March 18, 2013
Week Two in Review: Northern California
By Sam Radetsky

NorCal CrossFit athletes top the men's Leaderboard this week, and Hawaii's Brandy Richardson leads the women.

Week two of the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open is in the books and the top spots on the NorCal Leaderboard show impressive scores and familiar names.

Workout 13.2 also mixed up the Leaderboard as the massive number of box jumps (182 in NorCal’s highest performance) proved a challenge to many of NorCal’s perennial top performers.


In the Individual Men’s division, 13.2 top honors go to Diablo’s, Ben Wise, with a huge 367 reps. Wise is closely followed in a two-way tie by Santa Cruz boy and NorCal CrossFit coach Pat Barber, and CrossFit Vacaville’s, Alex Brown, who both nailed 361 reps.

Neal Maddox maintains his first place overall position with 2008 Games champ, Jason Khalipa, in second and 23-year-old Buddy Hitchcock, of CrossFit Excel, in third.


In the Individual Women’s division, CrossFit 808’s heavy hitter, Brandy Richardson, breaks up a CrossFit Diablo podium party by taking first place on 13.2 with a phenomenal 377 reps. Diablo’s Alessandra Pichelli, grabs second with 367 reps, and Whitney Heuser, Margaux Alvarez (both from Diablo), and San Francisco CrossFit’s, Courtney Walker, all share third place with 360 reps.

Overall, Richardson occupies the No. 1 spot commandingly with first-place finishes on both 13.1 and 13.2. Pichelli and Heuser are two and three. The big question is whether these three will stay team or be lured to the bright lights of Individual competition. The absence of Jenny LaBaw, due to injury must be further complicating any decision.

The NorCal Team rankings show more than 150 teams vying for the top 30 spots and a pass to Regionals. The teams range in seriousness from the competitive Diablo CrossFit Anejo, third at the Games last year, to Rocklin CrossFit Prego, consisting entirely of pregnant women and their husbands.

In the Team standings, Diablo Anejo, NorCal CrossFit and CrossFit 808 occupy the top three positions. NorCal CrossFit’s scores on the first two Open Workouts boast performances by Khalipa, Barber, Garret Fisher and Miranda Oldroyd, all of whom have proclaimed themselves Individual athletes, giving perennial top contender Rocklin CrossFit, currently in fourth place, a virtual third.


NorCal Masters athletes continue to score high on the world scene. As there is not a Regional competition in the Masters Divisions, the top 20 athletes worldwide, as based on the Open, advance directly to the Games in July.

NorCal currently has 27 athletes in the top 20 in their respective age divisions, including three in the top three — second place worldwide, Matt Beals, in the Men’s 45-49 Division, tied for third place worldwide, Del Lafountain, in the Men’s 55-59 Division and 2012 Games 55-59 champ, Marnel King, also currently in third in her division.


NorCal is replete with notable former Games athletes, and 13.2 left some further back in the rankings in a position they are unused to. Hawaii’s Elyse Umeda occupies eighth place, Annie Sakamoto, is currently tied for 19th in the Region. Chyna Cho is tied for 46th place and SoCal transplant, Katie Hogan, is tied for 61st.

For the men, Barber is strong in fourth place in the region and another SoCal transplant, David Millar, sits in 11th. Blair Morrison, fifth place at the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games, is in 30th, Gabe Subry is in 62nd and Angel Orozco is in 72nd.

There are three Open Workouts yet to come, and smart money says these experienced competitors will work their way back up to their accustomed place in the rankings, but the new stipulation that only 48 athletes progress to Regionals, as opposed to 60 in the past, lends an added urgency to each ranking.

Workout 13.3 will be announced live from Boulder, Colo., at CrossFit Roots, Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT, where Kristan Clever will face off against Talayna Fortunato.