March 30, 2012
South Central Open Recap
By Dave Re

Jason Hoggan and Janet Black are at the top of the South Central Leaderboard at the end of the Open.

The CrossFit Games Open is over. For 300 South Central athletes, the next stop is Regionals in San Antonio, Texas.

Let's take a look back at the 2012 Open, and remember how we got here.


Jason Hoggan is the 2012 South Central Open winner. He came out of the gate pretty well with a 12th place finish in 12.1 and a 34th place finish in 12.2. That put him in 2nd place in the region going into 12.3. Then he put the hammer down, finishing 1st in 12.3 to jump into 1st place overall. A 2nd in 12.4 solidified a comfortable 32-point lead over Courtney Wuistinger in 2nd place. While he slipped 6 places to Wuistinger in 12.5, Hoggan finished with a 26-point lead.

Wuistinger had a slow start to the Open with a 54th place finish on 12.1. He followed Hoggan up the Leaderboard to 3rd place after 12.2 earning 2nd place for that workout. He was never more than one place behind him for the rest of the Open.

Drew Bignall, 2011 South Central Open winner was another slow starter this season. He opened with a 97th place finish, but jumped to 10th place with a solid performance on 12.2. Over the next two workouts, he worked his way up to 3rd place where he remained at the end of the five-week competition.

Early leader Dave Schwanke could not quite keep up the pace, lagging behind on 12.2 and 12.4 to finish in 19th place in the region – good enough to compete at Regionals.

Aja Barto and Zeph Littleton (who placed 2nd and 1st at the 2011 South Central Regional, respectively) finished neck and neck at 12th and 11th places. Andy Lewis, 2011 South Central Region bronze medalist, was on the bubble going into 12.5, at 63rd place. Lewis put his head down and got to work on 12.5, turning in a 32nd place performance to move himself up to 59th place in the Region, securing a return to the South Central Regional.

Notably missing from the South Central Regional competition this year will be 2011 South Central Regional competitors such as Blaine Springston, Aryan Barto, Miguel Garza, Jeremy Thiel and Lance Cantu.

Cantu, CrossFit HQ Seminar Staff, was only able to turn in scores for the first three workouts. Thiel, who earned a 3rd place finish at the 2008 CrossFit Games, suffered a lat injury at the 2009 Games and has not returned since. Barto, Aja’s brother, was only one point shy of qualifying for the CrossFit Games in 2011. While he improved his position every week during the 2012 Open, his start at 470th place was too large a deficit to overcome this year.


The race for the top of the Leaderboard in the Individual Women's Division was just that – a race.

Janet Black, South Central’s Open winner, was never outside the top 10. She hit the top of the Leaderboard following 12.3, but was displaced by 2nd place finisher Azadeh Boroumand in 12.4.

Candice Ruiz was right with her, starting tied with Black following 12.1, Ruiz shot to 2nd place following 12.2, and was never outside the top three for the rest of the competition.

Boroumand, who started in 30th place, went on a charging tear to the top, winning 12.2, 12.3, and 12.4 to put her in 1st place following 12.4.

Going into 12.5, the top three women – Boroumand, Ruiz, and Black – were separated by a mere two points.

Megan Norris won 12.5 for the region to take 7th place in the Open, but Black was one rep behind her in 2nd. Boroumand finished 5th on 12.5, Ruiz 17th. The three-point difference put Black ahead of Boroumand by a single point. Ruiz remained in 3rd place, but she gave up enough ground for Brista Mayfield to move up and tie her. Following them in 5th was Amanda Schwartz, who's only performance worse than 4th place was a 44th on 12.2.

The competition for women looks quite a bit different than it did in 2011. All three of the 2011 Games qualifiers will be absent from the field, with Carey Kepler going team, Lindsey Smith moving to the Central East Region, and Lisa Thiel sitting out with the happy news of her pregnancy. Also absent from the women's field will be top 10 finishers Stacey Magnesio (opting for team), who finished 6th, and Jessica Stephen (also opting for team), who Whitney Welsch for 8th.

Leah Shullenberger appears to be ready to repeat her "Most Improved” award from the 2011 season, where she finished in 50th place in the Open, only to rocket up to a 9th place finish, tied with Brista Mayfield. This year, Shullenberger was on the bubble following 12.4, sitting in 62nd place. A clutch 17th place performance on 12.5 moved her up 13 places to finish in 49th.


Last year, CrossFit Central dominated the Open team competition, finishing no worse than 2nd place during a workout, and maintaining 1st place for the duration. This year, 2011's 2nd place team, Get Lifted, took their turn in the limelight. After a 3rd place finish in the first two events, Get Lifted sat in 1st place in the region, a spot they never relinquished, winning the final three workouts.

CrossFit Central fielded two teams this year. The CrossFit Central Athletes team was never far away from Get Lifted. The two were tied after 12.2, after which Get Lifted gradually opened a modest four-point lead, leaving CrossFit Central Athletes in 2nd place.

Returning to the top five in the Open in 2012 is Bayou City CrossFit and CrossFit Dallas Central, in 3rd and 4th place, respectively. In 2011, CrossFit Dallas Central tied Get Lifted for 2nd in the Open, and went on to take 3rd in the Regional. Bayou City CrossFit finished 5th in the 2011 Open, but pulled ahead of the field to win at the Regional. Second place at last year’s Regional, CrossFit Waco took 6th in this year’s Open.

Several affiliates took advantage of a new rule allowing affiliates to register more than one team. Two affiliates managed to qualify two affiliate teams for the 2012 South Central Regional. CrossFit Dallas Central and CrossFit Dallas Central II finished in 4th and 24th, respectively.

Woodward CrossFit fielded an amazingly small team, Team De-Shirt, which placed 7th in the region. Also out of CrossFit Woodward was The OG that ended up tied for 28th place in the region with 210CrossFit.


A total of five South Central Masters athletes are bound for Carson, Calif., to attend the 2012 CrossFit Games.

In 2011, Cliff Lewis won the Masters Men 45-49 Division in the Open by 19 points, and then finished in 4th place at the 2011 Games. This year, Lewis finished the Open in 14th place.

Ken Cutrer also qualified for the 2011 CrossFit Games in the Masters Men 45-49 Division, placing 13th in the Open. Cutrer finished the 2011 CrossFit Games in 8th place. He put in a consistent performance this year, finishing in 17th.

Sneaking in under the radar is Ken Greaves who finished 17th in the Masters 55-59 Division, qualifying him for his first trip to the Games.

Darlene Price finished 2nd in both the 2011 Open and Games in the Masters Women 55-59 Division. With a deeper field in 2012, Price finished the 2012 Open in 7th place, giving her another chance to win her division at the Home Depot Center.

Finally, squeaking in at 20th place in the Masters Women 60-plus Division is Claudette Hilliard.