March 29, 2013
Week Four in Review: Southern California
By Kenni Palmer

There are now three Individual Women, two Individual Men and three Teams representing SoCal in the top 10 worldwide.

The close of the books on 13.4 on Sunday at 5 p.m. PT means we are only one workout away from the close of the 2013 Open.

This second to last Open workout, a short, sweet, and to a ladder point couplet, was an opportunity for those who prefer faster workouts to excel. CrossFit benchmark workout Grace appeared to be a decent indicator of performances on 13.4, but the leading Individual competitors in SoCal saw this Open workout as just another chance to get cozy in their top positions overall on the Leaderboard.

As the big dogs kept climbing higher up the clean and jerk and toes-to-bars ladder, the reps got longer and harder, and it was a pure race of guts against that short clock. Social media this week was crawling with status updates and comments on the Regional page about how competitors felt they could have squeezed out a few more reps. Looks like they’ll have to plan on leaving everything they’ve got on the floor for 13.5.

Though some of our Masters competitors are holding strong to the leading positions worldwide, a few of SoCal’s top Individual players fell from the highest spots in the world. We now have three Individual Women, two Individual Men and three Teams representing SoCal in the top 10 worldwide.


The leading males overall in SoCal remain more or less the same as last week. With 125 reps and a third-place finish on 13.4, Josh Bridges still hangs on to first overall in SoCal; seven points separate him and Kenneth Leverich. Leverich moved up one position, sending Wes Piatt from second overall to third, as Leverich took the top spot in the region on 13.4. His 126 reps (that’s completing both sets in the round of 18) tied him with reigning Fittest Man on Earth, Rich Froning Jr., for third worldwide on this Open Workout. Also with 126 reps was Josh Golden. Despite being disqualified from Individual competition, can still contribute to his box’s ranking.

With a fourth-place finish on 13.4 (122 reps), Ryan Fischer went from sixth to fifth overall in the region.

“I liked the movements a lot and I was happy with my score,” Fischer says. “I had a whole minute left to do 18 toes-to-bars, but my grip just wouldn't let me do it. Damn it!”

The big surprise in the region came when 25-year-old Kendall Bolt, who hadn’t scored above 80th place thus far in the Open, pulled a fifth-place finish on 13.4 with 117 reps.

“My trainers, Bryan Boorstein and Anders Varner at Crossfit PB, actually programmed a very similar workout two days before 13.4 came out and I performed extremely well on it, making me optimistic about my performance this week,” Bolt says. “I love short intense, heavy workouts.”


The first place tug-o-war between Kristan Clever and Andrea Ager continues in SoCal. Though Clever tied for first within the region (fifth worldwide) on 13.4, Ager posted a fourth-place SoCal finish (29th worldwide) with 107 reps, and now only a single point separates these two Individual competitors in the fight for first overall in SoCal.

Valerie Voboril put up big numbers this week, as well, tying Clever for first place in the region on 13.4, with 117 reps (that’s nine toes-to-bars short of completing the round of 18s).

Just behind Voboril and Clever on 13.4 was Chelsey Hughes, a former TCU cheerleader, with 108 reps. Hughes attributes her high score to her “primer” strategy. Thursday, she gave the Open Workout a trial run at 105 lbs, as opposed to the women’s RX’d 95 lbs, so that she could “see what would fatigue out, and have a good idea of what would get tired” before taking it on at the prescribed weight. Overall, Hughes says she was “pleased with her effort and strategy on 13.4.”

Following Hughes on the 13.4 Leaderboard was Lindsey Valenzuela, tying Ager for fourth place with 107 reps. Valenzuela moves up from 24th to 20th this week, after dropping last week due to an 89th place finish on 13.3.


The SoCal Masters continue to make the region proud with their worldwide rankings. Cynthia Truax, 45-49 Division competitor and owner of Cyn Gym CrossFit, put up the first-place score (95 reps, that’s five clean and jerks into the round of 18s) in her division for the fourth week in a row. Not only does she sit comfortably at first in the region, she is tied for second place worldwide.

“My first reaction (to 13.4) was that I wanted to get the same amount of reps as 12.5,” Truax says. “However, when I saw Spealler and Holmberg do the (workout), I figured my expectations might be a little high. And of course, that was exactly the case!”

Regardless, Truax still pulled her 95 reps with a strategy of consistency — not letting go on any sets of toes-to-bars, and controlling the bar down on every clean and jerk so it wouldn’t stray.

 “Overall, I am happy with the outcome,” she says, “but of course a few more reps would have made my day!”

Donna Walters of the Masters Women 60+ Division, is proving to be unstoppable. For the fourth week in a row, she dominates her division in not just SoCal, but also worldwide, as she has finished first in every single Open Workout.

Like Walters, Masters Men 55-59 competitor, Jon Hults, has swept each Open Workout in the region, including this one. On 13.4, his 90 reps secured him not just the first in SoCal, but also third overall in the worldwide rankings.


Valley CrossFit takes their third first-place finish at the conclusion of 13.4, securing the top spot in SoCal, third worldwide, with 637 cumulative reps. That’s on average 106 reps per contributing team member (16 clean and jerks into the set of 18s). Only a single rep separated Valley CrossFit and CrossFit Invictus in this Open Workout, as Invictus posted a total team score of 636 reps.

Overall, four points separate Valley CrossFit and Invictus, and 12 points separate Invictus from overall third place team, Brick Nation. Though there would need to be a big upset from Valley next week to see them fall from the top, the leading three positions are pretty secure: the fourth place team, CrossFit PB, is 24 place points from third place team Brick Nation.

While most of the regions spends the majority of their time Leaderboarding by stalking the top scorers, if not themselves, it’s also getting close enough to the end that we consider those individuals and boxes that are just outside the bubble to qualify for Regionals.

CrossFit by Overload Murrieta, currently sitting in 31st place in the region, is one such example. But they’re looking at the larger picture.

“Being on the bubble spot would make most teams very nervous,” co-owner Wayne “Weezy” Kim, says. “However, I believe that 13.5 will prove to be our finest hour. I am confident in the quality of hard work that our team and our team coach have put in over the past year. When the Open is over, (I will be confident) that we performed to our very best ability and that we executed each and every workout with the utmost integrity. Having the respect, love and continual support of our community of Overloaders far exceeds any reward of making it to Regionals.”

With one workout left in the 2013 Open and one chance left to change the Leaderboard, SoCal competitors may be getting anxious for the announcement of 13.5. Current third place Individual Men’s competitor, Wes Piatt, is looking forward to the live announcement and throwdown this coming Wednesday, April 3 at 5 p.m. PT.

“It's been an amazing ride,” Piatt says. “I'm hoping for something I can do OK on in 13.5. We have a big carpool from my gym going up to Santa Cruz on Wednesday for a little extra motivation. It's gonna be so much fun!”