April 17, 2013
Team 7 Mile Going the Extra Mile
By Lauryn Lax

"We have sacrificed a lot to be as good as we can be."


Photos by: Carl Brenton

Team CrossFit 7 Mile may be called CrossFit 8 Mile now that the 2013 Open is over and done.

The 2012 first-place team from the Latin America Region advanced to the CrossFit Games last year where they finished a disappointing 37th place.

The box owner, Carl Brenton, says the Games were a learning experience to say the least. CrossFit 7 Mile came back home to Cayman Island to immediately begin going the extra mile. Brenton says his affiliate’s team is more ready than ever for round two at the Regional and another shot at the Games.

“Our team left Regionals last year feeling like we could compete with some of the top teams based on our Regional numbers against theirs,” Brenton says. “What they didn't consider was that Regionals allowed us to put our strongest athletes for specific workouts in that (workout). At the Games, all six athletes competed in each event, so there was no hiding weaknesses. After the first two (events), they realized they weren't fast enough or strong enough. CrossFit isn't about what your strengths are — it is really about how many weaknesses you have.”

Team members got right to work. Rope climbs, Olympic lifts and increasing weights have been part of the team’s strategy.

“Our team’s goal for 2013 is to compete at the Games and not come in the last two or three teams. We radically changed our training this year by implementing the Ultimate Athlete template, which has them focusing on absolute strength,” Brenton says.

Team member and 7 Mile head coach Chris Spigner says the changes have been working.

“We have sacrificed a lot to be as good as we can be. We have brought in other coaches and trainers and equipment to help us reach those goals. We want to be the best team we can be. Strength, skill and go.”

CrossFit 7 Mile’s programming overhaul is proving to pay off so far. They have managed to again finish first place in Latin America out of 53 teams throughout five weeks of the Open.

Athletes Wanda Brenton, Martin van Zyl, Schmarrah McCarthy, Jenn Chailler, Trevor Amodeo and Spigner are forces to be reckoned with as part of Team CrossFit 7 Mile. The affiliate has two other teams that competed in the Open, as well. The 7 Milers finished 26th qualifying for Regionals, while Team 7 Mile Style sits outside the team cut off of 30th place in 37th.

Brenton says he loves how many athletes at the box have shown interest in competing, and wants to do whatever he can to support even the “average CrossFitters’” in taking their game to another level.

“Last year was our first year sending a second team to Regionals — and this year we have three. This is great for our box as it gave our ‘average’ members a chance to experience what the Regionals were all about and really relay that feeling to everyone else,” Brenton says. “One of the highlights during the 2012 Regionals was one of our members, Tiffany Eason, on the second team PR'ing on the 135 hang clean, and then going on to do it four more times. She only weighs 115 pounds and spectators from other gyms commented on how that was one of their highlights of the weekend.”

Brenton says he is proud to be building the legacy of CrossFit 7 Mile.

“I had a very strong vision of what we wanted our community to feel like from the beginning. I wanted a place that everyone and anyone feels welcome, I wanted a vibe like you see on so many of the CrossFit videos and affiliate profiles.”