"But I'll tell you, having Bill Grundler—one of my idols—and Josh Bridges next to me the whole time really pumped me up and pushed me to go."
At 3:30 p.m. on a Friday, most people are at work. Not Jason Winer.
“I called in sick today, and it was well worth it!” Winer said.
“Great weather with a lot of hard bodies doing muscle-ups—best excuse ever to call in sick!” said Winer, a member of nearby CrossFit Mission Gorge.
Day 1 of the 2013 SoCal Regional was definitely more exciting than a day in the office. Heavy weight going overhead, blisteringly fast burpee muscle-ups, and Leaderboard shake-ups gave the crowd an unforgettable show. And this was just the first day.
The big boys had their chance to shine on Event 2, the three-rep max overhead squat; most of the athletes blew past the highest possible starting weight of 255-lbs.
Kenny Leverich took his time in finishing three reps at 285-lbs., carefully resting in between each set. Once he hit his three reps, he stopped with more than a minute left on the clock, satisfied with his work and fourth place (tied) finish.
Josh Bridges easily hit three reps of 265-lbs., all in a pair of Nanos, forgoing the weightlifting shoes worn by most of his fellow competitors. He initially struggled with 275-lbs. however, failing multiple times and struggling under the weight after getting the bar up with a shaky snatch grip jerk. With the crowd’s cheers willing him on, Bridges was able to finish his three reps at 275-lbs., earning him an 11th place finish in this event.
The only male individual to completed three overhead squats at 295-lbs, Dave Lipson took first in the event.
After completing his last of the three reps, Lipson threw the barbell to the ground, looking momentarily surprised at his success.
Wayne Willette, who tied for second with one rep at 295 lb., said after the event that Event 1 had no impact on his afternoon’s performance.
“It was just a normal day of training for me,” he said.
Immediately following, the Individual men moved on to Event 3–30 burpee muscle-ups, with a seven-minute time cap.
Jarett Perelmutter won the second-to-last heat by finishing his burppe muscle ups in 5:36, and he celebrated by taking a knee, standing and pointing a finger in the air, and then gesturing to the back of his shirt, which read, “#1 Family, #2 Individuals, #2 Team.” Although his time won his heat, it only secured him eighth place in the event, placing him in 30th overall.
The final heat came down to a race between Bridges and Leverich. Through the first 20, Leverich and Bridges were rep for rep. With five reps to go, Bridges struggled to lock out his arms at the top of the muscle-up. Leverich stayed relaxed and powered ahead.
Bridges received a no-rep with only two burpee muscle-ups to go, while Leverich finished his last muscle-up for a time of 4:11. After struggling with his last two reps, Bridges finished in 4:43.
When asked about the day thus far, Leverich said although his Jackie time wasn’t the best of the weekend, he did PR by 10 seconds.
“Event 2 was definitely more than I expected,” Leverich said. “I had no plans of actually hitting 285-lbs., but the crowd had me so pumped up! It’s different than when you are training in the gym. The competition adrenaline was just gnarly!”
He said he tried to keep a good pace for the burpee muscle-ups.
“But I'll tell you, having Bill Grundler—one of my idols—and Josh Bridges next to me the whole time really pumped me up and pushed me to go,” he said.
As for his plan for tomorrow?
“I'm just going to come in and have fun!” he said.
1. David Lipson (295.3)
2. Chad Melton (295.1)
3. Wayne Willette (295.1)
1. Kenneth Leverich (4:11)
2. Josh Bridges (4:44)
3. Tommy Pease (4:53)
1. Josh Bridges (14)
2. Kenneth Leverich (20)
3. Taylor Yaffee (32)
For Event 2, all of the women tried to lift like Lindsey.
None managed it.
Lindsey Valenzuela won the event and set a top score worldwide with a three-rep max overhead squat of 205-lbs.
“(The weight) wasn't an overall PR for me, but it was definitely a PR in that short of a time frame. My plan was to just go at my own pace, but peek and listen at the other girls just so I could hear what they were hitting,” Valenzuela said after the event.
Valenzuela’s coach, Dusty Hyland was yelling, “up” through Valenzuela’s overhead squats, willing her to make the lift. When Valenzuela was getting ready to attempt 205-lb., Hyland said, "Right here Lindsey, let's go!"
