May 27, 2012
Regional Report: Endless Squats Challenge the North West's Athletes
By Robin Runyan, Carla Conrad and Wendy Wilson

The second day of competition brought some changes to the Leaderboard.

At the close of Day Two, amid a sea of therapeutic tape and painfully heavy weight, we saw some shake ups among the top athletes following a grueling workout. Their challenge: series of 135/95 pound back squats, 85/65 pound front squats and 65/45 pound overhead squats coupled with pull ups and shoulder-to-overheads. CrossFit Fort Vancouver and Cheryl Brost retained their first-place overall standings, while Kevin Simons slipped to second place.


The teams were tested in Event 4, calling on their combination of endurance,  strength and teamwork to press through the series of weighted squats, back, front and overhead, mixed with pull-ups for time. The two women had to complete the entire round before the two men could start.  The catch: Once the bar was up and in play, it was not to touch the ground. 

In Heat 1, TheLAB – Eastlake CrossFit pulled out front at the end of the first round, but followed closely behind by CrossFit X.  All teams in Heat 1 pushed to the time limit.

Heat 2 intensified the crowd as Salem WOD Crushers moved first to the pull-up bar, chased by CrossFit Refinery and followed by Central Oregon CrossFit. Then CrossFit Refinery moved out in front as the women handed off to the men, where they continued to fight it out between Central Oregon CrossFit and Salem WOD Crushers. Central Oregon capped the heat in front with 27:14.

Heat 3 brought the top teams back to the floor.  Jet City was the first to the pull up bar, but CrossFit Fort Vancouver was the team to beat as they moved confidently through the squats and pull-ups, chased by CrossFit Coeur d’ Alene, Jet City and  Spokane Valley. CrossFit Fort Vancouver was the first to extend their lead at the 9 minute mark, moving into the overhead squats and  CrossFit Coeur d’ Alene shortly followed. The pace then stepped up when CrossFit Intensify and  Spokane Valley pressed  in hard to moved themselves closer to Fort Vancouver CrossFit. But ultimately is was CrossFit Fort Vancouver’s to take, as the crowd counted the final reps and the team finished with 24:30 in the clock.

Seemingly unstoppable CrossFit Fort Vancouver is only the fourth team to complete this event within the 25 minute limit across all regionals worldwide.

Team Event 4 Results
1. CrossFit Fort Vancouver (24:30)
2. CrossFit Intensify (25:59)
3. Spokane Valley (26:20)

Overall Standings
1(T) CrossFit Fort Vancouver  (8 points)
1(T) CrossFit Intensify  (8 points)
3. Jet City (22 points)


The battle for the top of the leaderboard continued as the men threw down the bar in Event 4. The grueling combination of squats, pull-ups and shoulder-to-overheads separated the top of the pack from the rest of the top 10.

The first heat saw no male competitors finishing in the 22 minute time cap, with Stephen Hitt coming the closest at 22:01. Connor Nelson was the first man to finish the workout for the day in heat two with a time of 19:05. Robert Allaire finished strong at 20:35 while Ryne Reeves finished third in the heat with a time of 20:41.

The pace picked up in heat three as the crowd helped the men finish the workout strong. As the men picked up the bar for their last round of shoulder-to-overhead, the vocal crowd counted out each rep. Ryan Swobody was the first to finish the heat in 18:03. Brenden Loyer ran back from his last set of pull-ups and repped out the shoulder-to-overheads to finish in 20:01. Thomas Liston, who had kept up with Swobody for much of the workout, finished third in the heat with 20:21.

With 10 points separating first and sixth place going into the workout, every rep counted as the top men pushed through the workout. Yurii Hanson and Jesse Disch were the first to the overhead squats and the last round of pull-ups. Hanson took the lead in the pull-ups and repped out the last shoulder-to-overhead, taking first in the event with 16:39. Austin Stack stayed steady through the workout and finished second with 17:20. Disch finished third in the heat at 18:01. Kevin Simons took longer rests during the workout and did longer sets of the movements, finishing fourth in the heat at 18:29. Jordan Holland, the leader going into the event, was called back to the pull-up bar in the last minute to do one more rep and could not finish the shoulder-to-overheads in the time limit. 

