June 1, 2013
South West Regional Report: Chipping Away
By Neal Leitereg, Melissa Angelone and Sunny Larson

"Out there, it’s all about focusing on what is in front of me. Have a goal in mind and just keep chipping and chipping." ~Meghan Sweet

They say there is no rest for the wicked, but in the South West, wicked is a way of life.

There would be no reprieve for athletes on Day 2. The morning event showcased a series of 100 reps each of wall balls, chest-to-bar pull-ups, pistols and one-arm dumbbell snatches.

"Out there, it’s all about focusing on what is in front of me. Have a goal in mind and just keep chipping and chipping," said Meghan Sweet, who entered the day ranked ninth.


Event 4 was a marathon. Tasked with hitting the century mark on each exercise in no more than 25 minutes, very few women in the world have successfully completed the event.

It looked as though the South West would enjoy greater success than their global counterparts, especially after Eleanor Campbell of Become CrossFit came close in the first heat. Unfortunately, close was as good as it would get.

The final heat was a two-horse race between two top seeds — Tiffany Hendrickson and Natalie McClain. Neck and neck until 90 reps on the pull-ups, McLain reeled off 10 unbroken to become the first to advance to the pistols. Hendrickson was right behind her.

However, fatigue would wreak havoc on form and technique and allow Lindsey Cascarina and Becky Conzelman to make their moves.

"The no-reps caught me off guard, mentally and physically," said McClain, who finished with the third-best time of the day. "I got a lot of them — on everything. The pull-ups weren't so bad, I got a few on those, but mainly wall balls, pistols and the dumbbells."

Hitting her stride on the dumbbell snatches, Cascarina evened up with McClain at the 40-rep mark and would surpass her a few moments later. Conzelman was the next to pass McClain.

"I went out a little fast on the wall balls, and I was kind of worried it would end up similarly to my rowing when I went out a little too hard. But I’m an endurance athlete, that’s what I’m used to. So I feel like, that’s how I operate the best — when I’m a little tired," Cascarina said.

She adds: "I’m humbled just to be here and be right next to Becky Conzelman and those kind of athletes that you hear about all the time.”

Event 4

1. Lindsey Cascarina (25:24)

2. Becky Conzelman (25:32)

3. Natalie McClain (25:33)


1. Tiffany Hendrickson (9)

2. Becky Conzelman (16)

3. Natalie McClain (21)


The approach to Event 4 varied, and Tim Galloway had one of the more interesting strategies. Knowing he was going to fatigue at some point, the CrossFit Infernal athlete switched things up on the chest-to-bar pull-ups.

"I'm faster at singles than trying to do triples, so I went to singles earlier than I thought I would to get through it," Galloway said. "Anything that I can do just one at a time seems better for a big body."

His approach seemed to work; Galloway came off the bar first and had enough in the tank to go on to complete 71 snatches.

It took until the last heat to see an athlete finish under the 25-minute cap.

Chris Spealler had a healthy lead after the pull-ups and looked poised to make a run at the event record, and may have had a shot had it not been for Matt Chan and Zach Forrest.

Using a tremendous push on the snatches, Forrest was the first to pass Spealler, with Chan following shortly after.

“I thought I was stuck in second or third, but I made a move with 40 up and shortened my rest interval," Chan said. "I caught up to Zach, passed Chris and Zach just had me on the last set of 20. So it was good. Can’t argue with second place.”

"I'm really thankful for my fellow competitors," Forrest said of his first-place finish. "I wouldn't have pushed that hard without them. You just go."

Event 4

1. Zach Forrest (23:52)

2. Matt Chan (23:54)

3. Matt Hathcock (24:22)


1. Matt Chan (8)

2. Chris Spealler (22)

3. Matt Hatchcok (22)


Tommy Hackenbruck wasn't shy about saying he wanted his team to break every record at this year's Regional, and in Event 4, that's exactly what they did.

With Jasmine Dever of Front Range CrossFit breathing down her neck, Mary Lampas didn't bat an eye as she completed her last few snatches. Hacks Pack UTE set a new event record.

"I’ve competed with Jasmine before," Lampas said. "It was fun because we were kind of starting at the same time essentially. I had a little bit of a head start, but I could tell she was right by me so it kept me going. And also, my team pulling me through. That was the plan, so that was awesome.”

Hacks Pack UTE finished with an official time of 14:36, obliterating the previous event record by an astonishing 48 seconds.

“Each of us as individuals, we’ve worked on our weaknesses and gotten a little bit better," Lampas said. "There’s always room to get better."

Front Range also surpassed the previous record with a time of 15:10, but it wasn't without its own set of obstacles.

"The judge just wasn't watching the pistols," Dever said at the end of Event 4. "I started going and she wasn't looking, and I had to go get her. I had already done six reps."

But Dever wasn't about to let one judge stand in her way, and nearly caught up with Lampas coming down the home stretch.

"By the time I got to the snatches, everything was fine and I flew through them. It's unfortunate, but it happens."

Event 4

1. Hacks Pack UTE (14:36)

2. Front Range CrossFit (15:10)

3. CrossFit The Club (16:07)


1. Hacks Pack UTE (4)

2. Ute All-Stars (11)

3. Front Range CrossFit (20)