March 27, 2012
Week Five in Review: Northern California
By Sam Radetsky

NorCal is one of the toughest regions in the world, with eight top 10 worldwide rankings in the Individual and Team divisions - more than any other region.

It’s over. The workouts are done, the numbers are in and the rankings are set. Workout 12.5 brought no great upsets to the NorCal Leaderboard, proving yet again that the athletes who came out strong by Week 2 of the Open were the athletes who everyone else would be chasing during the 2012 Open, and those who qualify now set their sights on the Regional competition May 17-19.

The top finishers in the region for 12.5, in all divisions, are familiar names to anyone following the competitive CrossFit world. Neal Maddox and Jason Khalipa have finished each Open workout, except for the burpees of 12.1, in the top three of Northern California. A quick look at the Leaderboard shows the back and forth battle between the 1st and 2nd place finishes. Right up there with these big guys is Joey Warren, whose very consistent performance from the first workout to the last has kept him at the top. In this workout, the top three all moved past the round of 18 thrusters and pull ups, with Jason in first, Neal in second, and Joey in third. 

The top 12.5 finishers among the women are just as familiar, as we once again see Annie Sakamoto (CrossFit Santa Cruz Central) and Laurie Galassi (CrossFit Santa Cruz) tied for 1st and Ashley Carriveau (CrossFit San Jose) one rep behind them in 3rd place. These women also completed more than the round of 18, putting all three in the top 25 in the world for this workout. 

With their extremely consistent and impressive finishes each week, there was no doubt who would earn the top Open places. The NorCal leader in the men’s division is Neal Maddox (CrossFit X-treme), ranked 6th worldwide. Joey Warren (CrossFit Cadence) takes 2nd place and 8th worldwide. Third place belongs to Jason Khalipa (NorCal CrossFit), ranked 10th worldwide. Other familiar names in the leading ranks of NorCal are Pat Barber (NorCal CrossFit) in 4th, and Chad Augustin (Rocklin CrossFit) in 5th.

Experienced Regional competitors lead the Northern California women’s division. Carriveau took over 1st place in Week 2 and never relinquished it. She is 8th worldwide. Second place belongs to Elyse Umeda (CrossFit 808), ranked 10th worldwide. Each week these two stayed at those top two places, showing their consistency. Laurie Galassi (CrossFit Santa Cruz) takes 3rd place, Whitney Heuser (Diablo CrossFit) finishes in 4th, and Jenny LeBaw holds 5th.

All of NorCal knows the Rocklin CrossFit Honey Badgers and the Diablo CrossFit Anejo teams are forces to be reckoned with. There was no other team in the region that could knock either team out of the top two places each week. These athletes just would not give those places up. The Honey Badgers finished in 1st place, with a 4th place finish worldwide, and Anejo took 2nd place, 5th worldwide. Staying right up there with these top teams is NorCal CrossFit in 3rd (8th worldwide) CrossFit 808 in 4th, and CrossFit Santa Cruz in 5th.

The masters of NorCal represented well in the Open with 10 top 10 worldwide rankings. There is not a Regional competition for the Masters, so these athletes will be going to the Games in July.

In the men’s divisions: Freddy Camacho (CrossFit One World), 7th in the 45-49 Division; Will Burke (CrossFit Oahu), 8th in the 50-54 Division; and Clarke Holland (Tamalpais CrossFit), 2nd, Mark Laakso (CrossFit Oahu), 6th, Christopher Kulp (CrossFit Los Gatos), 10th, in the 60-plus division.

In the women’s divisions: Heidi Fish, 7th in the 50-54 Division; Marnel King (CrossF San Jose) 1st, NorCal’s highest Masters placing, and Marilou Seiff (CrossFit San Mateo) 2ndin the 55-59 Division; and Kristine Sessions (CrossFit Maxim) 2nd and Mary Schwing (CrossFit 808) 6thin the 60-plus Division.

NorCal has proven itself to be the toughest region in the world, with eight top 10 worldwide rankings in the Individual and Team divisions — more than any other region.