July 24, 2013
Suffering and Bonding
By CrossFit
The masters field is cut down to 12 athletes in each group. 
The masters field is cut down to 12 athletes in each group. 

The masters field is cut down to 12 athletes in each group.

The women in the 50-54 Masters Division were done with the event, but they weren’t ready to leave the track. There was something they had to do.

After Hylie Thompson finished her last box jump, the women gathered together, wrapped their arms around each other, and cheered.

Event 4, a 21-15-9 couplet of deadlifts and box jumps, was the last event of the 2013 CrossFit Games for some of the masters athletes. Each age group would be cut to a field of 12 going into the last day of competition, and the women wanted to savor their last moment together.


“At the gym, we’re always with our younger counterparts,” Mary Beth Litsheim, a competitor in the 50-54 division, said. “Here, we’re with our peers."

Litsheim said there aren’t a lot of women in her age group who are willing to undergo this type of pain. “When suffering happens, bonding happens."

Litsheim wasn’t sure how this year’s competition would play out. She had surgery on her knee early in the year, and almost didn’t sign up for the Open. Litsheim took sixth in Event 4 with a time of 3:50 and is sitting in sixth place overall.

“I feel great,” she said. “I have a great coach and I know how to pace myself. I’m just enjoying the moment, enjoying becoming a better version of myself.”

Becky Conzelman knew she had to give Event 4 everything she had. Despite two second-place finishes in Events 1 and 2, Conzelman placed 18th in Event 3.

“It was humbling,” Conzelman said of Event 3. “I knew I had to make up ground.”

This is a familiar event for Conzelman. “I did it in 3:27 two years ago,” she said. Today, she won the event with a time of 3:15.

“It makes me happy,” she said.

Heading into the final day of competition, Conzelman said her plan is to “Eat, eat and ice bath.” She’s looking forward to the upcoming events.

If Conzelman wants to move into first place, she’ll have to work; she’s 49 points behind first-place Amanda Allen.

“I’m hoping for a 185-lb. clean and jerk,” she said, “and the last (event) is good for me.”


Like Litsheim, Greg Walker, an athlete in the 60+ division, said the camaraderie among the Masters athletes is his favorite part of the Games.

“We love each other,” he said. “It’s like a reunion.”

Walker is in seventh overall at the end of day two. “People in the crowd come up to you, 30-, 40-, and 50-year-olds, and say ‘it’s great watching you,’” he said.

“I’m having a ball,” he said, “you’re never too old to do this.”

Walker has a positive attitude, despite the fact that tomorrow holds a movement he hasn’t done in six weeks: double-unders. He has always struggled with double-unders, and spent eight weeks relentlessly practicing them. He got better, but hurt his knee and his back in the process. Walker decided getting good at double-unders wasn’t worth the injury.

When asked if he’s nervous about the 100 double-unders in the final event, Walker smiled.

“No,” he said, “whatever happens will happen.”

Michael Moseley was in first place in the 40-44 division going into Event 4, but he was not confident going into the last event of day two.

“This (event) was the Games for me,” Moseley said. He’s battling a back injury, and knew the 315-lb. deadlift would not be easy.

The first round of 21 deadlifts posed no problem for Moseley; he was first to the box jumps. It was set of 15 deadlifts where Moseley began to struggle, rocking his body to stand up with the heavy bar.

Even though he was down to single reps, Moseley held his lead until the final round, when John Lynch made his move. Lynch finished first with a time of 4:56 and Moseley made it through the last nine deadlifts to finish fourth.

Moseley maintains his first place spot, however. After an ice bath and good night’s sleep, Moseley said he’s excited for tomorrow.

“I’m hoping for a 25-lb. PR,” he said of the clean and jerk ladder.” His current max is 275-lb., and he wants to put 300-lb. overhead.

One thing that won’t be problem is the double-unders. “I just did 300 unbroken,” he said. “I had a burpee penalty every time I stopped, and I didn’t want to do any burpees.”

60+ Division
Event winner: Donna Walters
Overall leader: Donna Walters

55-59 Division
Event winner: Gabriele Schlicht
Overall leader: Gabriele Schlicht

50-54 Division
Event winner: Elaine Polito
Overall leader: Colleen Fahey

45-49 Division
Event winner: Lisa Mikkelsen
Overall leader: Lisa Mikkelsen

​40-44 Division
Event winner: Becky Conzelman
Overall leader: Amanda Allen

60+ Division
Event winner: Garry Jones
Overall leader: Scott Olson

55-59 Division
Event winner: Hilmar Hardarson
Overall leader: Hilmar Hardarson

50-54 Division
Event winner: Will Powell
Overall leader: Will Powell

45-49 Division
Event winner: Jeff Ernsberger
Overall leader: Gene LaMonica

40-44 Division
Event winner: Jeremy Herider
Overall leader: Michael Moseley