March 8, 2013
Teams of the South East
By Mackenzie Morris

The Teams of the Dirty South are stacked with some top-notch competitors.

The South East is stacked with teams of top-notch competitors who are all eager to pack their bags for California for a chance to compete at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games.

After taking first at the South East Regional last year and finishing 10th worldwide at the CrossFit Games, CrossFit Atlanta is back — not with just one team, but two.

"Although competition at the Regional level is going to be tougher than ever, we are excited to give a broader base of our athletes a shot at Regional and Games competition,” coach Ken Gall says. “We have had a few new athletes move to our gym over the past year or two, and it’s great to be able to mix them in with some of our veteran competitors."

With a relatively large group of competitive athletes, CrossFit Atlanta is doing its best to make sure no one stands in its way of claiming the Affiliate Cup this year.

Despite that effort, CrossFit Atlanta’s neighbor to the north, CrossFit Adrenaline out of Cartersville, Ga., is nipping at its heels. According to team member Allie Bourdon, CrossFit Adrenaline had “no expectations or experience” going into Regionals last year. But after a second-place finish at Regionals and a 22nd-place finish at the Games, the team has continued to make its presence known.

“We promised ourselves this year would be different,” Bourdon says. “When we all got back from California last July, it was straight back to work. We have competed in quite a few competitions this past year as individuals and as a team, which has helped us grow and get an even better understanding of one another and the way we work.”

What she humbly neglected to mention is that the team took a podium spot at every one of those competitions.

Team Hustle Hard, is also ready for a shot at the title. The team finished Regionals last year in third place and placed 15th at the Games.

“We are excited about the opportunity to compete again because we feel like our communication and cohesiveness are much better than last year, not to mention the growth of different team members as CrossFitters,” team member, Jonathan Adams, says.

Although they did not make the podium at the South East Regional, Gardens CrossFit from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., made an impression last year coming in fifth place.

“Regionals changed us because we didn't think we were capable of a fifth-place finish or even getting a first-place finish in one of the (workouts),” team member, Miki Carey, says. “We just wanted top 10. Getting that close really motivated us.”

Although not all of last year’s team members will be returning in 2013, Gardens CrossFit is “still hopeful and train(s) as if we’re totally capable this year.”

It wouldn’t be a true competition without an underdog. Look out for CrossFit RX, an affiliate that has formed a solid group after its first appearance as a team last year at Regionals where they finished 23rd.

“After the Games, we made a commitment to each other to all go team in 2013,” owner and team member, Kelly Levens, says. “Our goal was originally to go back to Regionals and just have fun with it, but we got some new athletes, saw what we could do, the talent that we have, and have run with it, realizing that we have a real shot at the Games.”