July 14, 2012
It's No Yoke
By CrossFit

Rogue introduces special yoke, no teams finish Rope-Clean Event.

The Yoke and Rope-Clean workouts that began the day for the Team athletes proved to be brutal.

Many teams failed to reach the end of the field with the yoke, much less make their way back. And when it came to the clean and jerks and rope climbs, no teams finished the workout within the 19-minute time cap.

The day began with teams carrying a yoke for total distance. The catch was that the plates were suspended from the yoke and were free to swing and sway at rattle the athletes into submission. The men started with a load of 370 lb. hanging from the yoke, followed by the women at 230 lb. Each athlete was limited to one attempt. Worth 100 points, the workout had a three-minute time cap on the carry.
Immediately following, there was a one-minute transition before the Rope-Clean workout started.
First the women did 30 135-lb. clean and jerks for time, then a 100-yard run to get to 20 20-foot rope climbs. Then the men did 30 185-lb. clean and jerks for time, followed by a 100-yard run to knock out 20 20-foot rope climbs. Then each team member was to complete 1 rope climb, a 100-yard sprint and 1 clean and jerk. At 100 points, the Rope-Clean event had a 19-minute time cap.
In Heat 1, CrossFit Platinum’s first male athlete was off to a strong start on the ever-swinging yoke, but CrossFit Greensboro ended up covering the most yardage.
Afterward, it was CrossFit Adrenaline that set the tone on the Rope-Clean workout, with the men finishing 15 rope climbs.
“Brutal,” is how Adrenaline’s T.J. Menerey described the second workout of the morning. “We only have a 15-foot rope (at home).”
Worse yet: Having to simply stand and watch as the women did clean and jerks and rope climbs.
The Rope-Clean was unaffected by the yoke carry, Menerey said. 
“The yoke sucked, though,” he added.
Overall, Adrenaline placed 30th in the yoke carry and tied for second in the Rope-Clean workout.
The team is excited to tackle the remainder of the day.
“This is our day,” fellow team member Allie Bourdon said. “Yesterday was not our day.”
The story of Heat 2 was Champlain Valley CrossFit’s Del Randall, who carried the yoke the entire 100 yards by himself. Then he turned around and started back.
“The yoke was something we practiced,” said the 6’6”, 275-lb. athlete.
At home, the team loaded barbells with bumpers, chains and bands with kettlebells, which proved to be more unstable than the yoke they encountered this morning.
“I just tried to stay loose, relaxed, chest up and take baby steps,” Randall said.
He said he had plenty of time to recover for the Rope-Clean workout in which he and fellow teammate Trevor James broke up the clean and jerks in 10 and 12 reps, with Nate Etre jumping in to do 4. For the rope climbs, Etre did 4, James 1 and Randall jumped in when needed.
Overall, Champlain Valley placed third in the yoke carry and tied for 13th in the Rope-Clean workout.
“We want to be in that final workout — that’s why we come,” Randall said.
Last year’s Affiliate Cup champion CrossFit New England started well in Heat 3, making it 100 yards on the yoke carry before turning around to tack on more distance.
But the defending champs fell apart in the Rope-Clean workout, with the women getting a handful of no-reps on the rope climbs. The men only had time for a few clean and jerks. Team member Heather Bergeron, a former Games Individual athlete, was visibly distressed, burying her head in her hands as she rested her elbows on the mat below the rope.
Meanwhile, SPC CrossFit took the lead.
The team’s women are what made the difference, said team member Craig Charton.
The women got through as many clean and jerks as they could and then tried to transition quickly, said fellow team member Julianne Broadbent.
The rope climbs — a favorite of the SPC women — were easy, she added.
“We’re ready to roll,” Charton said. “We want to finish like this for the rest of the day.”
Overall, SPC placed 21st on the Yoke and first on the Rope-Clean workout.
The final heat comprised the top 10 teams, and they proved why.
Hack’s Pack Ute made it almost 200 yards with the yoke — a feat most teams did not accomplish. The performance gave Ute a first-place finish in the yoke carry.
When it came time for the Rope-Clean portion, Diablo CrossFit Anejo edged out Ute, with their men racing through the rope climbs with impressive efficiency.
Overall, Diablo finished 22nd on the Yoke walk and tied for second on the Rope-Clean workout.
In the Yoke workout, Ute had 6480 inches for first, CrossFit Dallas Central was second with 6093, and Champlain Valley CrossFit was third with 4920.
In the Rope-Clean workout SPC CrossFit was first in 19:10, and there was a three-way tie for second at 19:12 between CrossFit Andrenaline, Diablo CrossFit Anejo and Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne.
Right now, the top three teams overall are Ute (487 points), RAW Training (441 points) and Diablo CrossFit (436 points).
Next up: the Bar Muscle-Up and Team Chipper.