May 20, 2012
Regional Report: Snatch Ladder Shakes Up North Central
By Nicole Scott Smith

Brandon Pastorek finished 1st in the Snatch Ladder, wanting to prove he deserved to be at the Reigonal.

“Everybody hits a wall,” Brandon Pastorek says. “The best CrossFitters hit the wall and blast through it.”

This is it. North Central athletes poured into the McCook Athletic & Exposition Center for the last day of what has been a weekend full of excitement, heartbreak and big PR. The day began to a noticeably thinner crowd, but the waiting athletes filled up the available space to cheer on their rivals for the snatch ladder-a showcase of technical Olympic lifting, strength and grace under pressure.
“My whole goal was to move forward in the Leaderboard,” said Jake Howard of CrossFit Gambit. “And with a 10-pound PR, I did.”
Alex Netley of CrossFit Chicago held a 245-pound snatch, but had a nasty tumble with his second attempt at 255. “Two hundred forty five was the minimum I wanted,” Netley said. “Anything after 245 was icing. But it was a 5-pound PR. I’ll take it.”
Jared Stevens made CrossFit 417 proud with 245 pounds and 22 double-unders. The real show was Brandon Pastorek, who blew through the Snatch Ladder. He failed an attempt of 265 pounds, but scored the highest individual with a 255 and 13 double-unders. “I wish I would have gone further,” he said after the workout. “I have a 265 at home. I had a lot of ground to make up from the last two days. I wanted to prove that I am supposed to be here.”
Overall Standings After Event 5
1. Kyle Kasperbauer
2. Justin Allen
3. Phillip Kniep
North Central women embraced this technical workout and didn’t disappoint as Libby DiBiase of Cross Fit Omaha hit the 130# with ease. Deborah Cordner Carson tried 145 pounds twice, but couldn’t control it at the top. “It feels a lot different lifting with Oly plates, as opposed to bumper plates,” she said. “I was hoping to get 150, but I’m happy with my effort.” 
CrossFit Omaha’s Stacie Tovar also tried to snatch the 145-pound bar twice, but settled for 140 pounds and a string of 22 double-unders. Standing alone on the green turf Elisabeth Akinwale nailed 150. The crowd was silent and you could hear the whiz of her double-under. With absurd speed, she hit the 170-pound mark to take 1st in the Event.
Overall Standings after Event 5
1. Elisabeth Akinwale
2. Stacie Tovar
3. Deborah Cordner Carson
In the women’s half of the team Snatch Ladder, all eyes were on CrossFit St Paul’s Busola Akinwale as she approached the bar. A powerhouse, Akinwale easily took control of the 155-pound bar, but failed both attempts at 160. 
QCCF Awesome’s Maddy Ruggerberg also secured 155-pound for their women. Following 5 pounds behind was QCCF Unrated and CrossFit Kilo. The women of CrossFit Omaha, CrossFit Rockford and Fit2Fight CrossFit handled 145# as the crowd at McCook grew.
The men took the floor for their half of the Team competition and the crowd went ballistic watching virtual unknown Derek Blanchard of CrossFit Carbon stick a 275-pound snatch – the highest of the day. “I’ve been doing CrossFit since the first week of the Open,” Blanchard said.  
It was a 30-pound PR for Blanchard. 
CrossFit Chicago was close behind with a 265#. CrossFit Kilo blew through the snatch ladder and took 1st in the Event with a seemingly effortless 255#. QCCF Awesome’s men topped out at 245 pounds, with Jenks’ Matt Stowers powering out 235 pounds, tying for 2nd overall in the heat. 
Overall Standings after Event 5
1. CrossFit Jenks
2. CrossFit Kilo
3. QCCF Awesome
Nearing the end of a tiring three days of competition, the North Central field is now whittled down to the top 18 men; top 18 women and 12 top teams for the final workout.