Taking the third spot on the podium is Jean-Michel Riendeau.