March 24, 2013
Week Three in Review: Northern California
By Sam Radetsky

In the tradition of repeating a previous year’s workout, 13.3 was déjà vu all over again, a repeat of 2012 Open Workout 12.4.

Everyone knew it was coming. Wall balls are a CrossFit staple and have been included in just about every Open, Regional and Games event. But no one was predicting 150 of them to start out Workout 13.3. In the tradition of repeating a previous year’s workout, 13.3 was déjà vu all over again, a repeat of 2012 Open Workout 12.4.

The combination of low-skill wall ball, the highly coordinated double-under and the high-skill muscle-up was classic CrossFit and brought a wide range of attributes to the fore.

Workout 13.3 proved to be redemption of sorts for many of the top NorCal CrossFit competitors who found themselves in uncharacteristically low spots after 13.2 and its huge number of box jumps.


With the top three places locked down by Neal Maddox, Jason Khalipa and Pat Barber, respectively, the NorCal Leaderboard looks remarkably similar to last year’s. The only exception is the absence of multiple Games athlete, Joey Warren, out due to shoulder injury.

Maddox’s 320 repetitions garner him his second first-place finish, and second place in the workout worldwide. Khalipa takes second in NorCal with 305 reps and remains in second overall.

SoCal transplant and former Games competitor, David Millar, now out of CrossFit West in Santa Cruz, nails 296 reps for third place. Pat ‘Manimal’ Barber usurps the overall third place in NorCal, but Garret Fisher and Millar closely follow.


Workout 13.3 belongs to CrossFit Sonoma County’s Sarah Pierce. Her score of 266 reps edges out Chyna Cho, of CrossFit One World (263 reps), and Diablo’s Eleni Frediani (262 reps) for first place. Workout 13.3 marks former Games athlete Cho’s first foray into the higher ranks this year.

Alessandra Pichelli moves into first place this week. Pichelli, who placed 22nd in the 2012 Open, maintains a three-point lead over Sarah Pierce, and six points over third-placed Brandy Richardson, out of Hawaii’s CrossFit 808.

Two Diablo teammates, Whitney Heuser and Friediani, lurk close behind Pichelli in the four and five spots. With two Open Workouts still to come, the NorCal women’s field is wide open.


Diablo CrossFit Anejo, third-place finishers at the big show in Carson last year, remains in first overall for the third straight week. Only one point separates them from NorCal CrossFit, headed by Khalipa and fleshed out by well known CrossFitters Barber and Miranda Oldroyd.

The mantra this year of CrossFit 808 is redemption. Disqualified for a positive testing at last year’s Regionals, 808 is captained by former individual Games athlete, Elyse Umeda (currently sixth in NorCal), and boasts Brandy Richardson, who won the first two Open Workouts and is currently in third in NorCal. After 13.3, CrossFit 808 occupies the third place on the NorCal Leaderboard, just points ahead of Rocklin CrossFit and CrossFit West.


The Masters Divisions are heating up. The new 40-44 Division has Regional-worthy performances and scores. NorCal, as with last week, is well represented in the five age group divisions. The top 20 athletes in each age division qualify directly for the Games, as there is not a Regional for the Masters.

The men continue their charge to the Games. Matt Beals, a fighter pilot competing out of CrossFit Fifty in Oahu, Hawaii, tightens his grip on a Games slot with a fourth place in the 45-49 Division. Diablo CrossFit co-owner, Craig Howard, sits in eighth place in the 50-54 Division, and Del LaFountain, of South Tahoe CrossFit is tied for third in the 55-59 Division. The 60+ Division in NorCal is being led by current fourth-place holder and returning Games competitor, Clarke Holland, of Tamalpais CrossFit.

For the NorCal women, Lisa Rendic, out of CrossFit San Rafael, is sitting strong tied for 12th in the 40-44 Division. Rocklin CrossFit’s big gun, Lynn Hunter, is in second in the 45-49 Division. As she has competed for the Rocklin team in the past, the question remains whether she will focus on individual competition or remain team.

Hylie Thompson, yet another product of the Diablo CrossFit competition factory, holds the highest NorCal ranking in the 50-54 Division with fifth place. In the 55-59 Division, CrossFit San Jose’s defending champion, Marnel King, is currently in second place. King was the only woman in the 55-59 Division to nail a muscle-up on 13.3, hitting two of them. Hawaii’s, Mary Schwing, is in fourth place in the 60+ Division, marking a probable Games position for CrossFit 808.

The Future

Workout 13.4 will be announced live from CrossFit TNT and will feature 2010 Games champion, Graham Holmberg and fan favorite, Chris Spealler.

But all NorCal eyes are on the final workout of the 2013 Open. Workout 13.5 will bring two-time champ Rich Froning, the Fittest Man in the World, and 2008 champ Jason Khalipa to Santa Cruz, the homeland of CrossFit, for a head-to-head battle of fitness. The announcement will be at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, a venue that has previously boasted Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Smashing Pumpkins and even the Dalai Lama. Tickets for the April 3 slugfest sold out in mere hours.