Showdown in Sin City

March 7, 2012

Jonas Raynsford

Nevada affiliates compete together on 12.2.

"Honestly, set up, set up, set up, were on my mind."



On March 3, there was a showdown in Sin City. Not the ones of the gun-slinging past, but one involving heavy barbells. The CrossFit community converged at CrossFit Max Effort to bang out the second Open Workout. Four gyms met for the Open: CrossFit 702, CrossFit Las Vegas, CrossFit Max Effort, and Sin City CrossFit.

There was a good showing among athletes and those encouraging the to lift heavier and faster. Some athletes even get some PRs in the process. After seven heats, the Vegas area had their scores to post.

Every gym in Vegas seemed to have the same attitude in preparation for 12.2. Coaches stressed getting the skills of their athletes in line, and encouraged their athletes to workout together.

CrossFit Max Effort’s Justin McCoy, 33, says form and technique was on his mind as he approached the bar. He wanted to knock out solid reps each time. With a goal of 60, he was able to complete 52.

“Honestly, set up, set up, set up, were the things going through my mind. By setting up properly, I can pull the weights and the bar,” McCoy says. “I am concerned about my hand placement, my footing, because the snatch is a powerful movement.”

Shain Howard, 27, of Sin City CrossFit echoed McCoy in many respects. He says Workout 12.2 reinforced his need to work on proper technique. It also showed one of his weaknesses – power snatching 135 pounds.

“It was a well-programmed workout,” Howard says. “The first 30 reps of 75 pounds were as easy as it gets, the bulk of the workout was during the second 30 reps at 135 pounds. There was a lot of touch and go. My mindset was, ‘hurry up and finish,’ but I was also gassed and was experiencing lower back fatigue.”

The big story for the weekend was Sheena Howard, 23, of Sin City CrossFit. She inspired many by not only getting a personal record on her last two reps, but she did so while seven months pregnant. She finished with 62 reps.

“I never even thought about stopping. I started with the 45-pound bar and that was pretty easy, but I wasn’t planning on the 100-pound bar. But when I got on it, I PRed,” she says. “I never thought I would be an inspiration to women out there, then again I never thought I would be seven months pregnant and PRing.”

One to watch and one who has a good chance of making it back to the Games is Zach Forrest, 26, of CrossFit Max Effort. He punched out a solid 82 reps for the workout.

“He is one of the most well-rounded athletes I know,” McCoy says. “He will easily go from [the Open] to the South West Regional and will likely go to the Games again.”

Other notable athletes are Lauren Scholl of CrossFit Max Effort with 84 reps, and Dezirae Klaizner with 74 reps.

Shain Howard says he wants to make sure the community knows that the Open is for everyone. “Our main thing is we want everyone to participate, from those who have never done it to the really good, elite athlete.”