July 31, 2012
Mid Atlantic Masters Roundup
By Brian Wilson

The Mid Atlantic Masters are quietly demonstrating what the human body is capable of a few years down the road.

Measurably, competitors like Rich Froning, Annie Thorisdottir and Chris Spealler make up the “Big Show.” Many are nearly full-time CrossFit athletes with sponsors, coaches and the publicity that comes along with being the best in your sport.

While these athletes may be considered the driving force of the Sport of Fitness, the Mid Atlantic Masters are quietly demonstrating what the human body is capable of a few years down the road.

Jerry Hill was favored to win going into the Games. Hill owns CrossFit Oldtown in Alexandria, Va. He took first place in the Open with a 68-point lead over second. A hamstring injury and some tough-to-beat performances at the Games resulted in a fifth place finish overall in the Men’s 45-49 Division.

Victor Hoyos of Trident CrossFit finished eighth in the Men’s 45-49 Division. Hoyos fought a number of injuries leading up to the Games, in addition to maintaining a full-time job as a member of the United States Army Special Forces. His goals are to get healthier and stronger next year, and to get his family more involved in CrossFit. “I have introduced a small amount of CrossFit to my children, but they have not embraced it … yet,” Hoyos says.

Lidia Beer was the highest placing Masters athlete from the Mid Atlantic Region. She placed fourth in the Women’s 55-59 Division. Beer works for AT&T in Wilmington, N.C. Her path to the Games was a result of peer pressure at her box. “Last year, everyone was doing the Open and it was $10, so [I] decided to do it,” she says. “I qualified and went to the Games. This year, I had to go back to see if I could do better.”

The Mid Atlantic was represented well in the Women’s 55-59 Division sending five athletes in total. Sharon Lapkoff earned sixth place this year. She and her husband are realtors in Jefferson, Md., and train at CrossFit Frederick. 

Lapkoff was on the bubble for the final workout of Day 3. She had never done chest-to-bar pull-ups prior to the Games, but managed to crank out 17 in two minutes on Sunday morning, giving her a tie for second on the event and allowing her to move far enough up the Leaderboard to compete in the last workout. 

She credits the help of her coaches, Amanda and Dave May, and says her primary focus is going to be getting stronger at the Olympic lifts in preparation for 2013.

Debbie Mizikowski (ninth), Martha Redinger (13th) and Lee Monk (15th) round out the Women’s 55-59 Division. Mizikowski works for UPS in Erie, Penn., and set a goal of making the top 20 in the Open. “The biggest obstacle was … before the first workout,” she recalls. “I was so nervous and my goal was to have fun. After the first WOD, I was relaxed and enjoyed it all.”

Redinger is the mother of Kyle Redinger, owner of CrossFit Charlottesville, where she trains. She is an entrepreneur, running an online shoe store that caters to college students and alumni of the University of Virginia.

Monk says it was her fellow athletes who inspired her this year. “With the help of other Masters athletes, coaches, judges, new friends and old friends to cheer me on, I overcame my biggest obstacle,” Monk says. “Self doubt.”

Jay Thomas (12th) and Erick Bruder (15th) competed in the Men’s 50-54 Division. Thomas owns an investment management company and trains at Firebreather Fitness in Charleston, W.V. “I CrossFit to set an example for my children, as the importance of good health, in hopes that they will adopt a healthy lifestyle. I CrossFit to represent my box and the many coaches and friends that have helped me along this journey,” Thomas says. “I CrossFit to set an example for the people around me that even at a moderately advanced age it is still very possible to be fit.”

Bruder is a business owner and contractor in Ocean City, Md. At 5’7” and 145 pounds, his focus for the next year is to get stronger. He trains up to six days a week, focusing on heavy lifting. He incorporates met-cons around his strength program. “As long as my body can stay together, I will give my best,” Bruder says.

Chuck McDonald (16th) competed in the Men’s 55-59 Division. McDonald trains at CrossFit Nation in Easton, Md. “The idea of competing in the Games makes me work harder and keeps my focus improving in all areas of CrossFit and nutrition, as well,” says McDonald, who trains with his wife and son.

Connie Morreale (17th) competed in the Women’s 50-54 Division. This is Morreale’s second year at the Games and she’s been CrossFitting since 2006. She is the Director of CrossFit 10-10 in Columbia, Md. Morreale suffered a severe back injury in May, which kept her from training at all for several weeks. She picked up a barbell again during the first week of July, just a week before the Games. Her children weren’t CrossFitters before the Games, but her son came to watch her and is now looking for a box in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Robin Kline is the oldest athlete to compete in the Masters from the Mid Atlantic. She finished fifth in the 60-plus Division. Her daughter, Paige, who is also her coach at Crofton CrossFit, introduced her to CrossFit. “Just keep going to the box and do the WOD,” she says of her approach to the 2013 season. “And trust my coaches in making my training plan.”