March 11, 2013
Week One in Review: Canada East
By Chris Cooper

The women of Canada East came up big in Open Workout 13.1.

The women of Canada East came up big in Open Workout 13.1.

In the final hours of qualification, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet recorded a score of 203 and Michele Letendre, 201. However, the race appears much tighter this year, with 18 other women scoring 190 points or more.

In 2012, Leblanc-Bazinet finished second in 12.1 and first in 12.2. Her score isn't a large surprise. Letendre, comparatively, struggled in the Snatch Ladder last year and had to make up ground before Regionals.

The Masters Women 40-44 saw more separation with Kat Ljubicic setting an early high score of 193 and watching it stand to the end.

“The burpee and snatch combo didn't bother me, especially when I saw the female posted weight,” Ljubicic says. “Lets face it — every strong CrossFit chick blew this WOD up. I knew I could handle the weight, it was just a matter of pacing the burpees."

Ljubicic says she’s looking forward to the next event.  

"Lets hope this 6-foot tall woman isn't forced to do gymnastics, because that's when things will get ugly," she jokes. 

Nathalie Connors came close with 190. The next best was 177.

Meanwhile, Carol Craswell (Masters Women 60+) managed a 23-point lead in 13.1 over Lynn Stratten. Both qualified for the Games in 2012.

Charles Felx Leduc, a former competitive Strongman, scored 188 to take the region by five points over Jay Rhodes, whose snatching improved greatly in 2013. Brandon Crump and Paul Tremblay both managed a better performance than returning Regional champion, Albert-Dominic Larouche, who scored 178. In 2012, though, Larouche finished first in the Open for Canada East without winning a single Open event. Will consistency put him back on top of the Leaderboard in 2013?

Perhaps best known as the coach of former Canada East Regional winner, Jason Cain, Jason Bird built a large margin in the Masters Men 40-44 with a score of 167. The closest to Bird was Terry Boyko, 10 points behind. This new age category may suit Bird well. Though he qualified for Regionals individually last year, he chose to compete on his CrossFit Connection team instead.

In Masters Men 55-59, Scott Snarr commanded 190 reps to second-place Stan Cain's 173. Former competitive weightlifter, Mark Gomes, finished well in Masters Men 60+ after an injury kept him from the 2012 Open. Gomes' 154 was good enough for second place in the age category behind leader, Bill McIntosh, who scored 157.

Several of the top-scoring teams in Canada East include Masters athletes who fared well in the Open. CrossFit Select, CrossFit Altitude and CrossFit Connection all finished among the top four teams, and all have Masters at the top of their age category.

CrossFit Select, whose best finish in 2012 was Workout 12.2, built on that skill to take the first workout with a combined score of 1,067. They're currently ranked 23rd in the world.

CrossFit Laval, a perennial leader in the region, was very close with 1,064 points. Laval's best Open Workout in 2012 was 12.1 — seven minutes of burpees. It remains to be seen if either team can hold onto the top of the Leaderboard through the Open.

CrossFit Altitude hovers in third place with a very diverse skillset and solid coaching for competition.

The men in Canada East had admirable performances, but the battle for the top woman should be tighter than it's ever been. As usual, Canada East will feature a very close race for best team, with some new contenders on the move. Will 13.2 see a big shift, or will leaders solidify their positions?

*Note: All scores are unofficial until Tuesday at 5 p.m. PT.