May 19, 2012
Regional Report: Akinwale Sets World Record in North Central
By Nicole Scott Smith

Elisabeth Akinwale set a new world record on Event 3 with a time of 4:06.

Temperatures in McCook, Ill., will hover near 90 degrees today, but the weather is quite pleasant inside the McCook Exposition Center.

North Central’s athletes and spectators came in droves for what is one of the most anticipated events: The one-armed dumbbell snatch/sprint combo. The atmosphere was jovial in the Athlete Village, but these snatches are no joke.


With heavy snatches and stringent rules, this technical workout tested the strength of the athletes’ skills and their ability to be detail oriented under pressure.

The men’s competition got hot in Heat 2, as Reckless CrossFit’s own Joshua Page powered through the snatches and sprints, holding the 1st place position for the entire heat.

A battle between training partners Jared Stevens and veteran Marine Andrew Koch had the crowd maneuvering to get as close to the action as possible. Koch had never tried to snatch a 100-pound dumbbell. “I used more of a super high pull and press out and found it was the most efficient for me at that weight.”

Koch held the lead until the end when Stevens burst into the final sprint and won the Heat with a time of 3:40. Koch finished one second behind. Fellow training partner Jeremy Mhire, also of CrossFit Springfield finished 3rd, moving these three friends up the Leaderboard and forging one amazing memory to share when they return home.

Heat 4 was dominated by Justin Allen, with Kyle Kasperbauer and Phillip Kniep vying for 2nd. “We were all right there,” Allen said. “My goal was to stay one rep ahead. I knew I could get them on that last run.”

Kasperbauer and Kniep both fell victim to the strict rules at the end, with Kasperbauer failing to touch his dumbbell and Kniep having to return from his run to move the dumbbell forward. “I got caught in the moment and forgot,” lamented Kasperbauer.

Even after crawling back to tag the weight, Kasperbauer finished 2nd with Kniep following 20 seconds later with a time of 4:05.

1. Kyle Kasperbauer
2. Justin Allen
3. Pete Rasmusen


Heavy and unfamiliar, the dumbbell snatches devastated many of the women and divided the waters between who could make it past Regionals. Despite receiving two burpee penalties, Heat 2’s winner was Britt Ringstrom of CrossFit Minnesota. Only one other athlete completed the entire workout in that heat.

Crowd favorite and Games veteran Elisabeth Akinwale had to go back and touch the line in the first run with Stacie Tovar hot on her heels. She then burst from the pack and stayed on round ahead for the remainder of the workout. “It was tougher than I practiced,” Tovar said. “I made sure to get my breath between reps.”

Akinwale blasted through the workout, setting a new world record of 4:06. Rudy Nielsen of Outlaw CrossFit has programmed for Akinwale for the last year. “She is the baddest bitch on the planet,” Nielsen said. “We knew this workout was infinitely killable. To do the first run twice and still get the world record is pretty ridiculous.” Tovar finished 2nd in the heat with a time of 5:58.

1. Elisabeth Akinwale
2. Stacie Tovar
3. Jaime Noyce


Heat 3 was a battle for 1st place between CrossFit Omaha and QCCF Awesome. A burpee penalty was dispensed to QCCF, but they held the lead.

CrossFit Omaha had to repeat movements in the last round, allowing CrossFit Jenks to edge ahead. Denver McPhail of CrossFit Jenks plowed through the technical barbell movement, causing a frenzy of excitement from the crowd.

QCCF Awesome took the heat with a time of 5:18 with Jenks close behind at 5:33. CrossFit Omaha finished 3rd at 5:43. Addi Kars of CrossFit Omaha had this to say “We came out as fast as we needed but didn’t over stretch. It went as planned, for the most part.”

1. CrossFit Jenks
2. QCCF Awesome
3. CrossFit Kilo

Grit and determination were the theme of the morning. In what is probably the most dreaded event at Regionals, North Central prepares for the smoker … Event 4, a nasty combination of full body strength and stamina.