March 24, 2013
Week Three in Review: North Central
By Nicole Scott Smith

Approximately 80 percent of athletes who submitted scores for both years (12.4 and 13.3) improved over last year, according to a preliminary report.

One hundred and fifty quad-crushing wall balls, 90 calf-cramping double-unders and 30 muscle-ups for time.

Sounds easy, right?

Yeah, not so much.

Moments after the Director of the Games, Dave Castro, announced 13.3 would be a repeat of 12.4, social media streams became clogged with complaints. Some went with a simple, “Nooooooooooo,” while others bemoaned a lack of creativity. Yet, all the complaints boil down to the same thing:

“I never thought I’d have to do that (enter expletive of choice) workout again.”

Yet repeating workouts is part of CrossFit. It lets us check whether our training is working.

Fortunately, data shows CrossFit competitors are continuing to get more and more beastly each year. Approximately 80 percent of those athletes who submitted scores for both years improved over last year, according to a preliminary report.

We can see the improvements in our region alone. Last year, Alex Tubbs and Deborah Cordner Carson turned in the best performances in North Central with 281 and 259 reps, respectively. This year, had they turned in the same scores, Tubbs would have taken eighth while Carson would have taken fifth.

Let’s get into the numbers.


One thing that did remain the same from last year, was the top scorer on the Women’s Leaderboard. Cordner Carson (CrossFit St. Paul) held the top spot in 12.4 and 13.3. She increased her reps by seven muscle-ups to secure a 266. She also holds the eighth slot worldwide after week three.

“Every year, I feel like a completely different athlete,” Cordner Carson says. “I can’t help but feel more confident as time goes on.”

While getting to 30 muscle-ups was her goal, Cordner Carson was pleased with the results. In the coming weeks, she is expecting chest to bar pull-ups, but is more interested in the time domain of future workouts.

“I’d like to see what (Castro) would do with a short time domain,” she says.

In second place for the Women in week three was Jessica Schulz of CrossFit Rise. Schulz placed 38th the 2010 CrossFit Games and was second in the 2011 North Central Open. Schulz co-owns CrossFit Rise with her husband, and completed the workout without muscle-ups last year, resulting in a 240 score.

In 13.3, she completed her double-unders in 7:41 and proceeded to power thru 21 muscle-ups. That is a score of 261 and one hell of a PR for the 5-foot-2 Ultimate Frisbee player from Schaumburg, Ill.

Ginny King of CrossFit OKC added five points to her score from last year with 260 reps. King just missed the podium last year, placing fourth at Regionals.

Also with a score of 260 was CrossFit Omaha’s Stacie Tovar. Tovar was second in this workout last year with a 257. Her tiebreaker time was 14 seconds behind King’s 7:25, proving every second counts in a transition.

Always positive, Tovar admits she loves the Open season and Leaderboarding.

“There's always new names, big performances and of course, drama,” Tovar says. “I was excited to see this come out of the hopper again. It's always nice to compare (workouts) and knowing I came out three reps better tells me my coach and I must be doing something right.”

Overall, Cordner Carson holds the top spot in the region, followed by Christina Merlo of CrossFit Jenks.

Always a solid athlete, Merlo and the women of Jenks took the No. 1 spot in the bar muscle-up team workout at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games. In third place overall is Jaime Noyce, of CrossFit 515. She added three muscle-ups to her score from last year, completing 256 reps. Also with a 256 score was Elisabeth Akinwale (CrossFit Construct). Akinwale had seven-rep PR in 13.3.  

This placed two-time Games athlete Akinwale 14th for the week and fifth overall in North Central.


On the Men’s Leaderboard, Brandon Pastorek (CrossFit VisOne) took the lead with 314 reps. Pastorek finished his 30 muscle-ups in 10:40 and went on to complete an 44 wall balls in the remaining time. Even more impressive was the 45-rep PR from last year. Armed with sound advice from his stepfather, Pastorek went into 13.3 ready to, “deal with the suck.”

“I did 12.4 twice back to back during the Open last year, and have not attempted it until this year’s Open,” he says.  

Pastorek finished first in the North Central Open last year.

 “I like wall balls and muscle-ups. Last year, I didn't make it to the second round, and I knew if I wanted to go to Regionals this year, I had to do the best I could,” he says. “I feel great going into the next few weeks.”

In the second place spot this week was Garry Martin II. Martin has been a familiar name in North Central, finishing third in last year’s Open and he welcomes the expansion of the sport.

“It’s wonderful to see new people scattered throughout the Leaderboards, which seems to be a good indication more and more people are not just trying this sport, but really getting into it,” he says.