The Men’s Leaderboard changed significantly after Event 4. Austin Stack now leads with 18 points. Kevin Simons sits in second place with 22 points. The win in Event Four helped Yurii Hanson move up to third place with 24 points. Jordan Holland moved from first to fifth place. With two more events, the men will have to bring it on day three in order to make it to the CrossFit Games in July.

Men’s Event 4 Results
1. Yurii Hanson: 16:39
2. Austin Stack: 17:20
3. Jesse Disch: 18:01

Overall Standings
1. Austin Stack (18)
2. Kevin Simons (22)
3. Yurii Hanson (24)


The women finished out the day’s events. Though the crowd had thinned out, those who remained cheered loudly for the women as they faced squat and pull up hell. The top finisher came out of heat two, while the second and third finishers came out of the final heat.

In the first heat, Nadia Shatila of CrossFit Belltown, Samantha Fonoti of CrossFit Fairbanks and Shelby Walkinshaw battled back and forth for first place. What Shatila lacked in squat strength she made up for in her strong and smooth butterfly pull ups. All 10 women fought fiercely for reps, but none of them completed the workout. Shatila, however, finished with the most overall reps overall.  With 20 seconds remaining, she completed 16 of her final 30 push presses.

The second heat saw one woman – Karen McCadam of CrossFit Hood River – complete the workout. She also took first place overall. At the beginning, Carleen Lessard of CrossFit X-Factor came out strong, followed by Molly Hunsinger of CrossFit Industrious. After the first round of pull ups, McCadam took the lead at the first shoulder-to-overhead station. When they got to the front squats, Amber Gregg of Boise CrossFit beat McCadam to the front squat and the pull up station, but she quickly regained the lead and held it through the rest of the workout. In the end, McCadam beat out the other women in her heat – and in the overall event – ending with a time of 20:42.  

The third heat was dominated by top woman Cheryl Brost of Eugene CrossFit – but she was nearly taken down by Allison King of Kirkland CrossFit. Out the gate, all the competitors kept a steady pace during the 50 95-pound back squats. Brost grinded them out, rarely resting, while Samantha Petersen in Lane 2 took breaks between reps. In Lane 3, Alexandra Seal – winner of women’s Event 3 – pushed out three to five reps at a time, briefly resting between sets. Brost, Seal and Samantha Snyder of CrossFit Refinery headed to the racks at the same time for their first 40 pull ups. They, along with the other women during Event 4, did butterfly pull ups and transitioned to kipping pull ups as they fatigued. Brost kept the lead as they moved to the 95-pound shoulder-to-overhead station, but Snyder, Seal and Melissa Dixon of CrossFit Whidbey Island followed on her heals. 

When the women stripped 30 pounds off their bars moved to the 65-pound front squat station, Brost remained in the lead. She started dashing to the racks for her second set of 40 pull ups at the 8:30 mark, but the judge pulled her back to hammer out 10 missed reps. She finally made it to the pull up station at 9:12, still leading the other women. That’s when King picked up her pace and made a run for second place, followed by Seal who maintained a narrow grip on her kipping pull ups. After they completed their reps, Brost and King returned to their bars for 30 push presses. Brost took a breather, but King gulped some water, grabbed the bar and pushed out reps. Brost was able to maintain her lead, stripping the bar to 45 pounds for the overhead squats. 

As Brost began her 50 overhead squats, she slipped and fell, but she hopped right back up and powered out reps. King took a full 30 seconds to strip her bar and carry it to the overhead squat station. Brost slowed her pace, starting to show signs of fatigue – and that’s when King took the lead. At the 17:21 mark, King moved into first place, dashing to the pull up bars for her final 40 reps. Brost came up right behind her, followed by Emily Carothers of Maple Valley CrossFit, who jogged to the racks. King continued to push strong through the pull ups, though she and the other athletes really started to show  how much their shoulders were burning.  

With 3 minutes left to go before time ran out, King was first to make it to the final shoulder-to-overhead station. She walked; Brost jogged. In dramatic fashion with the crowed shouting her rep counts, Brost exploded through the final 30 push presses without stopping, retaking her lead and finishing in first place with a time of 21:00. King finished second with a time of 21:04. Carothers completed the workout in third place in 21:38.

Women’s Event 4 Results
1. Karen McCadam: 20:40
2. Cheryl Brost: 21:00
3. Allison King: 21:04

Overall Standings
1. Cheryl Brost (11 points)
2. Samantha Petersen (16 points)
3. Alexandra Seal (27 points)