March 18, 2013
Week Two in Review: Canada East
By Chris Cooper

The women of CrossFit Altitude demonstrated they're still among the world's best this week.

The women of CrossFit Altitude demonstrated they're still among the world's best this week.

Even with Lacey Van Der Marel shifting to Outlaw CrossFit North, the trio of Britney Holmberg, Perry Hanlon and Jennifer Morris shone in 13.2. With 369, 351 and 331, respectively, the Altitude women powered their team into the top spot in Canada East, one point ahead of both CrossFit Laval and CrossFit Select.

The second-highest score in the region this week was the small tribe from CrossFit WAF. With only 10 participants registered for the Open, WAF still managed a total of 1,915 reps among their top athletes — Kristine Andali, Jenine Andali, Rebecca Clingersmith, Russell Pettypiece, Bill Thurston and Justin Grove.

Holmberg, of Altitude, and Andali, of WAF, both recovered from serious injuries this year, and their scores are a testament to their resolve.

"Sometimes you forget how much simplicity can hurt, but it hurt good," Holmberg says. "I loved it.”

Among the men, Albert-Dominic Larouche won his first CrossFit Games Open event in two years with 13.2. When his first score failed to place him in a top spot, Larouche, like many others worldwide, took a second attempt. His score of 349 was enough to vault him over Paul Tremblay and into the pole position, a familiar one for Larouche.

Charles Felx Leduc, the former Strongman who triumphed in 13.1, put on an impressive display, but fell to sixth. Though the weights were light for Leduc, 159 box jumps is a big feat for a big man.

For the women, Elma Ducic's score of 377 gave her a big push up the Leaderboard. The story emerging out of Canada East, though, won't come from a solitary event, or perhaps even the first-place position.

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet maintains her top spot overall, but former teammates, Van Der Marel and Holmberg are battling for second. Many of last year's top female finishers are already back in the top 10, including Ducic and Michele Letendre, either of whom could still win at Regionals, as Letendre proved last year.

In Masters Men 45-49 Division, Bruce Young proved every rep really does count on 13.2. His 286 points edged out Marc Chiarelli and Tom MacKay, each of whom scored 285, to keep him in first overall.

"13.2 was a real gasser. Strategy was key," Young says. "You always needed to keep moving while avoiding getting fatigued. I'm very happy to have moved from 106 after 13.1 to 57th in the world, while holding on to first in Canada East."

In the Masters Women 55-59 Division, Lee Ann Underwood rose from third to first in the region by hammering 273 reps on 13.2. She sits in 43rd worldwide, but with three workouts to go, she's within striking distance of a berth to the Games.

Betty-Lou Mancuso climbed from fourth to second in the same age group. Her husband, Dave stayed up all night after the announcement to build new plyometric boxes for their gym, CrossFit Catalyst. He's also competing, and currently ranked 23rd in Canada East in the Masters Men 50-54 Division.

The top of the Leaderboard in Canada East is never predictable. What can be predicted, though, is a fight to the finish, with several competitors in all categories displaying impressive fitness that is broad and inclusive. As the Open moves into its third week, will positions be solidified, or will last year's best be dethroned?