May 25, 2012
Regional Report: HSPU Make the Difference in North West
By Robin Runyan, Carla Conrad and Wendy Wilson

"My strategy going into the event was to treat it like Fran -- out run the pain." ~ Becky Clark

The team, women’s and men’s events got off to a strong start in the North West.

Held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds in Puyallup, Wash., in the Americraft Showplex, Day 1 of the Regional competition kicked off with the team competition. During this first event, teams of two men and two women tackled deadlifts and handstand pushups.
CrossFit Fort Vancouver – the 2010 Affiliate Cup title holder – topped Heat 1 of the Team competition with CrossFit Intensify narrowly behind them, with a 2-second difference on the clock (4:36 to 4:38.) Cascade CrossFit, CrossFit Bellevue and Spokane Valley rounded out the top five.
The top teams worked in sync as they moved through the partner deadlifts and handstand push-ups. The field began to expand the times at the second round of handstand push-ups and the final women’s deadlift round. CrossFit Marysville suffered an injury to Blair Niemcziek when she dropped the barbell on her foot, but the team completed the round at 10:49.
“Ibuprofen and ice will be my friend tonight,” Niemcziek commented. “I just gutted it out and finished.”
Team Event 1
1. CrossFit Fort Vancouver 4:36
2. CrossFit Intensify 4:38
3. Cascade CrossFit 5:12
Next up, the women took the floor to battle Diane, a 21-15-9 couplet of deadlifts and handstand push-ups. Before the competition began, leading the women were Melissa Dixon, Cheryl Brost, Marissa Luchau, Karen McCadam and Emily Carothers. 
That would change after Event 1.
The first heat started fast and intense. The record-breaking time to beat was 1:54. Becky Clark of Narrows CrossFit came close, burning through the workout in a smoking time of 2:08, securing her spot as winner of Event 1. Amber Gregg of Boise CrossFit was hot on her heels with a finishing time of 3:18, landing her a No. 4 spot overall.  
During the second heat, several athletes vied for the top spot as they were evenly matched, but Jenna Gracey of CrossFit Industrious beat them all with a finishing time of 3:53. She finished 6th overall. 
The third and most anticipated heat started with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” blaring in the background. Brost of Eugene CrossFit, a crowd favorite, killed the workout, turning in a time of 2:15. She was followed by Melissa Dixon of CrossFit Whidbey Island with a time of 3:10, landing her in the No. 3 spot overall. Tracy Nagai of CrossFit Amped finished in 5th place  with a time of 3:31.
Clark, the current women’s leader, felt good going into the event.
“I did Diane as prescribed for the second time just a week or two ago,” she said. “I got 2:40. My coach said I could expect something like 2:30, taking adrenaline into account,” she said. “My skills and movements were strong – upper body movements are one of my strengths. I just wanted to make sure I was fast enough.”
She certainly was. “My strategy going into the event was to treat it like Fran – out run the pain,” she said. “The second you stop and breathe, the pain catches up with you. If you can stay ahead of the pain, you’re golden.”
Overall, the women showed superb camaraderie, cheering one another on to the very end in true CrossFit spirit. 
Women’s Event 1
1. Becky Clark 2:08
2. Cheryl Brost 2:12
3. Melissa Dixon 3:10
Finally, the men took the floor. Handstand push-ups proved to make the difference in Event 1. While many men tried strict HSPUs, kipping turned out to be more efficient in the long run. 
In Heat 1, Mike Wild from High Desert CrossFit and Will Brindza from CrossFit Wilsonville were neck and neck through the first two rounds. While both struggled with their last round of HSUPs, Bryan Miller from Beaverton CrossFit edged them out to finish first in the heat with a time of 3:21. Tom Liston from CrossFit 541 finished 2nd in the heat at 4:56. Mark Buskas from SnoRidge CrossFit finished 3rd with 5:13.
Heat 2 saw some drama when all competitors and judges were ready and Jordan Holland from Xplore CrossFit walked slowly across the competition floor. Once he was set, the athletes moved quickly as the timer started. Dave Powell from CrossFit Roseburg and Jeremiah Ingersoll from Kirkland CrossFit swiftly moved through the first two rounds. Again, the last round of HSPUs slowed down these athletes and Sun Chang from CrossFit Refinery finished 1st with 2:32. Holland finished 2nd at 3:04 and Ingersoll came in at 3rd with a time of 3:13. Robert Allaire from Ascent CrossFit found himself alone with his last set of deadlifts. Holland sat close by and cheered on his competitor as the crowd roared and Allaire finished his HSUPs just under the time limit.
The speed of the deadlifts and HSPUs increased in Heat 3, with Eric Showman of Arctic CrossFit finishing 1st at 2:19, Chris Exarhos of Kitsap CrossFit finished 2ndat 2:40 and Jeffrey Duncan of CrossFit Pearl District finished 3rd with 3:27.
The crowd was ready for the big dogs in Heat 4. Once the timer went off, the arena sounded like popcorn as the top men in the North West flew through the first set of deadlifts. Open leader Kevin Simons of CrossFit Basic, Apollo Lewis of Tulalip Bay CrossFit, and Ryan Swobody of CrossFit Marysville were side-by-side through the first round of deadlifts and HSPU until Simons quickly moved to the round of 15 in 43 seconds. Brenden Loyer was right behind him the whole time, but the crowd was holding their breath as Simons moved faster than any athlete had before. Simons finished in an impressive 1:58, while Loyer finished in 2:03. Austin Stack from CrossFit The Den finished 3rd in the heat at 2:23.
Men’s Event 1
1. Kevin Simons 1:58
2. Brenden Loyer 2:03
3. Eric Showman 2:19