The first of five CrossFit Games regionals weekends is now behind us, and it was even more impressive than I could have hoped. I made the trip up to Vancouver, B.C. to help out three athletes I have the pleasure of coaching – Taryn Romanowich, Erica Livett and Steve Howell (pictured above on the right). I decided to make this trip because these three athletes have been unwavering in their dedication to becoming the best athletes they can be. Steve and I started working together almost immediately after last year’s CrossFit Games, and I don’t believe he’s missed a single training day since. His commitment has been outstanding. Taryn and Erica joined up in the Fall and followed suit, making some huge gains in the process. This weekend was their time to shine, and they didn’t disappoint.
Erica started the weekend off by nearly cutting her “Diane” time in half, a huge PR of more than 7 minutes. Throughout the weekend she continued to improve, never finishing out of the top 10 in the remaining five workouts. Taryn’s performance on the DB Snatch/Sprint workout was inspiring as she mowed through the DB snatches to take 8th in the event. When the weekend was over, Erica had locked up 8th, and Taryn 14th overall. An amazingly successful weekend for two athletes who came a long way over the last 6-7 months, and will be even more prepared when next year’s regionals come around.
Steve met or exceeded his goals for each of the six events over the course of the weekend. His scores were good enough to easily lock up a third place finish. Despite knowing that he could not finish higher than third going into the last event, Steve put up one of the most impressive performances of the weekend, running away with first place by more than a minute to finish Event 6 in 15:30. It was exactly how I would want any athlete to close the show, giving everything they had whether the result mattered or not. Couldn’t have been more proud of Steve at that moment, or over the course of the weekend.
All of the athletes in Canada West were treated to an amazing venue at the Richmond Olympic Oval. It would be tough to imagine a better indoor venue. The event was extremely well-organized, the judges were well-briefed and consistent, the events ran on time, and the athletes were taken care of with a great warm-up and relaxation area. All in all, it was damn-near flawless. My gratitude and congratulations go out to the organizers of the event and the countless volunteers who made it happen.
Outside of Canada, several other honorary Invictus athletes were doing amazing things at the South East and South Central Regionals. In the South East, April Lowe earned an 8th place finish, and Team Vida Brickell athletes Larissa Branson and Sergio Alcantara helped their team to a 4th place finish.
In the South Central region, Aja Barto was turning heads around the globe with a blazing fast event 2 time of 13:13, and then on Sunday became the first athlete to clear the Snatch Ladder. After accumulating a total of 300 double-unders, Aja stepped up and snatched 295 lbs to earn the top score in the region – and the rest of the world. Aja finished out the weekend well, and earned himself a trip back to Carson for the 2012 CrossFit Games.
I am extremely happy for all of these athletes. Regardless of where they ranked, they each achieved huge victories in their journey to and during the course of the weekend. Each walks away holding their head high and if they’re a fraction as proud of themselves as I am of them, they will be feeling good tomorrow despite six grueling workouts over the weekend.
And of course, the weekend’s events have me beyond excited for the Southern California Regionals on May 11. If you have been on the fence as to whether you were going to come out and join the Sea of Green, just take a few minutes to watch some videos of the various regions. The amount of energy in those arenas is addictive. This is not an event you want to miss!