March 19, 2012
Week Four in Review: South East
By Shelby Levy

Twelve minutes of leg-burning, shoulder-fatiguing, heart-pounding, lung-pumping and sweat-pouring fun. That’s what you get when CrossFit combines two classic workouts with a bonus in the middle to create Open Workout 12.4.

The same man, Chase Daniels, and woman, Emily Bridgers, who owned 12.3 in the South East last week also powered their way to the top of 12.4.

“It's another well-designed workout everyone can throw down on, where Regional-level competitors will be able to separate themselves,” says Talayna Fortunato of CrossFit Real Fitness. She sits in 3rd place for South East women.

The big question going in: How deep into the workout could one go in 12 minutes having to chip away at 150 wall-balls, 90 double-unders, and 30 muscle-ups?


For Chase Daniels of Hard Exercise Works, it was about how far beyond one full round of 12.4 could he go. Answer: 23 more wall-balls.

The same three men who have been on the top of the South East’s Leaderboard for the past two weeks continue jockeying for position. This week, Daniels takes over 1st place with a far-and-away 293 reps. That performance also had him 6th in the world for 12.4. Brandon Phillips of CrossFit Kennesaw slips to 2nd place (265 reps), and Jason Ingham of CrossFit Ragnarok remains in 3rd (261 reps).

When Daniels found out the components of the workout, he was not excited about the 30 muscle-ups. “My previous PR on 30 was about 5:45. I have been working on them a lot so I was stoked to finish them under 5 after being fatigued,” he says. “Going into the WOD, I was hoping to get through one round, so to get back to the wall balls with right around a minute left was a great feeling. I felt good after the WOD was over and wished I would have gone a little faster on the wall balls, but I am happy with my score.”

Phillips says the Open Workouts have been well programmed, but the best have risen to the top. “The wall balls, double-unders, and muscle-up chipper essentially was a great test of strength, endurance, skill and stamina,” Phillips says. “The whole Open has been well rounded having small guys and big guys scoring well with each other.”


Bridgers of CrossFit Decatur continues to dominate the South East‘s Leaderboard topping it off with 260 reps. “I was happy to see double-unders and muscle-ups, but knew wall balls would be a beast to get through first. I don’t ever like to use being short as an excuse because it helps me in other movements, but at my height, I just have to do whatever I can to keep getting the ball to the target. They aren’t pretty,” she says.

Bridgers was tempted to do the workout twice because she says she could have gotten through a full round with some changes in strategy, but in the end, she decided against it. “Now is not the time to kill myself for a couple extra reps,” she says.

Bridgers holds on to 1st place in the South East and 4th place worldwide. She is followed in the region by Cheryl Nasso, of CrossFit Fort Pierce, in 2nd place, and Fortunato in 3rd. “I have learned something special from every workout,” Nasso says. “Every week, I have come out more confident in my abilities. As a small girl with not a ton of athletic background, I have never really felt like I am as good as the others,” she admits. “Someone is always stronger. Faster. ‘She was a gymnast.’ ‘She has a lifting coach.’ ‘She has been doing it for years.’ At this moment, I can say with confidence that I have worked hard to get where I am, and I am unbelievably proud of that.”


Masters competitors will have one more week to shoot for a top-20 finish in their age group if they hope to make it to the Games this summer.

In the Men’s 45-49 Division, Ron Ortiz of Hard Exercise Works jumps from 13th place to 8th after completing 258 reps. He is followed by Bryan Shockley of CrossFit Pulse in 13th place (249 reps).

Brian “Brig” Edwards continues to climb to the top of the Men’s 50-54 age group finishing in 2nd place with 250 reps. Charlie Clendening of CrossFit Vero Beach moves up two spots to take 13th place (242 reps). “I struggled with the muscle-ups last year in the Open WOD because I could not do them without a false grip, and I could not hold the false grips during that WOD because my hands were so sweaty,” Edwards says. “I was thinking they might come up again this year so the last month or two, I learned to do them without a false grip, which helped a lot on this last WOD.”

The South East’s women are well represented in the Women’s 50-54 age group. Kelli Dean of Lightning CrossFit is in 10th place (240 reps), Diane McKinney of CrossFit North Fulton is in 16th place (240 reps), and new to the top 20 is Christi Warren of CrossFit Real Fitness in 19th place (240 reps).

Dean, who started CrossFit almost two years ago after gaining 30 pounds, follows the main site programming. “My husband introduced me to CrossFit, and I hated it,” she says. “I fought him almost daily about the WODs. After many bouts of kicking and screaming and lots of tears, I lost the weight and am more fit than I have ever been in my life.”

Dean’s husband convinced her to sign up for the Open “for fun,” and she had no idea she would actually find herself in the top 20. “12.4 hit my greatest strength and my biggest weakness in one full sweep – and such is the life of a CrossFitter,” she says. “I still have a load of weaknesses in the CrossFit hopper, and I am working on them the best I can, and remembering that last year at this time, I couldn’t do a single pull up.”

In the Men’s 55-59 age group, Charles “Chuck” Sullivan of CrossFit Vero Beach moves up from 15th place to 10th place with 241 reps. Sullivan finished 9th at last year’s CrossFit Games and is hoping for a return trip. “I thought it was a good workout. I’ve been working on my double-unders a lot this year, so I felt good about getting to the muscle-ups. I almost got two, but I was glad to get one. I knew getting one would really help,” Sullivan says.

Finally, Jim Lanier of CrossFit West Jax moves up a spot to 8th place in the Men’s 60-plus age group (230 reps). “12.4 was well thought-out and a real challenge for me. I loved the way the workout just toasted your quads, then worked your legs and shoulders, then put the ultimate challenge to your shoulders again,” Lanier says. “I’m proud of those competitors who got into the muscle-up section. My goal was to do the wall balls and then finish the double-unders. I wanted to get them all but ended up with 80 of 90, and I’m OK with that.”           


In the team competition, CFNA Cockdiesel moves from 2nd to 1st place this week after having the top performance for 12.4. “It always feels good to see hard work pay off, but our crew knows this baby is just getting started. A 50-rep spread in the top 20 teams on any given workout means it’s wide open. West Palm Beach is gonna be hot,” Travis Harkey, owner and coach at CFNA, says about the Regional.

CrossFit Hardcore moves to 2nd place and only trails the top spot by two points. “We truly didn’t expect to be so high up on the Leaderboard,” says Adriana Grassi. “We have been struggling with finding the time to train due to work commitments. We also lost a great team member who moved away, but each person in our box stepped up and gave it all they had to help the team qualify for Regionals.”

CrossFit Paragon moves to 3rd place.