Pack Mentality

July 15, 2012


Hack's Pack Ute comes from behind to capture Affiliate Cup title. 

Hack’s Pack Ute is the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup winner after a final workout that did not include any of last year’s top six teams.

Hack’s Pack Ute included Erin Bennion, Taylor Richards-Lindsay, Mary Lampas, Adrian Conway, Michael Cazayoux, and Tommy Hackenbruck.

Like last year, six teams battled for the Affiliate Cup in a winner-take-all final event featuring a gauntlet of traditional CrossFit workouts. After Saturday, the slate was wiped clean and the top six teams moved on to the timed relay of Elizabeth, Fran, Isabel, Grace, Diane and Karen. The first three parts of the workout were done by teams’ female athletes, while the last three were executed by the men.

The event was a close race as Hack’s Pack Ute, Diablo CrossFit Anejo, RAW Training, SPC CrossFit, TJ’s Gym Mill Valley and Invictus performed before a packed stadium.

None of last year’s top three finishers — CrossFit New England, Front Range CrossFit and CrossFit Taranis — made the final workout.

Hack’s Pack Ute dominated for most of the CrossFit Games weekend, with a team that included past individual Games competitors Richards-Lindsay, Lampas and Hackenbruck.

The winner-take-all event kicked off with Elizabeth, 21-, 15 and 9 reps of 95-lb. power cleans and ring dips. Loren Churchin of RAW Training took an early lead, but was passed by Julianne Broadbent of SPC CrossFit. Ayo Anise of Invictus pulled ahead to finish first in the first evolution.

Next was Fran, 21, 15 and 9 reps of 65-lb. thrusters and pull-ups. Sam Heydlauff of SPC CrossFit completed all her pull-ups unbroken butterfly-style, racing against Katie McLaughlin of Invictus.

The next female competitor took on Isabel, which consists of 30 reps of a 95-lb. snatch. SPC and Invictus were neck-and-neck after finishing Isabel when they handed it to the men for Grace, 30 reps of 135-lb. clean and jerks.

Justin Nahama of Invictus finished Grace first, and then it was Nuno Costa’s turn for Diane, 21, 15 and 9 reps of 225-lb. deadlifts and handstand push-ups. Hack’s Pack made their move, with Cazayoux working steadily through the handstand push-ups, making up even more ground when Costa started failing on his push-ups.

Hack’s Pack finished Diane first, and then it was on to the final portion of the event, Karen: 150 wall-ball shots.

Hackenbruck had specific instructions for his team.

"I told them if you can get me within 20 wall balls of everyone else, we'll win,” Hackenbruck said.

The 20-lb. medicine ball looked like a child’s toy in the hands of the 6’1”, 210-lb. Hackenbruck, who completed the first 111- wall-ball shots unbroken. After taking a short break, Hackenbruck finished up the wall-balls and, Hacks’ Pack won with a time of 21:43, two minutes faster than CFNE’s winning time last year.

"We knew (a win) was within our realm based on all our PRs," Hackenbruck said after the event. He told each person on the team to stick to his or her exact rep scheme and not pay attention to anyone else, because there would be a lot of lead changes."

It looked to be a battle for second place between SPC CrossFit and Invictus, when Diablo made a move, coming from fourth place to finish third due to an amazing Karen performance by Ben Wise.

Second place went to SPC CrossFit.

“We knew it was our last workout, so we had to put it all out there,” said Sam Heydlauff of SPC CrossFit.

Despite their second-place finish, Heydlauff said the team isn't going to take a long break afterward. They are going to catch a red eye back home tonight and start training for next year's Affiliate Cup.

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