This past weekend saw the fitness frenzy and whirlwind of WODs otherwise known as the CrossFit Regionals come to a close. For the past 4 weeks athletes in 17 regions around the world fought tooth and nail for just a handful of qualifying spots to the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games. The regional events and programming this year took a more traditional CrossFit turn, and it showed in some very surprising results.
Gymnastics, body weight movements, agility, and endurance took center stage which played into the favor of some athletes more than others. In the past a regional workout featuring heavy weights or a heavy weightlifting ladder spelled disaster for some athletes. It would put them in a point hole that was extremely difficult to climb out of. This year the smaller emphasis on heavy created a more even fitness playing field.
Year after year the Women of CrossFit continue to get stronger and better at fitness. The 2014 regionals pushed these ladies to their limits in testing their fitness, and some of the results came as a surprise to many.
2013 CrossFit Games winner Sam Briggs failed to qualify despite looking unstoppable after crushing the Open. 2013 Games 2nd place finisher Lindsey Valenzuela also failed to make the top 3 in the So Cal region resulting in no invite to the Games this summer.
The 2 time CrossFit champ Annie Thorisdottir put on a strong performance in winning the Europe regional and continuing her mission to win a 3rd title. After taking last year off to focus on medical school, Julie Foucher came back and showed that she was back and better than ever by crushing the Central East region.
On the Men’s side fan favorite and CrossFit legend Chris Spealler qualified for his 7th CrossFit Games appearance after placing 2nd in the South West. After breaking a streak of consecutive Games appearances last year, qualifying this year means so much to him since it’ll be his last: “It’s just super special because it’s going to be my last. It feels good to end where I started”.
The South West region is also sending 2 other athletes to the Games who all competed with Spealler at the 2009 Games back in the day; Tommy Hackenbruck (1st place and former leader of Hack Pack, the 2012 & 2013 Team Games champions) and Patrick Burke (3rd place).
So Cal saw a shift in leaders as Kenneth Leverich edged out perennial favorites Josh Bridges and Dan Bailey to win the region and earn a spot back to the Games.
There were also some surprises on the Men’s side in regards to who did not qualify. 2010 CrossFit Games winner Graham Holmberg failed to make it out of the ultra-competitive Central East Region. After finishing 5th as a rookie at last year’s Games, Garret Fisher looked poised to take the CrossFit world by storm. He had the strength, skills, looks, and hair, but the Nor Cal region proved to be too tight this year.
With the Games less than 2 months away it’s guaranteed that all of these athletes will be back to their training for either this year or next.
Were you surprised by any of the results? Who are you picking to win the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Chris Spealler is not only a CrossFit legend, but he's arguably the best bodyweight specialist to ever compete at the CrossFit Games. Watching him fly through muscle ups or handstand walk his way past the competition was truly amazing and inspiring to watch.
With over a decade of CrossFit experience as both a coach and athlete, and with 6 Games appearances, Chris Spealler has racked up a wealth of knowledge on proper movement and technique.