March 12, 2013
Week One In Review: North West
By Dan Hollingsworth

The North West tackles the brutal mash-up of snatches and burpees on 13.1.

In the music industry, a mash-up is when you take elements of two or more pre-existing pieces of music and combine them.

The 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open season kicked off with an amazing mash-up of two of the most notorious workouts from 2012: the seven minutes of burpees (12.1) and the snatch ladder (12.2).

Similar to last year, it was the women who were able to go deeper into the snatch ladder than the men. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most notable performances in the North West on 13.1.


Thirteen women in the North West made it to the final weight in13.1 at 120 lb. Melissa Dixon of CrossFit Anacortes took top billing for the ladies. Last year’s sixth-place finisher at Regionals completed six reps of the 120-lb. snatch, which places her 40th in the worldwide rankings.

The special tiebreak feature, new to this workout, determined second place. Emily Carothers, former Division 1 gymnast, edged out CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff, Rory Zambard, by almost 45 seconds to secure the second-place position with a score of 195 reps.

Two previous Games competitors who had their seasons cut short by injuries last year also put up impressive performances. Two-time Games competitor, Ashleigh Moe and last year’s third-place finisher at Regionals, Allison King, finished 13.1 in sixth and seventh place in the region, respectively.


The top three men of the North West all made it to the final 210-lb. bar, but none were successful in hoisting it overhead. Nicholas Rocco, who put up the biggest snatch in the team Snatch Ladder at the 2012 North West Regional, relied on his strength and apparent stamina to take the top spot for the men. Rocco won the tiebreaker by completing the round of 165-lb. snatches in 15:52, which also positions him 30th in the world. Rocco’s time beat second-place finisher and former minor league baseball player, Martin Lehman, by two seconds.

“I had one shot at the 210, but with only four seconds on the clock, by the time I picked up the bar, it wouldn't have mattered,” Lehman says. “But still tried it and got crushed.”

Last year’s top qualifier for the North West Regional, Kevin Simons, also made it to 190 reps, completing the 165-lb. snatches in 16:01, leaving little time for 10 burpees and an attempt at the heaviest load.

Mike Wild was unable to get a shot at it this year. Wild came up six reps short of finishing the 30 snatches at 165 lb., finishing with a score of 174.


The top three teams from Week One are all names. Perennial powerhouse and 2010 Affiliate Cup champions, CrossFit Fort Vancouver, took the top spot with a score of 1,078 reps. After the first week of competition, they sit in 15th place worldwide.

Sixteen reps behind Fort Vancouver was Springfield, Ore., CrossFit Intensify Team A. Bolstered by strong performances from previous Games individual competitors, Ben Stoneberg and Kendall Burnham, Intensify Team A is poised for a return trip to Regionals.

CrossFit Refinery rounded out the top three with a score of 1,052, beating out Portland-based CrossFit X-Factor by one rep.


The North West has a history of sending some of the best Masters-level competitors in the world to the Games.

After Week One, there are two athletes in particular who have positioned themselves nicely to make their first appearance at the Games. Nathan Loren is actually no stranger to competition at the Home Depot Center. Loren has competed on the CrossFit Fort Vancouver team to include the 2010 Championship crew. The addition of the 40-44 year-old category gives Loren his first opportunity to potentially compete as an individual. With a score of 170 reps, he is currently tenth in the world in his age group.

Fifty-five-year-old Donald King of Tacoma Strength took the No. 1 position in the 55-59 Division with an impressive score of 191 reps. King’s coach and owner of Tacoma Strength, Morgan Hepfer, describes King as an amazingly humble and extremely dedicated athlete. Hepfer recalled King coming in to train last year on a knee walker just a couple of days after breaking his ankle.

The 2013 season is still in its infancy, so it’s nearly impossible to make any real strong predictions. While strong performances this week leave some confident in their current position, it’s no time to let guards down. This Wednesday’s live announcement of 13.2 will set the stage for the next week of competition.