Martin had not tried his hand at this particular workout since last year, when he scored two reps shy of a full round. This year, he added 41 reps to his previous score to throw an impressive 309 points down on the Leaderboard for week three.

With a score of 297, the third-place spot is held by 23-year-old, Arlen Castenada. Castenada, owner of CrossFit 636 became interested in CrossFit in 2010, but was disheartened by his results in the 2012 Open. Driven to win, Castenada says he’s been training hard to redeem himself.

Also with 297 reps but a fourth-place finish for the week was CrossFit Springfield’s, Macy Mitchell. While in college, Mitchell won the National 400-meter Championship and was ranked 52nd worldwide in the 2011 Open. He went to the 2011 Games on team CrossFit Springfield, but took last year off to focus on his growing family. Dealing with a cartilage tear in his sternum, Mitchell submitted a score of one rep in 13.1. Once released from doctors orders, Mitchell plowed into the Open, placing 18th last week and fourth in 13.3.

Overall, Justin Allen (CrossFit Bellator) is holding the first place position in North Central. Allen scored a 286 this week and was second in the workout last year with a 280.

Joshua Page, of Reckless CrossFit, is in North Central’s second overall spot. After 13.2, Page was asked what he would like to see in upcoming weeks.

"In the upcoming weeks, I would love to see some high-rep wall balls, high-skill gymnastics, maybe some burpee muscle-ups or just even muscle-ups,” he said.

Congratulations, Joshua Page. You got what you asked for.

In third place overall was last week’s top man, Michael Bodi of CrossFit North Wall. Bodi achieved 266 reps in 13.3. This is the first Open for the 27-year-old carpenter from Chicago.

Newcomer Sam Dancer (Q-Town CrossFit) placed seventh overall this week and the 2012 third fittest man, Kyle Kasperbauer, finished 18th. CrossFit Lincoln’s, Phillip Kniep, finished in 31st with 266 reps.


This week, the North Central team competition was tight.

Pastorek’s CrossFit VisOne held first with 1,564 reps.

Games veterans CrossFit Springfield also had 1,564 reps for a second-place finish. CrossFit Rockford was one point behind and in third with 1,563 total reps for the week.

Overall, a familiar name sits in the first place Team position — CrossFit Kilo. Powerhouses Armand and Sarah McCormick, along with the familiar names of Sonia Rodriguez and Jessica Wass will make this team hard to beat.

CrossFit 515 was ninth in points this week, but second overall, thanks to first- and second-place finishes in weeks past.

Third overall is CrossFit Springfield. Packed with strong Regional athletes, CrossFit Springfield is a force to be reckoned with in North Central. 

Quad City CrossFit-Live Uncommon may have changed their name, but the players remain the same in this year’s competition. They were eighth overall.

Finally, CrossFit Jenks, a North Central favorite, moved into 11th overall. Christina Merlo, Paige Millspaugh and four-time Games athlete, Breck Berry, highlight the team known as the Six-Man Wolf Pack. 


In all divisions, Masters athletes from North Central are highlighted on the worldwide Leaderboard.

The top 20 worldwide in each division make the cut to compete at the CrossFit Games. Currently, North Central has 15 Masters athletes in contention.

In the Women’s 40-44 Division is Krista Colson (CrossFit Rockford). Although she sits 19th overall in her division, she is 44th in line for Regionals, so athletes on both Leaderboards have been feeling her heat.

Frank Colavita of CrossFit Greendale is third overall in the Masters Men’s 45-49 Division. Colavita scored a 255 and this is the 49-year-old’s last year in this age category. Following close behind is Brent Colson of CrossFit Rockford. Colson scored a 260 this week and is sixth on the Leaderboard.

Shelley Noyce, as always, is making her presence known in the Women’s 55-59 Leaderboard, scoring 240 reps. While that is the same as her score from 12.4, she still holds ninth place worldwide.

In the Masters Men 55-59 Division, Denny Hawkins added nine muscle-ups to his double-unders, scoring a 249. He currently stands third worldwide.

In Masters Men 60+, Ken Woolfenden of CrossFit Springfield moved into seventh place with 240 reps. Also in the 60+ Division, Andrea Woodyatt (CrossFit Rockford) is tied for fifth.

And last, but certainly not least, CrossFit Springfield’s, Cindi Little, a CrossFit coach, Games veteran and mother of six continues to make her presence known on the 60+ Women’s Leaderboard. Little scored 240 reps in 13.3.

Next week, North Central hosts the Live 13.4 Announcement. It will be held this Wednesday in St.Charles, Mo., at CrossFit TNT at 5 p.m. PT. Don’t miss out on the showdown between fan favorites Chris Spealler and Graham Holmberg.

Be there!