June 4, 2013
Rookie Teams Head to the Mid Atlantic Regional
By Stephanie Vincent

In the Mid Atlantic Region, half of the top 10 teams that qualified for this year's Regional have never qualified before.

Photo by Erik Laney

Photo by Tyler Tom

Landscape photo by Pam Kontogiorgos

In the Mid Atlantic Region, half of the top 10 teams that qualified for this year’s Regional have never qualified before.

On June 7, teams representing CrossFit Murphy, CrossFit Diesel, College Hill CrossFit, NEPA CrossFit and CrossFit Woodbridge will show up to the Prince George Learning & Sports Complex, ready for their first go in major competition. They will get the chance to find out if their Open performance translates to Regionals.   

CrossFit Murphy

CrossFit Murphy is located Murphy, N.C., and has been affiliated since July 2010. They have participated in past Open competition and in 2012, barely missed qualifying when they finished in 37th place.

“We were very disappointed last year by missing Regionals,” owner and head coach Erik Laney says. “Our goal was to perform well enough to make it this year.”

CrossFit Murphy finished the Open tied in sixth place in 2013. Laney’s individual scores contributed to the team’s rankings, as he qualified to compete as an individual. 

“We made our decision as a team who would represent CrossFit Murphy by how we could be most successful.”

With that in mind, Laney will be competing with the team.

Laney simply credits hard work, as the factor that led to the team’s high rank on the Leaderboard. They continue with that same philosophy with some extra focus on skill work, in their Regional prep. 

“Our goal is to perform to the best of our team’s capabilities,” he says. “Each of our team members has strengths and weaknesses. We hope to be a good representation of our CrossFit Murphy family."

CrossFit Diesel

CrossFit Diesel of Columbia, Md., has been an affiliate since August 2008. Owner Evan Davidson says qualifying for Regionals for the first time this year has impacted the entire gym.

“I feel there is a greater sense of pride in the gym, and an affirmation that hard work pays off,” Davidson says.

Davidson says the team put in a lot of hard work and showed consistency in preparation for the Open. They tied CrossFit Murphy for sixth place in the Mid Atlantic.

Athletes were chosen to compete on the CrossFit Diesel team based on their Open results. Teresa Luz, the highest-ranking athlete, finished the Open 20th in the region.

College Hill CrossFit

College Hill CrossFit, in Greensboro, N.C., celebrated its one-year anniversary as an affiliate in March, meaning this was the first year the affiliate participated in the Open. They finished the Open in eighth place.

Although they are considered the new kid on the block, they do have experience. College Hill co-owner, Tracy Shuford, competed at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games on CrossFit Greensboro's team, as well as the 2011 Regionals as an individual. Although she qualified for the Mid Atlantic Regional as an individual this year, she will compete with the College Hill CrossFit team.

In addition to Shuford, two other College Hill athletes qualified individually. While one will compete as an individual, the other, Whitney Gelin will be going team.

The affiliate decided to give individual-qualifying athletes an invitation to compete on the Regional team. They chose the rest of the team based on Open Workouts and information gathered during special workouts and skill sessions.

“We are fortunate to have some very strong athletes and foster a competitive atmosphere in our gym that breeds success in a competition environment,” Shuford says. “Our programming and participation in local competitions also has helped gain experience. Having strong athletes also challenges newer athletes to push themselves to achieve more success.”

The College Hill CrossFit team is preparing for Regionals by having team members all uniformly following CrossFit Invictus programming during the week. On the weekends, they train together. 

“Our goal is to finish in the top 10 in our region,” Shuford says. “We would be lying if we didn’t say our goal was to finish top three."

NEPA CrossFit

Although NEPA CrossFit in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., has been an affiliate since 2009, this was its first year registering a team for the Open. In their debut competition year, the affiliate finished in ninth place in the Mid Atlantic.

“In the last year, we picked up some quality athletes as members,” head coach Brennan Morton says.    

To choose the team, the affiliate used Open scores. Top scorer, Kevin Evans will be the team’s youngest athlete at just 16 years old.

Making it to Regionals meant something special to the team.

“It is validation,” Morton says. “We are a small box in a relatively poor, unfit area. This is proof that not only is CrossFit good training, but that our box is also the only box in the area that pushes their athletes to a higher level.”

The goal at Regionals will be having fun.

“This is our first year and we have a rookie team, so we just want to go down, try our best, but never lose sight of why we did so well in the first place — we always have fun.”

CrossFit Woodbridge

CrossFit Woodbridge of Woodbridge, Va., affiliated in 2010. They participated in previous Open events, but managed to qualify for the first time this year in 10th place among teams in the region. 

Owner, Dan Broughton says the team had success due to higher volume, dedication and continuity. 

The Regional team includes Sara Wood, Lauren McGowan and Olivia Fortin — all athletes who qualified as individuals. 

The team is preparing for Regionals with team workouts and has also brought in experts in Olympic lifting and gymnastics to refine their skills.

The goal is clear, Broughton says.

“Make the podium.”