March 30, 2012
North West Open Recap
By Dan & Amy Hollingsworth

The North West Region's Leaderboard has many new faces at the top headed into the Regional. 

The 2012 CrossFit Games Open has come to a close and the athletes of the North West Region now have two months to prepare for Regionals. Before we shift our focus to the next phase of the qualification process, let’s take a moment to reflect on the amazing results of the Open competition.


In the men’s race, three gents staked early claims on the top positions and they did not relinquish. Overall top finisher, Kevin Simons took the lead in Week 2 and stayed at the top of the Leaderboard for the remainder of the Open. Simons, who finished the 2011 Open in 5th place looks to avenge a disappointing 7th place finish at last year’s Regional.

Two new faces to North West Regional competition fill the remaining positions in the top 3.  Apollo Lewis, who after just a few months of CrossFit experience finished the 2011 Open in 93rd place, demonstrated just how far he has come in a year. Lewis found himself in 21st after 12.1 and then planted himself in the 2nd place position overall after 12.3. There he remains.

First time Open competitor, Kevin Longmeier certainly made a name for himself in 2012. Longmeier, who is also a pastor, held a top three position in the region for four out of the five weeks of competition. He finished the Open tied for 3rd place with the North West’s top finisher from the 2011 CrossFit Games, Ben Stoneberg.


The women’s competition put some more familiar names in the top positions on the Leaderboard. Two-time CrossFit Games competitor, Ashleigh Moe finished the Open at the top. Moe finished the first week in 25th place, vaulted up to 4th after Week 2, and then claimed the top position for herself after Week 3. Moe was the runner-up at the 2011 North West Regionals and finished in 33rd at the Games.

Kendall Burnham, who missed qualifying for the 2011 CrossFit Games by just 2 spots, appears poised to improve upon last year’s performance. Burnham and newcomer to the North West Region, Melissa Dixon battled back and forth in the top three for four straight weeks. Burnham’s 123 reps on 12.5 over Dixon’s 116 secured her the 2nd place finish. Dixon, a U.S. Navy Rescue Swimmer, finished 84th in the 2011 Open, competing in the Southern California Region.

Last year’s other Games competitors, Samantha Petersen and Cheryl Brost also had strong performances in this year’s Open. Petersen, who was the top female at last year’s Regional, finished the Open in 16th place and put up the top score in Workout 12.2, snatching 120 pounds for 7 reps. Brost notched her best performance in Week 4, and consistently strong performances saw her finishing the Open in 5th place.


In the Team compeition, three teams set the tone. CrossFit Fort Vancouver, CrossFit Intensify and CrossFit Spokane Valley recorded top three scores 11 out of a possible 14 times during the Open. Fort Vancouver demonstrated that they are clearly a force to be reckoned with, not only in the North West, but on the worldwide stage as well.

Powered by consistently big performances from Jessica Core who finished 4th in the Open and by team captain Adam Neiffer, Fort Vancouver placed no lower than 3rd place in the region in any of the workouts and placed 11th in the worldwide competition.

CrossFit Intensify was also led by top performers in Kendall Burnham and Ben Stoneberg and finished the Open in 2nd place, 10 points behind Fort Vancouver.

Cascade CrossFit proved that they were not a one-hit wonder on Workout 12.1 by bouncing back from a 26th place finish on Workout 12.2 and finishing in 8th place overall.


While the Teams and Individual competitors only have two months to gear up for the next level of competition, the Masters competitors have three-and-a-half months to prepare for the next stage, the Home Depot Center.

A new face in the Men’s 45-49 Division is Mike Ford. Serving as a judge in the past, this year, Ford, who finished in 10th place, will become the judged.

Last year’s 4th place woman in the 45-49 Division, Janice Spray earned a return trip to the HDC by finishing in 3rd place in the Open.

One of the most interesting battles in this year’s Masters competition will likely be in the women’s 50-54 Division. This year, two former champions will go head-to-head. Susan Habbe won the Women’s 45-49 Division last year and she will go up against 2010 Masters champion Laurie Carver. Another first-time Open competitor, Jim McCarry earned a trip to Carson, Calif., by finishing in 11th place in the 60-plus category.

Falling Short

A few names will be noticeably absent from competition following this year’s Open. Lynnwood CrossFit powerhouse Kelsey Nagel, who finished 7th at last year’s Regional, recorded the highest score in the region on Workout 12.2, but was unable to overcome a disappointing burpee performance.

In the Masters events, 2011’s , 2nd place finisher in the Men’s 45-49 Division, Larry Silber missed qualifying for this year’s Games by a devastating one place, ending the Open in 21st. Pat Sprague, who came in 19th place at the Games last year in the men’s 45-49 group also missed qualifying this year.

The Open proved to be five weeks of surprising programming and equally surprising performances. Thousands of competitors throughout the North West came together as a virtual community of athletes vying for coveted qualifying positions. The best among them have risen to the top and now have two months to prepare for face-to-face Regional competition at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.