The Central East landscape appears refreshed, new, and even more exciting than years past.
CrossFit Games champion, Rich Froning, is training with 2012 CrossFit Games 6th place finisher Dan Bailey. Games competitor Jamie Gold transferred from the Central East region to the South East region, while Lindsey Smith relocated from Texas to Ohio. The Central East landscape appears refreshed, new, and even more exciting than years past.
Maybe it’s the bleak climate shrouding Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky that helps move athletes to greatness. Maybe there is just nothing else to do in the Central East except lift heavy, become fast, and CrossFit. Maybe it’s the water.
Whatever the case may be, it safe to say the proof is in the population.
With the CrossFit Games season starting this week, greats like Bailey and Froning are diligently honing their skills. Fan favorite and 2010 Games champion Graham Holmberg is now deadlifting more than 500 pounds and squatting more than 400. Not to mention this year is post-knee surgery. The possibilities of a healthy, stronger Holmberg are staggering.
The well known will not only battle each other, they will have to contend with newcomers such as Marcus Hendren of CrossFit New Albany, sporting a 300-plus power clean and jerk and sub-three minute “Fran.”Hendren, a virgin to CrossFit competition until January of this year, has quickly inspired his fellow CrossFitters. His box cheers on the quiet beast as he prepares, non-traditionally, by forgoing benchmark workouts that most CrossFitters have completed dozens of times. To Hendren, all that matters is his weakest link, and everyday he tries to make that a little stronger.
Rumors also float about of newly competing young-bloods Shawn Stauffer and Joe Herren of CrossFit Future. Two unknown sleepers who are waiting for their day in the sun, while training together in preparation.
As Stauffer is nearing the 500-pound deadlift mark, he makes a special point to keep his gymnastic skills in check by linking almost 20 muscle-ups together.
Conversely, new athletes like Herren take notes on what Central East’s top men are doing to stay there.CrossFit is as much planning as performing and new athletes like Hendren, Stauffer, and Herren have big plans in mind.
With seasoned met-con abilities that match CrossFit greats these athletes, and many newcomers like them, need only prove they can deliver when it truly counts. The Central East has potential to continue it’s trophy hoarding.
While title retention is certainly in the cards for the Central East males, title proclamation seems just as reasonable for our region’s females.
2011 CrossFit Games competitor Michelle Kinney, has increased her absolute strength over the last year. Add this to the fact that her competition has now increased by the arrival of Games athlete Lindsey Smith and two-time 5th place finisher, Julie Foucher, and you have a battle Regionals that has potential to extend to California in July.
Smith, Foucher, and Kinney will fight it out amongst veterans like the healing Kate Rawlings and Jen Osborn, while a pack of new athletes enter the arena.
Newcomer Heather Welch, trained by Graham Holmberg, is forming an assault that has a following. ManyCrossFitters know her name.
Julianne Broadbent, trained by CrossFit Games athlete Joseph Weigel, joins the flock in hopes of delivering in May. For this new breed the Open is just another day. Both have commented that they have long since programmed for Regionals and California using the Open as nothing more than another workout added to their training log.
If the fight in California wasn’t stressful enough for Games competitors, they now have more to contend with athletes Broadbent, Welch, and many others coming from the shadows to steal the spotlight.
When Betsy Finley of CrossFit Akron won the 60-plus Masters division at the 2011 CrossFit Games, she could not link two pull-ups. Today, during workouts, she regularly completes 18 or more pull-ups without coming off the bar.
Masters competitor Mike Lyons of CrossFit Troy is currently clean and jerking one-and-a-half times his bodyweight. As a competitor in the 50-54 Masters competition, Lyons is a force to be reckoned with.
Unknown Kim Williams of Coca CrossFit was satisfied with her abilities when compared to females half her age in 2011. One year and one birthday later, Williams and many athletes like her, enter the Masters division giving well know competitors a run for their money.
Rookie Master athletes like Williams previously using CrossFit as a means to keep the firs burning are realizing they can win. Williams is dedicated to a podium finish by making lifestyle changes such as diet, training, and, to beat all else, her profession. Recently, Williams accepted a profession specifically to enhance herCrossFitting ability by allowing her more time to train.
SPC CrossFit is making a multiple team play for the Open, housing a team of veterans, and a team of rookies.CrossFit Ann Arbor’s team rooster is looking to repeat their 2011 Central East victory; while Team CrossFit Murfreesboro is playing possum by saying they will only send individuals.
Old warhorses will find refuge in nothing when they meet newly formed teams from CrossFit South Bend,CrossFit Future and CrossFit Maximus.
CrossFit Future prepares as if they are individuals. It would seem Future is taking to heart the old adage, “your only as good as your weakest player.” With that in mind CrossFit Future searches for chinks weekly ensuring those wishing to represent their team in the 2012 season are well prepared and ready for battle.
Team hopefuls such as CrossFit Maximus and CrossFit South Bend seem to enforce a team schedule chosen competitors adhere to. It’s not about having the perfect angle; it about ensuring every angle is strengthened.
Requirements, such as multiple weekly team workouts seem to reinforce unity as a whole. No team will be victorious without individual strengths. Coincidentally, no team will champion without the ability to force one another to rise to greatness together.
With what has been coined as the most communal competition in CrossFit, multiple teams all over the region band together with one or more opportunities to prove themselves during the Open. It’s CrossFit, and anything will happen.
Time will tell. Finally, it’s time for the CrossFit Games 2012 season to begin.