March 13, 2012
Week Three in Review: Australia
By Gene Suna

With 12.3 down, the Open competition is more than halfway complete and the Leaderboard across all categories is getting a familiar feel about it. After two weeks of single modality workouts, Week 3 delivered us a long triplet where efficiency in movement paid big dividends.

As a region, Australia performed well, with two individual performances in the world’s top 20. Denae Brown backed up her 8th place finish in the world in Week 1, with 13 rounds, plus 4 box jumps in Week 3. That’s a finish good enough for 16th in the world.

In the men’s category, it was Cameron Muir from CrossFit Geelong, proving to be something of a dark horse with his 477-rep performance – 19th in the world. However, the region’s performance of the week, as with last week, goes to New Zealand’s and CrossFit Birkenhead’s Sue Steinhauer. Steinhauer’s performance of 8 rounds, plus 6 toes-to-bar placed her 1st worldwide in the Master’s Women 60-plus category, 37 reps clear of 2nd place. After three weeks, Steinhauer is dominating the world in her category with one 2nd, and two 1st place results. Having represented her country in High Jump, her competition experience is obviously serving her well through this Open campaign.

With Muir taking the top spot this week, 2nd place went to New Zealand athlete, Ben “Speedy” Thomson from CrossFit Dunedin. Thomson is not new to the CrossFit Community in the Australia Region, after a solid performance in finishing 21st in last year’s Open and 39th at the Regional. However, it was an article in New Zealand’s Otago Daily Times, titled “Self-Proclaimed ‘Fittest Man’ Wins Competition” that put him on the radar.

Another great performance from Kieran Hogan of 12 rounds, plus 1 push press earned him 3rd place. At this stage it’s too early to call, but still fun to speculate on the Hogan brothers potentially being the first siblings to qualify for the CrossFit Games. 

The top 3 overall remained unchanged this week with Rob Forte in 1st with 29 points. Now only 2 points back is Hogan with 31 points, and Brandon Swan in 3rd with 67 points. Brendan Southwick from CrossFit Territory moves from 7th to 4th, and Chad Mackay continues his comeback moving from 6th to 5th.

Last year’s Games qualifier, Chris Hogan seems content in biding his time in 11th with 2011 Regional competitor Jason Haywood in 34th.

For the second time in three events, Brown took 1st place with Ruth Anderson Horrell in 2nd with 447 reps. With results so far of 29th, 6th and now 2nd, Horrell is definitely heading in the right direction on the Leaderboard. In 3rd this week is Pip Malone from CrossFit Plus with 433 reps. Malone has been CrossFitting for just more than 9 months, but with international level experience in multiple sports, including gymnastics, she is an athlete to watch.

In overall standings, Amy Dracup is in 1st place with just 26 points. With results of 6th, 4th and 16th so far, Dracup is proving that not having any glaring weaknesses is more important than dominating any one event.

Jessica Coughlan is holding down 2nd place, even though she has managed to stay off many people’s radar. Coughlan finished in 8th place in last year’s Open, but elected to enter the team event with her affiliate, CrossFit Norwest, along with Australia Open men’s winner Rob Downton. 

In 3rd and 4th overall are 2011 Games competitors Amanda Allen and Horrell with 34 and 37 points, respectively. Rounding out the top 5 is 2010 Games competitor Bec Eastwell with 45 points.

Along with Steinhauer’s amazing performances, our region’s Masters athletes have 5 athletes in the top 10 overall for their categories.

Russell Kapper (CrossFit Works) has moved from 4th to 3rd place this week, swapping position with Peter Ryder (CrossFit Dunedin) in the Masters Men 50-54 Division.

Sue Oakman (CrossFit  Sunshine Coast) has moved up from 6th to 5th place with a 9-round performance for Week 3 in Masters Women 45-49. Lynne Knapman (CrossFit Active) is in 6th place in Masters Women 50-54 and Garry Jones (CrossFit Manukau) is in 7th in Masters Men 55-59.

Schwartz’s CrossFit Melbourne dominated the region once again with 2,524 reps. This is the second highest score in the world and 285 reps more than the 2nd place team, CrossFit Athletic. Schwartz’s top 3 male and female athletes averaged 11 rounds and 9 push presses each.

In 3rd this week was CrossFit Plus from the New South Wales central coast with 2,229 reps. With CrossFit Melbourne dominating with just 3 points. CrossFit Newcastle is in 2nd, with CrossFit Active in 3rd. These three teams are the only to have managed a top 10 finish in each of the workouts so far.    

Workout 12.3 took its toll on Open competitors, with few opting to do it more than once. However, this has done little to curb the excitement and anticipation for what’s coming down the pike. Speculation is rife and boxes are alive with people cramming to perfect their double-unders and muscle-ups, just in case they pop up in Workout 12.4.