"We are not going to be the strongest, and probably not the fastest, but we do have a high work capacity, a lot of athletic skill and a whole lot of heart." ~Bobby Noyce
CrossFit 515 did it.
A few months ago, the box pooled top competitors together to form its best team yet. Now, they’re heading to the CrossFit Games in Carson, Calif.
Lindsay Vaught, Jaime Noyce, Kady Onken and Bobby Noyce all gave up their opportunity to compete as individuals to compete on the team.
Coming into the North Central Regional from hometown Des Moines, Iowa, 515 placed second, seventh and third in the first day’s events at Navy Pier in Chicago. They went on to earn first place in both Event 4 and Event 6.
Leading the Way
“Move quick” was the motto from Bobby, who leads the team.
Siblings Lindsay and Jaime swear by Bobby’s programming. Although he is the youngest team member, the group considers him a great coach and motivator.
“Since Regionals, we haven't necessarily ramped up the volume of our training, but I think we all feel some urgency of having limited training days left,” Vaught says.
The team often does additional strength and skill work along with the gym’s daily workout.
“Bobby does our programming, and I don't know the method to his madness, or if he even has one, but something is working,” Jaime says.
She adds: “I'm not sure it's completely sunk in yet that we'll be going there this year to compete, instead of just watch … but I get to do it with my family and some of my best friends right alongside me.”
A Family Affair
The Noyce siblings have been to Carson in the past to cheer on their mother Shelley in the Masters 55-59 Division. Shelley finished 11th in the world in 2012 and won her division in 2011. She came in seventh worldwide in this year’s Open and has earned another spot competing at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games.
Balancing time at the gym with their personal lives is nothing new to the Noyces.
“Balancing work, a 1-year-old and the amount of training we've been doing is a lot, but I love the training process and I know that competing at the Games may very well be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Vaught says. “It helps that my entire family is usually at the gym, and my son loves it, so spending four hours a day there isn't time away from the family.”
Bobby is helping the team build focus as they get ready to head to Carson.
“As far as training has been going, we have still stuck to following the core principles of CrossFit with an emphasis on heavy and high-skilled movements,” he explains. “Basically, target our weaknesses without completely neglecting our strengths. And most importantly, continue to prepare ourselves for a CrossFit competition.”
The team has also come up with some creative opportunities to train for the unknown, including a field trip to the Army National Guard base in Des Moines to play on their obstacle course.
“How well it did at preparing us for anything Dave Castro has in store for us, I don't know,” Jaime says with a laugh. “But it was definitely a lot of fun!”
A Little Help From Your Friends
Team member Patrick Neal was getting married on the Regional weekend, so Nate Yoho filled his spot in Chicago and helped the team qualify for the final stage of competition. Even with a roster change from Regionals, 515’s spirits are high.
“We are all extremely excited to see Pat back in action,” Bobby says. “He brings a very rare combination of brute strength and incredible athletic ability to the table for us.”
Onken delivered a top performance in the Open, coming in seventh as an individual. Opting to compete for the team helped propel them to a third-place finish in North Central.
If someone would have told me that I would be going to the Games a year ago, I would have laughed,” Onken says. “Training with this team has been one of the best experiences of my life. We are all super excited to get to Carson and compete with the best teams in the world.”
Teammate Billy Coder says 515’s fan base is extra motivation for him.
“I didn't realize it until I got to the finish mat to end Event 1,” Coder says. “(The 515 fans) almost pulled me over the barricade into the crowd. They don’t realize how much they motivate me, and that was a moment I'll never forget.”
Looking ahead to the Games, Coder has high hopes.
“I expect the degree of difficulty for the Games Events to increase, obviously,” he says. “That's what I personally look forward to. We have a group of very skilled CrossFit athletes and we tend to do better as the difficulty level goes up.”
Vaught agrees saying, “I feel like we're ready for anything.”
Bobby knows it’s a tough road but wants to prove the same.
“It all feels very surreal and I don't think the full reality of competing for the title ‘Fittest on Earth’ will set in until we are getting briefed for the first workout in Carson,” he says. “We are not going to be the strongest, and probably not the fastest, but we do have a high work capacity, a lot of athletic skill and a whole lot of heart. More than anything else, I am flat out excited to show people what we can do.”