July 13, 2012
Track and Foucher
By CrossFit

Central East's Julie Foucher opens overall lead with Track Triplet win.

After beginning their 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games two days earlier than expected at Camp Pendleton, the women took on the Broad Jump, Ball Toss and Track Triplet all before 1 p.m. at the Home Depot Center.

The first Individual event of the day was the Broad Jump, a test of raw power that had originally been scheduled for Wednesday. With morning rain making things slick outdoors, the athletes were shuffled beneath the Home Depot Center to attempt to stick their landings on a graduated long-jump mat.

On the women’s side, many competitors had trouble landing their jumps and had to go safe on their final attempts to ensure they registered a score. Lindsey Valenzuela slid several times for no-reps, and Annie Thorisdottir fought to hold a landing for a good 5 seconds before giving up and tumbling backwards.

The class of the field was Taylana Fortunato, who exploded for a jump of 95.50 inches.

“I’m a jumper. I’m a jumper. I’m a jumper,” she repeated when asked if she had hoped to win the event.

Heather Gillespie, in last place after the Pendleton events, came back strong to take second with a jump of 93.00. That was a half inch better than Samantha Petersen’s 92.50.

After the Broad Jump, the Ball Toss and Track Triplet came in quick succession on the track.

First, the women had to throw a 2-lb. medicine ball for distance from the GHD to vie for 50 points. They had 10 balls but only 20 seconds to get them down field.

Shortly afterward, they tackled the Track Triplet: a short buy-in run followed by 3 rounds for time of 8 split snatches at 75 lb., 7 bar muscle-ups and a 400-meter run. Worth 100 points, the event was capped at 13 minutes.

Outlaw CrossFit’s Rudy Nielsen made the Heat 3 Ball Toss exciting as two of his athletes were competing: Elisabeth Akinwale and Alicia Gomes.

“Get ’em all!” he yelled while standing on a stack of black bumpers in the athlete warm-up area behind a barricade just off the track. “Get them all, Elisabeth!”

She obliged, throwing all the med balls from the GHD for a score of 48.

Nielsen responded by yelling “Fuck yeah!”

Akinwale’s score put her tied for second with Jaime Gold when all the athletes had completed the event. First went to Cheryl Brost, who launched balls worth 61 points.

The Track Triplet was next for women, and after a DNF in the first event of last year’s Games and a struggle in Wednesday’s triathlon swim, Deborah Cordner Carson proved she’s a force on dry land. The former sprinter finished first in Heat 1, beating out Candace Hester on the final run.

In Heat 2, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet set the pace with a time of 9:13 on the Track Triplet, with two heats left to come.

Becca Voigt of Valley CrossFit finished two places behind CLB in the same heat. Voigt finished third overall at last year’s Games. Her coach, Doug Katona of CrossFit Endurance, said she was doing great after some transition errors in Wednesday’s triathlon that affected her mental game.

“She likes to come from the back and chase,” he said with a smile.

Still, Katona acknowledged there’s a new, higher level of competition this year.

Voigt quickly recovered from Wednesday’s workouts at Camp Pendleton, he said.

“We’re going to continue to fight all the way through,” Katona said. “Her engine, once it gets to cruising altitude, can’t be stopped. We just got to get her to cruising altitude quicker.”

Kristan Clever, the 2010 Games champion, finished the workout in 9:03; the crowd erupted in roars multiple times as she ran her final 100 meters.

Meanwhile, Iceland’s Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir completed her final run as the clocked ticked ever closer to 13 minutes; the 19-year-old finished her heat in last place. Countless spectators who packed the stands supported her with cheers.

Michele Letendre was also in Heat 3 and said the Ball Toss was easier than she expected. She said her coach reminded her it was only 20 seconds, so she opted to throw fewer farther.

When it came time for the Track Triplet, Letendre said she had to ditch her original strategy of doing the bar muscle-ups unbroken.

“I went back to what I did in practice, which was four-three,” she said. “It’s kind of one of those workouts where you just have to go and I just went.”

Heat 4 saw Clever’s time defeated as 23-year-old Julie Foucher looked consistent and focused to pull well ahead of Jenny Davis on the final run. Foucher finished the Track Triplet in 8:49 to take first, while Clever’s 9:02.4 was good for second. Val Voboril was third in 9:09.6

Overall, Julie Foucher has won two of six events and sits first with 429 points. Talayna Fortunato is second with 369, while Christy Phillips is third with 357. Foucher led the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games after Day 1, and she’ll be looking to finish Day 1 of the 2012 competition in similar fashion.

Next up: heavy med-ball carries and parallette handstand push-ups.