Athletes and fans brought the heat inside Festival Hall on Navy Pier to kick off Day 2 of the North Central Regional.
Hundreds of spectators proudly supported their teams with bright, neon shirts and raucous chants. Keeping the mood fun, CrossFit North Peoria’s Steve Parker came out for Event 4 in a top hat made out of Kill Cliff cans and orange yarn.
Events 4 and 5 were done in succession on Saturday with the three women completing the 95-lb. thruster and rope climb couplet. In addition to successfully completing the required reps, the members were not allowed to drop the bar until each set was completed during the thruster portion. Each female athlete had to complete at least one rep of each movement in each round in order to advance.
Capturing the win for Event 4 were the women of CrossFit T-Town of Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a time of 9:03. T-Town is comprised of newcomer Mandy Nightingale and two-time Games team members Paige Millspaugh and Christina Merlo formerly of CrossFit Jenks in Jenks, Oklahoma.
T-Town prepared for this event by running through the couplet numerous times in practice back in Oklahoma.
“Our strategy worked really well and it played out like we thought it would,” Merlo said. “We were 27 seconds faster than when we practiced it before.”
Millspaugh said she’s happy with how planning has benefited the team.
“If we can do the remaining three events like that I think we’ll be very pleased,” she said.
Once the women completed their portion and stood on the finish mat, the men took their shot at the rope climbs and 135-lb. thrusters. CrossFit St. Paul in Minnesota was taking no chances. One team member, Alex Tubbs, even wore a football-style wristband with his team’s strategy written on it.
Although CrossFit Kilo’s female athletes struggled a bit with the thrusters and rope climbs, the men hammered through this event from start to finish. The men of Kilo snatched the victory away from its box’s other team, The Gym, edging them out by two seconds with a time of 7:40.
In the final heat, CrossFit OKC and CrossFit Kilo were rep-for-rep going into the last two rope climbs when an OKC team member slipped on the rope and lost his grip allowing Kilo to take the lead and the win.
During the event, Charlie Donohue of CrossFit Kilo hit his head going under the handstand push-up wall and started to bleed.
“We focused on big sets on the thrusters and minimized the transitions,” Donohue said. “We wanted to stay on the rope until you couldn't go anymore. We focused on double and triple reps.”
Team Event 4 Results
1. CrossFit T-Town (9:03)
2. CrossFit 417 (9:20)
3. Team CrossFit North Peoria (9:28)
Team Event 5 Results
1. CrossFit Kilo (7:40)
2. The Gym (7:42)
3. Timberwolf CrossFit (7:48)
In the final event for teams on Day 2, every single member of every team was required to fight through a triplet of 9, 6 and 3 of strict handstand push-ups, hang power cleans (160 lb./110 lb.) and burpees before the time cap of 21 minutes.
Not only did every male and female competitor have to do all the reps, there was a time-cap penalty if an athlete failed more than three reps during the strict handstand push-ups.
CrossFit Green Bay in Wisconsin finished Event 6 on top with a time of 16:20. The lead consistently changed as CrossFit North Peoria of Peoria, Illinois stayed right on CrossFit Green Bay. Yet, Green Bay’s team members stayed calm, quick and steady to finish three minutes ahead of North Peoria.
Most teams couldn't avoid the three-rep fail penalty or complete the required amount of work before the 21-minute cap.
“We were really excited about this (event) when we saw it on paper,” said Garrett Lowney of CrossFit Green Bay. “We were two minutes faster in practice. The morning (event) seemed to take a little bit more out of us than we anticipated. Our (men’s) strategy was to get the heck off the floor and let the females do their thing.”
Though Green Bay was able to tackle Event 6, CrossFit Kilo managed to hold on to the lead.
To top off the afternoon, CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro watched the competition from the sidelines. As teams walked onto the competition floor, Castro cheered on team members.
Team Event 6 Results
1. CrossFit Green Bay (16:20)
2. On Track (19:40)
3. Team CrossFit North Peoria (19:53)
1. CrossFit Kilo (31)
2. CrossFit Green Bay (33)
3. CrossFit T-Town (40)
4. Team CrossFit North Peoria (40)
5. Timberwolf CrossFit (40)
6. CrossFit St. Louis (42)
7. Quad City CrossFit (48)
8. CrossFit 417 (54)
9. 540 Beefy (57)
10. CrossFit St. Paul (62)