“I definitely didn't want to tie, so I was listening to see if I had to go heavier or not,” Valenzuela said. “I was so proud of Rebecca Voigt—that was a big weight for her!”
Andrea Ager opened up with 175-lb., but missed her third rep on her first attempt. She managed to overhead squat 175-lb. for two on three separate occasions, but never managed a third rep.
“I’ve done 175-lbs. for three at least eight times before,” Ager said later in the day.
Although the official worldwide standard for this event states that if an athlete does not make the three reps of their opening weight they take a DNF, during the athlete briefing this morning, Head Judge Adrian Bozman mistakenly informed the athletes that there was no minimum work requirement in this event.
Immediately following Events 2 and 3, Ager was told her Event 2 score wouldn’t count, and she was out of contention for the Games.
Visibly upset, she refused to comment about the disappointment.
However, once the athlete briefing discrepancy came to light during the men’s heat, Ager was back on the Leaderboard, in sixth place at the end of Day 1. Lauren Baer, who only got two reps at 155-lbs., was also back on the board, in 14th place.
After Event 2, the women took on the 30 burpee muscle-ups of Event 3. Most of the women struggled to complete these under the seven-minute time cap.
“I didn't finish Event 3,” Valenzuela said. “I finished the workout in practice but didn't get it today. That just shows that things can always change!”
Only two women were able to make it through all 30 reps before time was called—Danielle Hale and Kristan Clever. Hale managed to edge out Clever to win the event with a time of 6:44.
"Oh my God, are you kidding me?” Hale said after she learned of her win. “That is awesome!"
1. Lindsey Valenzuela (205.3)
2. Rebecca Voigt (200.3)
3. Allison Truscheit (190.3)
1. Danielle Hale (6:44)
2. Kristan Clever (6:48)
3. Andrea Ager (7:02)
1. Lindsey Valenzuela (9)
2. Valerie Voboril (11)
3. Rebecca Voigt (12)
In Team Events 2 and 3, there was nowhere to hide.
All six team members took the floor and divided by gender. First, the women found their three-rep max overhead squat (Event 2), while the men completed as many burpee muscle-ups as possible (Event 3), all within 7 minutes. Then they switched.
Perhaps nothing represents CrossFit better than a sea of fit men and women displaying strength, skill, heart and teamwork.
Elyse Persico of Team Kinnick got a PR on her three-rep max overhead squat by 5-lbs., landing 190-lbs.
“I was worried because I had two seconds left in the clock after getting the third one,” Persico said.
In the first heat, Cody Burgener, part of team Sea of Green (Invictus’ second team) and Olympic weightlifting legend Mike Burgener’s son, took the top men's weight in his heat, easily snatching and then overhead squatting 285-lbs.
“It was a ‘no doubter’ that I could be able to land (the weight),” he said.
However, since this is a team event, the highest individual overhead squat didn’t determine the winner. It was the highest number accumulated by all three men and women. That honor went to CrossFit Pacific Beach; their team put up a total of 1230-lbs., moving them up to third place overall.
Unfortunately, Mike Tromello of Precision CrossFit dislocated his elbow while squatting his second rep at 265-lbs.
For Event 3, the burpee muscle-ups, each teammate had to complete a set of three before handing off to the next person on their team. This caused no concern for the men, who tackled this movement first. The rings were set at a predetermined height, which meant the taller competitors could jump from their burpee into the muscle-up, an advantage for the tall men on team CDR Redlands.
At times the men were moving so quickly they bumped into each other on the transition between teammates.
Things did not go so well for the women. Tired from the overhead squats, many of the women struggled to successfully complete their burpee muscle-ups.
Danielle “Dani” Adams of Chino Hills CrossFit landed her first-ever competition muscle-up in Event 3. “I was struggling with them all week in training, and when I landed (the muscle-up) felt awesome,” Adams said.
The look on Adams’ face of pure joy as she hugged her teammates after the event showed that it didn’t matter her team’s place on the Leaderboard—today, she won.
1. CrossFit Pacific Beach (1230)
2. Invictus (1220)
3. Team CDR Redlands (1215)
1. Team CDR Redlands (112)
2. Invictus (111)3.
3. CrossFit Brand X (98)
1. Invictus (5)
2. Team CDR Redlands (7)
3. CrossFit Pacific Beach (11)