June 1, 2014
North East Team Report: Day 3
By Keka Schermerhorn

The fittest teams of the North East are headed to the Games. 

Three teams will represent the North East in Carson this July: Team Dynamix Strength, CrossFit King of Island Park and CrossFit Virtuosity.

Team Dynamix Strength repeated its first-place regional finish, and CrossFit King of Island Park climbed up one spot from last year, finishing second. CrossFit Virtuosity performed the common uncommonly well, and earned its first invitation to the CrossFit Games.

“We feel awesome about this win,” said Chris Clyde of Team Dynamix Strength. “Obviously we are happy to be at the top of the podium, regardless of how our bodies or our hands feel right now.”

Husband and wife Mike and Molly Abgarian, from CrossFit King of Island Park, are also thrilled to be going back to the Games.

“We feel great,” Mike said. “Our scores weren’t what we hoped for all weekend, but we’re back, and one spot better, so moving up.”

Molly added: “We kept our head in the game all weekend. For us, the real story is that this was a mental accomplishment for us.”

CrossFit Virtuosity came into the weekend in 26th place after the Open but had only one finish outside of the top 10—Event 5—where the men finished the thruster and rope climb couplet in 12th place.

Jessica Pamanian, of CrossFit Virtuosity, competed at the CrossFit Games as an individual in 2010 and 2011, finishing the 2010 CrossFit Games in fourth place behind Kristan Clever, Annie Thorsdottir and Valerie Voboril. She will be going back to Carson for the first time in three years, but this time as a team athlete.

Team Event 7

Teammates paired up on an event that would test their grip and grit, above anything else.

Three pairs worked through a row and double-unders, deadlifts and partner deadlift holds, and toes-to-bars and a partner dead hangs.

Communication on the deadlifts and toes-to-bars were the key to being successful in this event. If one partner dropped the deadlift hold at the waist, while their counterpart fought through a good deadlift rep, it did not count. Same was true with the toes-to-bars; if the partner let go of the dead hang while the other performed toes-to-bars, those reps didn’t count. Teams had to switch partners every five reps.

CrossFit 908 won Heat 2, coming up just four seconds short of the world record, and in second place overall.  

“We chose our pair with the best grip to go last,” Tim Carroll said. “They weren’t the fastest on the rower or the double-unders, but in practice they started with 20 deadlifts each and just jumped up and banged out 30 toes-to-bars, so we knew they were our anchors. We knew it didn’t matter when pair one and two got to the mat—our pair three could motor through with little rest and bring up the rear. Then our first pair went out and PR’d their double-unders so we even got off to a fast start.”

The record would fall on the last heat, as Team Dynamix Strength won the event with a record of 15:18, solidifying their first-place position on the Leaderboard.

“We never felt better than on that rowing workout,” Kylee Claxton said.  “In practice, we were almost hitting the 20-minute cap every time. Then we came out today, and it felt great. It was a surprise. We felt amazing.”

CrossFit Virtuosity finished the event in fifth place, which was good enough to propel the team into third place ahead of the Reebok CrossFit 5th Ave Rhinos, which had a disappointing finish and fell back to sixth place.

“Thoughts before were to stick to the plan,” said Paul Delanoy of CrossFit Virtuosity. “We knew we were seven points behind. Day 2 we got knocked off our plan. We rushed a little bit. It was our first time in the final heat and we paid too much attention to the teams around us. We rushed and fatigued ourselves in both workouts. Today, we came back, refocused, reset it and told ourselves to ignore everything going on around us. Do what we’ve been doing the same way for a month-and-a-half. Just execute exactly the same.”

The mentality served them well.

“We’ve got to give a lot of credit to our coach, Steve Cirbus. He said not to be happy just to be here,” Ariel Fernandez said. “We’ve got to come in like we belong. He’s the one who shaped us up. We actually got him three weeks before the Open and he built us up to where we are now, gave us that confidence.”

Team Event 7 Results
1. Team Dynamix Strength (15:18)
2. CrossFit 908 (15:24)
3T. CrossFit King of Island Park (15:58)
3T. CrossFit Wicked (15:58)

Team Event 8

The final event of the regional for teams was a heartbreaker and a dream maker.

Athletes started out with 49 pull-ups and mustered up every last bit of strength they had to complete seven heavy overhead squats to close out the weekend.

The athletes first off the pull-up bar were not necessarily the most successful, as many of those athletes made easy work of the pull-ups but struggled with the weight overhead.

Team Dynamix took the early lead with their first male, but CFGC’s first female and second male led the heat as its fourth athlete took the floor. Dynamix took back the lead with the second female, with Virtuosity right behind them on the bars.

With only one  male and  one female athlete left on the starting mat, the Reebok CrossFit 5th Ave Rhinos pulled ahead from third place, winning with a time of 10: 59, over 50 seconds ahead of second place Team Dynamix Strength.

The effort, however, was not enough to get the Rhinos to the podium, and they finished the weekend in fourth place overall.

CrossFit Virtuosity ordered its athletes from fastest to slowest, giving the last athletes as much time as possible to finish the event. Virtuosity finished in third place, with CrossFit King of Island Park trailing by seven seconds, and earned an invitation to Carson.

Team Event 8 Results
1. Reebok CrossFit 5th Ave Rhinos (10:59)
2. Team Dynamix Strength (11:48)
3. CrossFit Virtuosity (12:20)

Overall Standings
1. Team Dynamix Strength
2. CrossFit King of Island Park
3. CrossFit Virtuosity