May 19, 2013
South East Regional Report: Game Changers on Day 2
By Dawn South

"Hamstrings, hamstrings, hamstrings."

Event 5 proved to be a game changer for many of the men and women of the South East. It was evident as some of the top athletes struggled with the short, heavy event, allowing others to climb their way up the leaderboard.

The big question on the athletes’ minds was whether the long chipper of Event 4 would affect them in the fast-paced deadlift/box jump couplet.

“Hamstrings, hamstrings, hamstrings,” says Elijah Muhammad, who ended the day in ninth place overall. “I think (Event 5) hurt those guys that finished Event 4 a bit more because they pushed a little harder and did more reps. But I’m pretty sure everyone was feeling it.”

Travis Mayer agrees.

“I would say everyone might not of anticipated the lower back and quads affecting them as much as it did,” he says. “Tomorrow is a whole new day, so it should be an awesome time.”

At the end of Day 2, there were some major changes on the Leaderboard.


Chris Harris electrified the Convention Center as he blazed through Event 5, finishing with the top score in the South East at 3:34. He went unbroken on his first set of 21 deadlifts.

"I felt like that was the (event) that I had to do really good on,” Harris says. “Looking through the (events) throughout the weekend, I figured other than that one, I'd probably be on the bottom a little bit, so I figured that one would help me move up. Boom!"

The box jump height did not appear to be a problem for Harris.

"That box felt really short. Thirty inches isn't much for me. I was pretty much jumping up, and my knees and hips were extending pretty much when I got on top of the box,” he says. “(The deadlift at) 315 lbs. got heavy after that set of 21, so I had to break it up five, five, five at the set of 15 and into threes for the nine." 

Harris’s first-place finish catapulted him up 10 spots to end the day in 15th place overall.

Noah Ohlsen, who ended Day 1 in first place, now finds himself in fifth place overall after finishing 40th on Event 5.

“A 315 lb. deadlift is heavy for me anyway,” he says. “I knew I was going to have to fight for it. I dropped to fifth place, and I am not happy about that at all.”

Ohlsen is hoping he can climb his way back up into the top three tomorrow and secure his spot to the Games.

ZA Anderson, who has remained consistent throughout the competition, now finds himself in a comfortable first place. Travis Mayer entered Event 5 in seventh place, but now sits in second, while Julian Serna cracks the top three for the first time.

Event 5
1. Chris Harris (3:34)
2. Kirk Gibson (3:54)
3. Aaron Hanna (4:06)

1. ZA Anderson (38)
2. Travis Mayer (49)
3. Julian Serna (50)


Once again, Taylar Stallings amazed the crowd with her performance on Event 5. In spite of having a few no reps on the box jumps, Stallings finished first with a time of 3:17.

"I'm very happy with that time,” she says. “I just want to finish top five right now because I really blew it on (Event 4), so now it's just balls to the wall right now.”

She adds: “I have nothing to lose, and I've still got a lot to prove in CrossFit, so I'm just going to still compete like I'm headed to the Games. That's all I can do. I know I'm not the best out there, but I definitely feel comfortable and confident in my movements. I may not be the fastest out there but I'm going to make them work for it."

Stallings finishes the day in eighth place overall.

For Emily Friedman, who favors longer workouts, Event 5 more of a struggle.

"Event 5 is not my favorite, but it is a sprint workout that is going to show how tough people are," she said before the event. "In my opinion, the top athletes will go unbroken, and the workout will be between three to four minutes long.” 

Friedman placed 13th in Event 5 with a time of 4:50, holding on to her fourth-place position and within striking distance to a spot on the podium.

Emily Bridgers drops to a disappointing fifth place after finishing Event 5 in 28th place.

"It felt even harder than it did two years ago,” Bridgers says. “It was the fifth workout. It just felt extremely heavy. It felt like I did everything I could. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense right now. I'm sitting in fifth, and I'm still going to give it all that I have tomorrow. (Tomorrow’s Events) are good workouts for me so that's all I can think. Give it all I got, give it all I got."

Talayana Fortunato continues to maintain a strong lead in 1st place, followed by Jaime Gold in 2nd, and Anna Tunnicliffe in 3rd.

Event 5
1. Taylar Stallings (3:17)
2. Lauren Brooks (3:38)
3. Pamela Tambini (4:01)

1. Talayna Fortunao (15)
2. Jaime Gold (31)
3. Anna Tunnicliffe (38)


It was a heated race to the finish in Event 5 with CrossFit Paragon taking first place with a time of 7:50.

"I looked at the time, and I couldn't believe it," team member George Scott says. "The goal is to go to the Games — that's it. We just need everyone to do their part and we'll go. That's a fact."

Paragon team member Glissel Sloiz adds: "We needed it badly. Deadlifts and box jumps are a good combination for me. I have strong legs. I just did this on Saturday, and I did like 4:05. I think I crushed (that time) by like 20 seconds."

For team CrossFit Atlanta Formulx, Andy Miller and Leah Polaski were in charge of handling the deadlift/box jump couplet for the team that finished in third on this event.

"I was a bit surprised my legs were as fatigued from Event 4 as they were, and my hamstrings blew up immediately, which meant virtually full squats on the box jumps," Miller says.

He attributes the third-place finish to a strong showing by his partner, Polaski.  

CrossFit Atlanta Formulx maintains the lead on the Leaderboard in the team event and appears to be poised to make a return trip to the CrossFit Games.

CrossFit Adrenaline remains in second with CrossFit RX in third. CrossFit Paragon is six points behind CrossFit RX.

Event 5
1. CrossFit Paragon (7:50)
2. CrossFit Boynton Beach (8:36)
3. CrossFit Atlanta (8:52)

1. CrossFit Atlanta Formulx (9)
2. CrossFit Adrenaline (17)
3. CrossFit RX (20)text]