Athletes from the North Central and Central East regions gathered at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for just five spots in each division of the CrossFit Games.
On the women’s side, redemption was a common theme. Stacie Tovar and Lindy Barber were looking to qualify after missing out in 2014, and Nicole Holcomb, Elisabeth Akinwale and Shelia Barden had goals of getting back to Carson, California, yet again. And one young rookie was just hoping to make a splash. Brooke Wells did just that by winning Event 1—Randy—in a record time of 2:21.6, then going on to win the regional.
Perhaps the most devastating and inspirational moments came from four-time CrossFit Games competitor Julie Foucher. After suffering an Achilles tear in Event 3, she completed as much of the remaining events as she could—clad in a medical boot. Foucher has said 2015 is her last year of competition.
“That’s the heart of a competitor right there,” analyst Bill Grundler said of Foucher as she muscle-snatched 85 lb. in Event 5 after a booted handstand walk that earned her 11th place. “That’s a true competitor—‘Keep me in the game ’cause I want to play.’”
The men’s side had a similar mix of veterans hoping to make it back, rookies hoping to get their chance and longtime regional competitors hoping to finally make it to the Games.
In the end, the Central is sending just two rookies—Wells and Alex Anderson—and eight veterans—Holcomb, Tovar, Akinwale, Barber, Scott Panchik, Jacob Heppner, Nick Urankar and 2010 champion Graham Holmberg.
Video by Marston Sawyers.