March 11, 2013
Week One in Review: Southern California
By Kenni Palmer

Josh Bridges is back and topping the Leaderboard in SoCal this week. On the women's side, Kristan Clever not only dominated the region, but sits in first place worldwide.

The burpee: a movement most CrossFitters become acquainted with on Day 1. The snatch, on the other hand, is most often taught once an athlete demonstrates more complex movement efficiency, strength and speed.

Putting these two distinctive movements together to make the initial workout of the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open brought a whole new level of epic challenge to Southern Californians as they took on 13.1.

Though this workout combined the gymnastic, metabolic conditioning and mental toughness required of burpees, it also favored the stronger athlete who could make up time blasting through the increasingly heavy sets of 30 snatches.

As scores were slowly posted through the week, it appeared worldwide that this workout was more advantageous for the stronger athletes. Nevertheless, SoCal’s top finishers showed size was not necessarily a clear indicator of who would dominate the charts.


The big shocker of 13.1 came minutes before the Leaderboard closed at 5 p.m. PT on Sunday, with 2010 CrossFit Games champion, Kristan Clever, throwing reigning Fittest Woman on Earth, Annie Thorisdottir, off the worldwide top spot.

Clever heard a rumor that someone hit 212 reps, so thinking the standard had been set, Clever aimed to beat that number. Though the rumor proved false, Clever’s 211 (that’s ending with 21 snatches at 120 lb.) reps still landed her first place worldwide.

For 13.2, Clever says she is hoping for “something shorter. Something definitely less than 17 minutes.”

Six reps behind Clever was, not surprisingly, Olympic lifter Lindsey Valenzuela. Valenzuela’s score of 205 secured her second place in the region and fifth worldwide, thus placing two SoCal ladies in the top five worldwide.

Andrea Ager (third in SoCal) posted a score of 199 reps early on, showing the world she has made powerful gains over the last year.

Danielle Hale, at 132 pounds, secured fourth in the region, a position higher than any of her placements in the 2012 Open.


On the men’s side, Josh Bridges took the top spot in SoCal with 192 reps, which also put him at sixth worldwide.

Kenneth Leverich, one rep behind Bridges, took second (11th worldwide), and rounding out the top three was Joshua Berry.

Leverich gave credit to his faith, as well as training partner Ryan Fischer (sixth place in SoCal).

“(We) strategized a little, but Ryan and I just decided to hit it hard. We went two sets of 15 at 75 lb., sets of give at 135 lb., and 15 in the first set of three on 165, followed by 15 singles,” Leverich says. “I had two attempts at 210, but just missed the second. I think it was a great push having to go up against my training partner and housemate, Ryan Fischer. We always bring the best out of each other.”


With Rebecca Voigt and Kristan Clever’s scores in the top six in the region, there was no doubt their numbers would help Valley CrossFit lead the pack in the Team category in SoCal (fifth worldwide). Valley total 1,104 reps for their top three men and top three women averages out to an astonishing 184 reps per athlete.

Invictus, of CrossFit Invictus, claimed second in the region, and only 14 reps behind them in third place was Brick Nation of Brick CrossFit.


The new 40-44 Masters division has allowed some stellar athletes to come to the surface.

Danny Henry, 41, took first in the Men’s 40-44 Division, tying Bill Grundler, 43, with 190 reps each. However, Henry’s quick pace early on gave him the edge on the split tiebreaker against Grundler, with two minutes (14:24 and 16:28, respectively) separating them at the completion of the 165-lb. snatch set.

It appears as though Henry won’t have to worry about keeping Grundler at bay.

“For the Masters Division, I've decided that it's not my time, yet, to enter that group,” Grundler says. “I think the division is awesome for so many people that want to have their shot at competing. But my personal dream is to be able to make it to the Games in the (Individual) division. If, down the road, I feel like I would like to compete in the Masters, then I'll go ahead and do that, but for now it's all about the (Individual) baby!”

For the women in the new 40-44 Master’s category, Tonia Osborne, 42, dominated with 177 reps, securing her the top division spot in SoCal (21st worldwide).

Another notable Master is 2012 Games fifth-place finisher in the Men’s 60+ category, Ron Gellis. Gellis took first in the region (eighth worldwide), continuing to dominate with 169 reps on 13.1.

 “I hope to qualify for the 2013 Games,” Gellis says. “What I love most about CrossFit is how it restored, protects and preserves my health, as well as being part of the great CrossFit community.”