March 20, 2012
Week Four in Review: Australia
By Gene Suna

Four weeks down, one to go.  Open Workout 12.4 brought us something special, or should I say left us with something special. With more than half a million wall balls tallied, escalators around Australia and New Zealand got just a little more use this week.

The Leaderboard is starting to stabilize as athletes begin to speculate on their chances for a Regional spot.

On the world stage, the region had another solid week with some stellar performances. In the Masters Women 60-plus category Sue Steinhauer achieved another 1st result this week making it three 1st place finishes in four workouts.

The Individual Women really showed up the guys in 12.4 with five women in the top 20. With her best result of the Open, Denae Brown’s 264 reps put her 4th in the world. This is Brown’s second top 10 and third top 20 result of this year’s Open.

Just 3 muscle-ups behind Brown, Games athlete Amy Dracup is tied for 8th with her best result of the Open so far. CrossFit Brookvale’s Lisa Brooke finished in 12th with 260 reps, and up-and-comer Kara Gordon continues to impress with just one rep less in a tie for 18th place with Eve Neville from CrossFit BodyM. 

Brown’s worldwide top five result was also a regional win – her third in Australia. After this effort, she finds herself in 7th overall in the region on 63 points. Dracup has a total of 28 points, Jessica Coughlan has 36 and Ruth Anderson Horrell has 43. Amanda Allen moves from 3rd to 4th this week with 48 points. Rounding out the top five is Kara Gordon with 50 points.

In the Men’s Division, it was Kevin Manuel from CrossFit Hawkes Bay in New Zealand with the region’s top result. Manuel has managed to fly under the radar this season, at least outside of New Zealand, until this week’s performance. With one full round, plus two wall balls, Manuel’s 12.4 result put him into the top 10 overall.  

Two reps behind, there is a four-way tie for 2nd among Brendan Southwick, Chad Mackay, Drummond Williamson and Cobi Head.  Southwick’s result follows up his top 10 effort last week. At this stage, with 2012 Open results of 46th, 22nd, 8th and 2nd he is tracking well improve on his 4that the 2011 Australia Regional.  

With no change in our region’s top three since Week 2, Rob Forte who leads with 44 points making the spot his own since his 85 snatches in 12.2. With one workout remaining and a 23-point lead over Kieran Hogan (67 points) Forte’s odds to stay there are good. In 3rd is Brandon Swan with 75 points followed by Brendan Southwick with 78 and Chad Mackay with 81.

In the team competition, Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne had a combined total of 1,565 reps, which good enough for 4th in the world. After finishing 3rd in Week 1 and 2nd in Week 2, this result consolidates their position as one of the world’s top 10 teams.     

In 2nd is Southern CrossFit with 1,527 reps showing some of the form that took them to 25th in last year’s Games. Another strong performance from CrossFit Athletic with 1,523 reps put them in 3rd.

Overall, our top three is Schwartz’s with 4 points, followed by CrossFit Newcastle (18 points) and CrossFit Athletic (23 points).

Our top Master athletes are all tracking well with Sue Steinhauser, the standout again this week winning by five reps.

In Masters Women 50-54 Division alone, our region had six women finish in the top 10. Debbie Downing from CrossFit Auckland finished 2nd on 246 reps with Lynne Knapman, Jenny Kemp, Nella Forte, Michele Ruyters and Rosemary Campbell all tied for 6th on 240 reps. 

Sue Oakman (CrossFit  Sunshine Coast) in Masters Women 45-49 remains in 5th this week after her best result of the Open so far with 249 reps and 3rd place. 

In Masters Men 50-54, the value of a muscle-up was exactly 83 points with Peter Ryder getting one and moving to 5th, and Russell Kapper not getting one and slipping to 16th.

With workout to go, most CrossFitter’s are just hoping they get use of their legs back by Wednesday and planning to take whatever comes and give it their all.