Jeff Tincher sends us his report from the Mid Atlantic Regional Qualifier...
On April 25 and 26, 101 men and 37 women competed in the Mid Atlantic Qualifier at the Blauer Tactical Defense/CrossFit Training Center. The facility boasts over 20,000 square feet of space and has all the equipment already in place for such a competition.
Day 1 of the qualifier featured three different workouts leading to a final WOD on Sunday. The scoring format for the weekend was Every Second Counts. Saturday's workout were as follows:
WOD 1--Row 2 kilometers for time.
WOD 2--Three rounds for time of 10 deadlifts (275 pounds for men, 185 for women) and 50 double-unders.
WOD 3--For time: Run 400 meters, 21 overhead squats (95/65), 21 box jumps (24 inches/20 inches); run 400 meters, 15 overhead squats, 15 box jumps; run 400 meters, 9 overhead squats, 9 box jumps.
Rowing two kilometers in under seven minutes has been a CrossFit challenge for a long time. We had 23 men go sub-seven, with the winning time of 6:36 posted by John Weiss of CrossFit Virginia Beach. Seven women went under eight minutes, with a top time of 7:43 turned in by Jessica France, also from CrossFit Virginia Beach.
The deadlift/double-under workout tested brute strength combined with one of the most nettlesome CrossFit exercises: the double-under. The goal of the workout was to find strong athletes who were also agile and had a high level of co-ordination. The winning men's time was a blazing 2:52 turned in by Chris Woods of CrossFit BWI. The top female time was clocked by Christy Phillips of Primal Fitness--an amazing 3:01.
The third workout on Saturday was a triplet. Running, overhead squats and box jumps turned out to be a brutal combination, and the event took place outside in 90-degree heat. Many competitors struggled with the overhead squat (which is exactly why it was chosen). The point of performance most struggled with was getting the crease of the hip below the knee while stabilizing the load overhead. In the box jump, the athlete had to come to full extension on the box top (or above the box top) and both feet had to be completely on the box (no heels sticking off). If the athletes landed with heels off, they were allowed to adjust before coming off the box, but doing so cost valuable seconds. The winning male time was Blair Morrison's eight minutes flat. Morrison was an incredible 64 seconds ahead of his closest rival. Nicole Gordon had the fastest female time at 9:33.
After Saturday's workouts were done, Sunday's WOD was announced. The workout was a couplet of barbell snatches and chest-to-bar pull-ups. The barbell snatch is the most technical lift in CrossFit, and if you're a serious Crossfitter you've taken the time and put forth the effort to learn the exercise. The points of performance for the snatch were each repetition had to start from the ground, and the crest of the hip had to come below the knee at some point during the rep. Then the athlete had to rise to full extension with the load stabilized overhead. The loads chosen were 95 pounds for the guys and 65 for the ladies.
Pull-ups are a CrossFit staple. We used the same standards as the 2008 CrossFit Games. The elbows and shoulders had to be fully extended at the bottom of the repetition, and at the top of the chest below the clavicle had to come in contact with the bar. The rep-round pattern was the oft-used 21-15-9.
All competitors from Saturday got to do the workout on Sunday. The last two heats were made up of the Top 10 males and females from Saturday. The starts were staggered in the last two heats to add to the drama and intensity. Morrison went to the final men's heat with a 2:07 lead. Phillips went to the final ladies' heat with a 1:39 lead.
When the ladies heat was over, Philips had the second fastest time of the day and increased her overall lead. She took first place in the women's category, winning by 2:24. On the guy's side, Morrison was flawless on the snatches but to our surprise struggled with the pull-ups. He posted the 22nd fastest time of the day and slipped from first to second in the overall standings. Out of nowhere came 18-year-old Ben Smith, who trains in his backyard. Ben was in ninth place at the start of Sunday's final heat. He was the first person to sign up for the regional qualifier, and he blew us all away on Sunday. He had the fastest time on the final WOD by 28 seconds and was the only athlete to go under six minutes. His time of 5:59 vaulted him from ninth to first when all was said and done. What does the future hold for this young man?
The Top 6 males who qualified for the 2009 CrossFit Games were Smith, Morrison, Josh Wagner, Chad Wilkinson, Jon Matzner and Pat Sherwood. The Top 6 women were Philips, Gordon, Maggie Dabe, Lee Knight, Glory Dawson and Amanda Miller.
The Mid-Atlantic Qualifier went off without a hitch, and I'd like to thank all the sponsors and volunteers and Tony Blauer for all their help.