June 8, 2013
Mid Atlantic Regional Report: Another Day at the Bar
By Stephanie Vincent

"Tomorrow is another day, and there’s a lot more things that can happen with the Leaderboard." ~Gary Helmick

Although Event 4 made for a long Saturday morning in the Mid Atlantic, competitors still had to complete the short, but grueling Event 5 — heavy deadlifts and tall box jumps. With a close point spread at the top of the Leaderboard, athletes were going to have to dig deep and do work. 


Event 5 came down to who could bang out the heavy deadlift the fastest. Being well rounded wasn’t quite as important as being a stronger athlete.

The very first heat brought the third best time of 4:12 from Jonathan Morgan. Morgan was a Division I wide receiver at Coastal Carolina University.

In Heat 2, the best time of the day belonged to Thomas Hooton (3:55). This is Hooton’s fourth Regional competition.

In the final heat, Gary Helmick led from the first set of deadlifts, but Kyle Ruth made it back to the barbell first, grabbing the lead and maintaining it.

“My lower back is really tired and my quads are really tired from the pistols on the previous event. I had to push that so much harder than I had planned and I felt it here,” Ruth said.

Helmick and Rory Hanlin went head to head for second place in the heat, but it was Hanlin that made it to the pad first in 4:13. Five seconds later, Helmick finished with a time that would tie him for fifth in the event.  

Ben Smith hasn’t budged from first place since yesterday. 

Jordan Troyan started the day in second place, but has dropped to sixth. Ruth has now advanced from fourth to second place.

Moving up a single spot from yesterday is Helmick, now in third.

Ruth and Helmick both have 31 points. Although it’s unlikely they’ll catch Smith, they could certainly change positions.  

Steve Pinkerton, currently in fourth, is a full 21 points away. At this point in the competition, it appears Ruth and Helmick could have a trip to the West Coast in their future.  

“I’m beyond words [that I’m in third]. It’s really hard to even fathom that and then possibly going to the Games. But tomorrow is another day, and there’s a lot more things that can happen with the Leaderboard. I am hoping to do pretty good on the last two workouts tomorrow,” Helmick said.

Event 5 Standings

1. Thomas Hooton (3:55)
2. Kyle Ruth (4:03)
3. Jonathan Morgan (4:12)

Overall Standings

1. Ben Smith (15)
2. Kyle Ruth (31)
3. Gary Helmick (31)


At the start of the women’s final heat, Michelle Crawford finished the 21 deadlifts first. She temporarily lost the lead to Christy Phillips’ lightning fast box jumps, but Phillips started to struggle with the weight during the second set of deadlifts.

With what looked like sheer force of will, Crawford held onto her bar each set to go unbroken. She pulled in front of Phillips and regained the lead. She was the first to her mat.

“I am psyched to get a win,” Crawford said.

Phillips continued to lose time breaking up the deadlifts and having to hitch up the weight the last few inches to complete the rep. 

Her deadlift struggles allowed the rookie star of the weekend, Alea Helmick, to pass her. Helmick finished right behind Crawford for second place. Helmick also earned the number two spot for Event 4.

“I am feeling good. Two second places, I can’t be upset about that. It was a good day. I’m feeling good, too, which is kind of weird. I thought I’d be more sore or tweaky but I’m feeling pretty good,” Helmick said.

Finishing in third was Krista Owens, who said she did the event a few seconds faster than in practice.

“I didn’t want to break it up. I ended up breaking up the nines, but I missed a few box jumps. But, I knew that wouldn’t be good for me so you just gotta go fast,” Owens said.

Event 5 did little to change the women’s standings after Event 4. Most notably, Shanna Duvall fell from fifth to eighth place. The standings at the end of Day 2 look slightly different from the results of Day 1.  Gretchen Kittelberger and Phillips have swapped positions and Helmick, who ended Day 1 in seventh place, is now sitting in fourth.

“I’m really psyched about fourth. I wanted to move up today because of the muscle-up performance from yesterday. I’m new to muscle-ups so everyone is like a precious gem,” said Helmick, who just learned how to do muscle-ups during the Open. 

Event 5 Standings

1. Michelle Crawford (3:22)
2. Alea Helmick (3:27)
3. Krista Owens (3:38)

Overall Standings

1. Christy Phillips (18)
2. Gretchen Kittelberger (24)
3. Michelle Crawford (28)


The best time of the day in Event 5 came from CrossFit Greensboro (6:54) in the second heat. From start to finish, they dominated their heat.

“It felt great – it’s what we were expecting,” head coach and team member John Meeks said. “We went through it at home and both athletes were running about 3:30 time so we expected when we put it together we’d come up with something around that. We had a couple of missed reps which slowed it down – you know, a world record would have been nice, but it is what it is and we couldn’t be happier.”

In the final heat, the first team to take the lead was CrossFit Woodbridge. Nick Mann was the first male to hit the finishing pad.

Unfortunately, their female competitor could not maintain the lead, falling short on deadlifts.

It was Adrienne Briggs from CrossFit Reston that would get to her box first. Both Briggs and her teammate did the deadlifts unbroken.

There were many stumbles and no reps throughout as the teams raced to finish the event.

“We had a few missed box jumps, which was surprising perhaps it was from the earlier chipper that smoked our quads a bit,” Briggs said.

CrossFit Reston finished the heat first.

“I knew this was going to be a strong one for us going in, so we just had to do exactly what we practiced and I think we did actually slightly better than what we had practiced before today,” Briggs said.

They were followed by CrossFit Explode 13 seconds later. 

“We tried this in training a hundred different ways, both of us have tried to do it unbroken and both of us tried to break it up. I think from my end going first I was just trying to get out and go unbroken and get a little bit of a lead for her to switch the weights and cut out some of the transition and she’s an animal,” Cody Loeffler of Explode said.

CrossFit Woodbridge finished Event 5 in fourth. 

At the end of Day 2, CrossFit Explode (who ended Day 1 in second place) has created a solid first-place ranking with impressive performances from today. RAW Training shifts from first place to second, five points behind Explode. CFWC Snatches and Jerks maintained third place through the first half of the day, but fell to seventh after Event 5. The new third-place team is CrossFit Reston with 28 points. 

Event 5 Standings

1. CrossFit Greensboro (6:54)
2. CrossFit Reston (7:05)
3. CrossFit Explode (7:18)

Overall Standings

1. CrossFit Explode (12)
2. RAW Training (17)
3. CrossFit Reston (28)