May 9, 2014
South East Team Report: Day 1
By Dawn South
Athletes and spectators awoke to a gorgeous sunny morning in Jacksonville, Florida, as the first weekend of regional competition kicked off in the South East.
Athletes and spectators awoke to a gorgeous sunny morning in Jacksonville, Florida, as the first weekend of regional competition kicked off in the South East.

Athletes and spectators awoke to a gorgeous sunny morning in Jacksonville, Florida, as the first weekend of regional competition kicked off in the South East.

Athletes and spectators awoke to a gorgeous sunny morning in Jacksonville, Florida, as the first weekend of regional competition kicked off in the South East.

“Last year, the first regional I came to was this one,” said CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro. “It’s a good place to start the season off and see everything in application for the first time.”

The South East Regional makes a return trip to host city, Jacksonville, this year. The Dirty South has come a long way since 2010 when the event was held at an outdoor park, and in 2011 when it took place at a horse arena. This morning, competitors and fans streamed into a 15,000-seat state-of-the art venue at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

”I really like the fact that you get to warm up down in the concourse area, come out and there's surround seating, so it's a big spectacle. Makes it seem more like a legitimate sport in my opinion,” said Shane Moser of Gardens CrossFit.

Despite the new venue, in the end, it will still come down to who fights the hardest, digs the deepest, and pushes the limits to earn a coveted spot to the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games.

Team Event 1

The teams started the three-day competition with a 15-12-9 muscle-up and clean and jerk couplet. All team athletes were required to complete their allotted muscle-ups within three attempts. If any one competitor failed, the team would be time-capped at 16 minutes.

"I like the first event,” said Miki Carey, Gardens CrossFit owner and head trainer. “I think that it's awesome that it makes every person on the team accountable. It has to show skill, has to show proficiency. Whether it is going to be difficult or not for a lot of teams, I think that it's really going to be fair.”

Mike Giardina of CrossFit Atlanta felt confident about the event.

"It's one that somewhat depends on your girls and how good they are at doing muscle-ups. So for us, I like it because all of our girls can do muscle-ups,” he said.

Although spouses Brandon and Jessica Phillips are seasoned regional athletes, this is their first regional competing together on their new affiliate’s team, CrossFit Bound.

Four-time individual Games veteran, Brandon, admitted it was a tough decision choosing to compete on a team this year.

“I still kind of battle with it and battle with those demons, but it was the right decision. We've got a really solid group of people in the gym training,” he said. "Having a baby, opening a gym and being married—it's a lot of responsibility and a lot of other areas to focus on this year, so training had to take a backseat because family and business had to come first. I don't regret it. It's going to be a fun weekend." 

The muscle-up requirement proved to be a challenge for most of the teams. Out of 30 teams, only eight managed to complete Event 1 under the 16-minute time cap. Athletes fought hard for the muscle-ups, sometimes using brute strength to get on top of the rings. The teams proficient with their gymnastics skills quickly rose to the top of the rings and the Leaderboard.

The third-place team at last year’s Games, CrossFit Adrenaline, came in hot with the first man and woman finishing the set of 15 muscle-ups and clean and jerks. CrossFit HardCore stayed steady and ended up finishing the event in first place with a time of 8:56, five seconds ahead of Adrenaline. CrossFit Unmatched finished in third place with a time of 10:56.

"It felt great! said Diana Greene of CrossFit Unmatched. “Our biggest goal coming into this event was just to not have any failed no-reps and just make sure that we were communicating and everything was clean. We did that!"

Team Event 1 Results
1.  CrossFit HardCore (8:46)
2.  CrossFit Adrenaline (9:51)
3.  CrossFit Unmatched (10:56)

Team Event 2 & 3

With Event 2, teams exhibited their strength with a one-rep-max hang squat snatch. The teams had only eight minutes for each member to hit a max in only two attempts. The teams’ score was the combined total weight lifted. With only two minutes for transition, the teams immediately began Event 3, another high-skill gymnastic event: a max-distance handstand walk without breaking in one minute.

Balancing good form while working under a strict eight-minute time cap proved a daunting task to some of the athletes. For CrossFit Bound, who hit the heaviest hang snatch among the men at 250 lb., it appeared to be business as usual.

On the handstand walk, many athletes were unable to make it past the 10-foot mark, but CrossFit Tampa set the bar high, having the first female to complete the entire 120-foot handstand walk.

"The handstand walks! Two weeks ago, I could take two steps, and today, I made it 50 feet,” said Erica Cox of CrossFit Mobile Midtown. “As soon as I found out that was released, I practiced handstand walks every day so I was happy about that."

"On the snatch, we had a little miscommunication with weight, and we messed up a little bit and put too much weight on for our next girl,” Cox added. “She failed the rep and that hurt us a little bit.”

CrossFit Mobile Midtown finishes the day in 11th place.

Team Paragon has a lot of ground to make up this weekend, as it currently sits in 27th place.

“I hit a PR on my handstand walk!” said team member Glissel Soliz. “It was 10 more feet, but I’m not very gymnasty, so that made me happy.”

“I am glad that the time restriction events are over. Now we can just do our thing and just go,” said team member Taylor Flynn.

CrossFit Adrenaline appeared to have a lot of fun during the final events of the day while showing off their gymnastic skills with four of their six athletes completing the entire 120-foot handstand walk. Their performance put them at the top of the Leaderboard at the end of Day 1.

"Competing with my sister is indescribable. I love it!” said Allie Bourdon about her sister and teammate, Lindsay Bourdon. “I love that she pushes me into ways I can't even explain. I'm always trying to catch her, but I never will. It's a great feeling, and I love that it's a family affair for us." 

CrossFit HardCore finishes the day in second place.

"I think we did pretty well,” said team member Jordan Kohn. “Everyone hit their first snatch, which is what we wanted. We just wanted to put a number on the board. With the handstand walk, we were lucky that we have two gymnasts that could teach a couple of us who never really were prepared for it. We worked hard over the last couple of weeks to get over that 10-foot mark.”

CrossFit Unmatched remains in third place.

Team Event 2 Results
1.  CrossFit Bound (1100.00)
2.  CrossFit Adrenaline (1075.00)
3.  CrossFit Mobile Midtown and Team HustleHard (1070.00)

Team Event 3 Results
1.  CrossFit Adrenaline (530)
2.  Be CrossFit (500)
3.  CrossFit Hardcore and CrossFit Unmatched (480)

Overall Standings
1. CrossFit Adrenaline (5)
2. CrossFit HardCore (9)
3. CrossFit Unmatched (18)