March 14, 2013
No Nonsense: CrossFit Queanbeyan
By Siobhan Kent

“CrossFit Queanbeyan put up a good score for Week One and if we can remain consistent across the board for the remainder of the workouts, we should finish well.”

Top image by Travis Longmore

Walking into CrossFit Queanbeyan, you can tell it’s a no-nonsense, no ego, no excuses kind of place.

With the first week of the 2013 Open done, a small but eager bunch at Queanbeyan have high hopes, aiming to put together a strong team and make it to the Australia Regional. The affiliate hopes to send a few individual competitors, as well.

Kane Cawse and Scott Williams are the owners of CrossFit Queanbeyan, located in Australia, established in July 2011. A year later, the affiliate competed at the Australia Regional for the first time, finishing 17th overall.

For relative newcomers, Amanda Dollman and Hayley Swaysland, the Open is all about gaining experience and challenging themselves.

“I’m keen to see any workouts involving bodyweight movements in the Open,” Swaysland says.

For Dollman however, it’s the opposite.

“The heavier the better,” she says.

Dollman was smiling when 13.1 was released — and she continued to smile after completing 150 reps.

“I’m one of those sick puppies that actually means it when I say, ‘Yay, burpees!’ so I loved that portion,” she says. “I just couldn’t get that 100-lb. snatch above my head.”

Of the affiliate’s women, the standouts are Michelle Semmler and trainer, Kris Hobbs, who are both very humble about their abilities.

Hobbs has been a part of CrossFit Queanbeyan’s team for the last two years.

“We have so much more potential this year, and, as a trainer, it’s really great to see,” Hobbs says. “This year, I’m working hard to keep my spot on the team, and maybe even qualify as an individual.”

Despite CrossFitting for just one year, Semmler has all the skills to do well in the Open. She finished 11th at the November 2012 Smash Clash competition in Canberra, Australia.

“I’m loving being involved and contributing to the box’s efforts,” she says. “It’s such a team atmosphere here, and we all encourage each other to achieve.”

“Last year, I could hardly lift 40 kg above my head — now I’m doing 65 kg. As for the Open, 13.1 was long, technical and those burpees definitely gassed me.”

Semmler finished with 133 reps, putting her in the top 80 in Australia.

Rohan Thomas started CrossFit just a year ago, and is notorious in the box for being routinely late.

“Pretty sure I’ve done more burpees as a penalty for being late than anyone in the country,” he says.

But at least that prepared him well for 13.1

“13.1 was such an interesting introduction to the Open — tough on paper and in the flesh,” Thomas says. “I surprised myself and reached my goal (135 reps), but I did feel like I could have done more, though. Watch out 13.2!”

For Matt Gaisford, who has been in the Australian Army for eight years and does regular deployments overseas, the 2013 Open is his third time competing. This year, he’s hoping to qualify for Regionals and has a decent start so far, completing 159 reps in 13.1.

“I think I did some of the best snatches I’ve ever done in this (workout),” he says.

“On video, they were near perfect. Nothing like the heat of competition to bring out the best!”

He adds, “I can’t wait for the next one, and know Queanbeyan will be at Regionals for sure. Some awesome talent on display at our box.”

Terry Crossman is one of the standout male athletes at CrossFit Queanbeyan, after posting a score of 162 in 13.1.

He first found CrossFit through a friend after returning from Afghanistan in 2011.

“Friends of ours opened a box in Queensland (CrossFit Roar), and after my first WOD with those guys, I was hooked and have never looked back,” he says.

Crossman, who recently finished fifth in the team event at the Judgment Day competition in Queanbeyan, is having his third crack at the Open this year. But he’s not setting his sights too high.

“The Open competition has been an awesome experience from the get go. I’m always learning new skills and challenging myself to go harder, which is what I love about CrossFit,” Crossman says.

“13.1 was such a fun workout, I loved the mix of strength and cardio components. I’m pretty happy with my score and can’t wait to see what surprises will come up in the next four weeks.”

“CrossFit Queanbeyan put up a good score for Week One and if we can remain consistent across the board for the remainder of the workouts, we should finish well.”