April 3, 2012
Tarasa Barnett: Back to the Games?
By Thomas Patton

Tarasa Barnett showed up in the Republic of Panama for the 2011 Latin America Regional in a calm, somewhat reserved and very classy manner. But when Event 1 began that Friday morning, there was nobody to argue that Barnett was nothing short of a firebreather. She walked out victorious two days later.

Barnett, 28, has already shown our region she has the metabolic conditioning, the strength and the experience. What she’s added this year is someone to help her with her programming – CrossFit Invictus’ CJ Martin.

The former volleyball player, who has been CrossFitting for three years, shortly after her husband Matthew Barnett (1st place in the 2011 Latin America Regional) got into CrossFit. “I was just getting in the main site WODs when I could,” she says about how she got started with main site programming.

“I want to be pushed in competition because that’s what makes it fun and makes all of us better athletes.” 

After the 2011 Games though, she was motivated to seriously work her weaknesses, improve skills and gain strength. “I knew I wanted to keep competing so I have been working hard to get better everyday,” she says. “And [I] am doing everything I can to be back [to the CrossFit Games] again.” 

In this year’s Open, Barnett came in with only 101 burpees, a score that landed her in 22nd place. Many dismissed her as a top contender. Until she came back with a 2nd place finish in Workout 12.2 with 84 snatches; a 6th place finish in 12.3 and 1st place finishes on 12.4 and 12.5 in Latin America. 

Barnett finished the Open in 5th place in the region, only 11 points behind first place Anita Pravatti. To her advantage, Barnett has experience at Regionals and the CrossFit Games, while many of the other top women have competed in the team competition, if at all. 

Barnett says she’s excited to see how the region is growing and loves seeing new names on the Leaderboard. “I would love to see dark horses come out this year. I want to see our region continue to grow and develop amazing athletes,” she says. “I want to be pushed in competition because that’s what makes it fun and makes all of us better athletes.”

With that said, Barnett is ready to battle the other athletes at the Regional competition. Can anyone steal the title of Fittest Woman in Latin America?