"Since the end of the 2012 Games season, we have been focused on improving our strength."
For the past two years, Team Atomic CrossFit has had one goal: compete in the final workout on the last day of the South Central Regional competition. For the past two years, they have fallen short to make the final cut.
At the 2011 South Central Regional, Atomic CrossFit’s impressive cheering section commanded media attention while the team finished 17th. In 2012, team member, Janet Black, opted to compete as an individual at the Regional after a first-place finish in the region during the Open. She placed 16th at the Regional, as did the team.
Atomic coach, athlete and team captain, Daniel Ward, has been with the affiliate for three years, and a part of the team since 2011.
“For the past two years, our weakness has been strength. The (Thruster Ladder) and the Snatch Ladder at previous Regionals really hurt us,” Ward says. “Since the end of the 2012 Games season, we have been focused on improving our strength.”
To prepare for 2013, team members have been following a special competitors programming that includes training as individuals throughout the week, and as a team on Saturdays.
“Our programming has helped us see an overall improvement in skills, work capacity and our confidence,” Ward says. “We have become better athletes and the team practice has helped us learn to communicate and become more tight-knit. Our team has done well on the competition circuit. We finished first at CrossFit Champions Oktoberfest and fifth at CrossFit Central’s, The Fittest Games.”
The Fittest Games also saw a lot of PRs for team members, including Will Maloy accomplishing a 325-lb. clean, and Ward a 325-lb. front squat. Also, Beth Spearman, who sat in third place for the South Central Region after 13.1, achieved a 200-lb. clean and jerk.
“Despite our dominating performance at The Fittest Games, a gymnastic weakness was exposed on a winner-take-all final (workout) and we finished fifth,” Ward says.
For 2013, Spearman and Black are fully committed to competing on the team.
“After 2012, we all made an agreement to compete as a team,” Ward says. “We want to represent Atomic CrossFit, and make some noise.”
Committed to doing the Open Workout on time, all competitors will assemble on Fridays to complete it. Open Workout 13.1 saw more than 60 spectators present to cheer on their team.
“The encouragement and energy at the box is amazing. It engulfs you and motivates you,” Ward says. “The support and enthusiasm from our tribe builds our confidence even more.”
The team, according to Ward has “a swagger now that we didn’t have before. We are more confident when we see strength WODs. We are ready for them.”
After three weeks of the Open, Team Atomic CrossFit has its work cut out for them. They are sitting in 41st in the South Central Region and only the top 30 teams will receive invitations to advance to the Regional competition.