May 19, 2012
Regional Report: Transitions Are Key In North Central
By Nicole Scott Smith

Timing of transitions and pacing were key in what proved to be the most physically taxing workout yet.

The anticipation for Workout 4 had been rising all morning. The North Central crowd was rowdy and ready for the show, pushing towards the field for the best view of this grueling combination of back squats, front squats, overhead squats and pull-ups. Timing of transitions and pacing were key in what proved to be the most physically taxing workout yet.


With only three athletes finishing under the 22-minute mark in the first Heat and one in the second, the anticipation going into Heat 3 was high. Bobby Noyce of CrossFit 515 commanded an early lead with CrossFit Hydro’s Justin VanBeek following close behind. But it was Noyce who took the heat’s top position. To the delight of the crowd, former teammates David Cornthwaite and Jake Howard battled it out for 3rd, but Howard pushed harder on the shoulder to overhead and took the 3rd spot in 19:55.

Heat 4 was a tight race and timing of transitions was key. Efficiency in stripping the weight off the bar was key. Kyle Kasperbauer battled Phillip Kniep for 1st, pulling ahead on the pull-ups and dropping behind on the squats. “The level of competition here will push you to the limit,” said Kasperbauer.

Andrew Koch was fast to the first set of pull-ups and then held 3rd until the final set of pull-ups where he was able to plow through and take 2nd  in 17:41. “I wanted to break it into large sets with minimal rest,“ said Koch. “I love chasing the beasts!”

Kniep hit 3rd in 17:50.

Koch might not have been able to take 2nd, had fate not intervened. He was four miles away, 45 minutes before his heat when he locked his keys in the trunk of his car. Setting off to run for the four miles to the venue, Koch saw another member of CrossFit Springfield who was gracious enough to drive him to McCook.

Overall Standings

1. Kyle Kasperbauer

2. Justin Allen

3. Phillip Kniep


Only one woman in the first two Heats, Kathy Nelson of CrossFit Midtown, finished Workout 4 under the time-cap. One-second under at 21:59. So, the pressure was on for the final Heat of women. Stacie Tovar dropped off her first set off pull-ups and never looked back. “Five minutes before the workout, my coach, Joe Westerlin gave me a new plan. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six. I tried to stick with that,” she says.

It obviously served Tovar well, as she held her lead until the end securing 1st place in her Heat and a time of 18:33. Elisabeth Akinwale was close behind, but was edged out of 2nd by Kelly Jackson of CrossFit Gambit. “Long WODs are where I feel comfortable. This was the only one I actually practiced,” said Jackson, who finished in 20:08.

Akinwale finished 3rd  in 20:47 with the crowd counting out her last set of shoulder to overheads. Of Akinwale, Tovar said “I envy her and love her to death. I wanted to beat her in one and thought I could on the snatch. She proved me wrong!”

Overall Standings

1. Elisabeth Akinwale

2. Stacie Tovar

3. Deborah Cordner Carson


Not one Team in North Central was able to complete the entire workout within the 25-minute time cap. But the competition in Heat 3 was tight as CrossFit Jenks, CrossFit Omaha and CrossFit Kilo battled it out on the ladies portion of the front squats. Jenks' Paige Millspaugh ripped through her butterfly pull-ups and was first back to the shoulder to overhead portion with Kilo close behind.

“Communication was key and we had a couple screw-ups,” admitted Kilo’s Sarah McCormick.

Both time and composure was lost as the ladies stripped the weights off the men’s bar. However, Armand McCormick made up for it in the shoulder to overhead portion. “Push-presses are my money-maker,” said McCormick.

Combined with Spencer Gann’s lightning fast pull-ups, CrossFit Kilo took 1st in the heat with a time of  26:19. Breathing down Kilo’s necks was CrossFit Omaha, taking 2nd in 26:24. CrossFit Jenks came in 3rd in 26:28. Jenk’s Matt Stowers commented on Event 4. “We stuck by our rep scheme, having practiced it twice. I don’t like orange, being from Oklahoma. (referring to CrossFit Jenks fluorescent orange shirts) But when you know people are going fast, it just makes you go faster.”

Overall Standings

1. CrossFit Jenks

2T. CrossFit Kilo

2T. Quad City CrossFit Awesome

4. CrossFit Omaha

North Central athletes are looking forward to the morning and Event 5; And the cheat meals tomorrow night. "I think I’m going to go for some ice cream,” joked Stacie Tovar.