June 1, 2013
South West Regional Report: Shoulder the Burden
By Neal Leitereg, Melissa Angelone and Sunny Larson

"We came here to win, and that's what we're going to try to do. Do our best." ~CrossFit Works' Andre Matus on trying to beat Hack's Pack

With Event 1 in the books, South West athletes hit the weights and the rings for Events 2 and 3. Overhead squats followed by burpee muscle-ups proved to be a challenge. The back-to-back events forced athletes to strategize effectively.

"Tired" was all a breathless Matt Chan could utter as he walked off the floor at the end of Event 3.


Sarah Butler faded in Event 1, but that didn't deter her from making a bold statement in Event 2. The CrossFit NRG athlete went hard on the overhead squats, stacking 175 lb. from the get-go and banging out three reps in roughly 45 seconds. Her confidence would pay off. Butler worked her way through three reps of 185 lb. before tallying one rep at 190 lb.

"I was pretty happy with it," Butler said. "I lost it to the side on the second rep [of the 190-lb. attempt], which I think if I had just taken a half-a-second more and locked it out, I could have kept it, but it is what it is. And 190 is awesome, and I'm happy with that."

Emmalee Moore was the first and only female athlete to complete all 30 burpee muscle-ups, which, like the pull-ups on Jackie in Event 1, was the "fun part" for her. But before she could get there, she had to complete the necessary overhead squats for Event 2, a proposition that didn't exactly thrill the CrossFit Verve athlete.

"I was really nervous going into the overhead squat," Moore said. "I'm not super comfortable with 155, but I did it in warm up and got it …”

Many expected Colleen Maher to challenge the 195-lb. mark. Front Range CrossFit's young gun fell short on her try for three reps at 190 lb., but finished with a strong score of 190.2. In the next event, Maher would fare better than expected.

"I'm not a huge fan of muscle-ups," Maher said. "It's different after overhead squatting — engaging your shoulders for that long … But it went OK ... I was happy with this one."

Becky Conzelman knows you can't win a Regional on the strength of a single event, but you sure can lose one.

"I really had to use mental tactics out there for that overhead squat," said Conzelman, who heads into Day 2 ranked second overall. "Once I got 170, I said ‘That's enough.’ Muscle-ups were a little slower than I hoped, but it's OK. It's a long weekend."

Event 2
1. Tiffany Hendrickson (190.3)
2. Whitney Cappellucci (190.2)
3. Colleen Maher (190.2)

Event 3
1. Emmalee Moore (6:43)
T2. Bridget Brown (7:05)
T2. Becky Conzelman (7:05)
T2. Tiffany Hendrickson (7:05)
T2. Anna Schumacher (7:05)


It took until Heat 3 for a female athlete to rise to the challenge of completing all 30 burpee muscle-ups within the time cap. Greg Gifford and Matthew Bryant wasted little time in handling that honor on the men's side, and they wouldn't be the last.

Matt Johnson, Gil Hollingsworth, Patrick Burke and Matt O'Steen all would answer the call in Heat 2. Burke's performance in both events was especially significant, as the MBS CrossFit vet jumped from 19th to 12th heading into Day 2.

Nearly two years after recovering from a broken back, an epically-bearded Chris Hoppe proved he's all the way back by putting up three reps of 295 lb. with relative ease, but it wasn't enough to overtake CrossFit Cedar City's Jacob Hutton.

With one minute remaining and 305 lb. locked in, Hutton looked to his coach in the corner, nodded in the affirmative and proceeded to elate the crowd with three consecutive reps. He would later call his performance "easy."

"My PR in this workout was 335 lb., but I didn't want to push it because I wanted to see where everyone else was at," Hutton said.

On the burpee muscle-ups, Chris Spealler came within eight seconds of the event record.

"I'm bummed about the overhead squat, though," Spealler said of his 14th-place finish. "So my head's not on that. Just winning — winning here. It's not everywhere else. Just here."

Event 2
1. Jacob Hutton (305.3)
2. Chris Hoppe (295.3)
T3. Matt Chan (285.3)
T3. Matt Hathcock (285.3)

Event 3
1. Chris Spealler (4:19)
2. Matt Chan (5:27)
3. Zach Forrest (5:39)


Split into two groups — men and women — repetition was key and strategy played a major role in the team competition. For some, the challenge proved to be too much. For others, it was just another day at the gym.

"We just practice the same movements over and over," said CrossFit Magna's Crystal Geer, who admits to being a novice on the rings. "I didn't get muscle-ups until a few weeks ago, so it was pretty cool."

Geer's teammate Manu Robertson, cited altitude, which certainly was a factor at last year's Regional in Colorado, as an obstacle.

"We were trying to get 285 on the overhead squats but it didn't happen," Robertson said. "I think the altitude kinda got us."

Altitude did little to hinder the ladies of Hacks Pack UTE. The trio of Erin Bennion, Mary Lampas and Taylor Richards-Lindsay made quick work of their overhead squats. After each notched 175 lb., Richards-Lindsay immediately crushed three reps at 200 lb.

Through three events, the Tommy Hackenbruck-led group have made it look easy and pushed the team competition to new heights, and others have noticed.

Asked if they were trying to catch Hacks Pack, CrossFit Works' Andre Matus answered in the affirmative.

"That's the goal. We're gonna try," said Matus, whose team heads into Day 2 ranked 13th overall. "We came here to win, and that's what we're going to try to do. Do our best."

Team Event 2
1. Hack's Pack UTE (1375.0)
2. Ute All-Stars (1210.0)
3. Front Range CrossFit (1185.0)

Team Event 3
1. Hacks Pack UTE (118)
2. Ute All-Stars (106)
3. RedRocks CrossFit (104)