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May 27, 2015

5 Interesting Facts from the California, Pacific & East Regionals You May Have Missed

Written by Damect Dominguez

This weekend saw competitors from the Pacific, East and California Regionals battle for qualification to the Games, and given the wealth of talent on display, there were plenty of fireworks. In addition to naming the 5 men, 5 women and 5 teams that qualified from each Regional, we wanted to make you aware of the X storylines that might have slipped by you.


(1) Mathew Fraser
(2) Alex Vigneault
(3) Daniel Tyminski
(4) Spencer Hendel
(5) Austin Malleolo


(1) Michele Letendre
(2) Dani Horan
(3) Kari Pearce
(4) Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault
(5) Kelley Jackson


(1) Pro 1 Montreal
(2) CrossFit Milford
(3) CrossFit New England
(4) Fiternity
(5) CrossFit Plateau 2

(1) Khan Porter
(2) Rob Forte
(3) Chad Mackay
(4) Kevin Manuel
(5) Ben Garard


(1) Kara Webb
(2) Alethea Boon
(3) Tia-Clair Toomey
(4) Denae Brown
(5) Sammy Wood


(1) Schwartzs CrossFit Melbourne
(2) Zaks Pack East Tamaki
(3) CrossFit Rocks
(4) CrossFit Athletic
(5) CrossFit Active

(1) Dan Bailey
(2) Neal Maddox
(3) Jon Pera
(4) Julian Alcaraz
(5) Chad Melton


(1) Brooke Ence
(2) Lindsey Valenzuela
(3) Chyna Cho
(4) Alessandra Pichelli
(5) Rebecca Voigt


(1) NorCal CrossFit
(2) CrossFit 808
(3) Kinnick
(4) CrossFit Invictus
(5) Diablo CrossFit Anejo


1. Becca Voigt makes it 8 straight
By grabbing the final qualifying spot at the California Regional (by 12 points), Becca Voigt stands alone as the only athlete in CrossFit to make it to the Games eight times. What makes that fact even more impressive is that 2015 will mark her eighth consecutive trip—Voigt has competed at every Games since 2008.

2. Rookie Kari Pearce qualifies for the Games…with only 7 months of CrossFit experience

That’s right. Pearce, a former collegiate gymnast for the University of Michigan, first started competing in CrossFit in November of 2014. Speaking after her 3rd place finish at the East Regional, Pearce described her experience in the sport:

“I competed in a powerlifting competition back in November, so that built up my basic strength, and I started coaching at a CrossFit box in October. I was doing powerlifting training until November, and picked up on CrossFit training after that.”

Though Pearce’s rapid ascension to the Games is ridiculous, remember that she represents the 1% in this sport. Still, bravo to Pearce for qualifying to the Games on her first attempt.

3. Big names fail to qualify

With the new qualifying format for the 2015 Regionals—where regions are combined to create ‘Super Regionals’—the level of competition has risen significantly across all Regionals. We expected to see some Games athletes miss out on qualification this year, but the California Regional saw some major causalities. Josh Bridges (4th at the 2014 Games), Kenny Leverich (19th at the 2014 Games), Valerie Voboril (5th at the 2014 Games) and Lauren Fisher (9th at the 2014 Games) all failed to qualify for the 2015 Games. In the East, Paul Tremblay (who finished 31st at the 2014 Games and competed with Team Canada at the CrossFit Invitational) missed out on qualifying by 13 points. The biggest name to miss out from the Pacific Regional was Brandon Swann, who finished 10th after placing 30th at the Games last year.

4. Could CrossFit Invictus reload for the Games?

The 2015 Affiliate Cup looks to be the most exciting team competition at the Games in years, as Hack’s Pack UTE (led by 2014’s 6th fittest man, Tommy Hackenbruck), NorCal CrossFit (featuring 2014’s 3rd fittest man Jason Khalipa) and CrossFit Mayhem (featuring 4x Games champ Rich Froning) look set to square off against one another. With the stars from these three teams understandably grabbing the spotlight, people might have forgotten about the affiliate champions from 2014—CrossFit Invictus. Invictus qualified from the California Regional in the 4th spot, but since both Lauren Fisher and Rasmus Andersen (who was a member of the 2014 Championship team) were left on Invictus’ roster during the Open, they are technically available to participate with the team at the Games this summer. Fisher and Andersen competed as individuals at the California Regional, but with neither qualifying one might wonder if Invictus would consider adding some serious firepower to their squad by including them as team competitors. It remains to be seen if the coaches at Invictus would consider such an option—watch this space.

5. A comeback for the ages at the Pacific Regional

26 year-old Australian Ben Garard punched his ticket to his first ever CrossFit Games by completing a monumental comeback on the final day of competition at the Pacific Regional. At the end of day 1, Garard sat in 29th place. He moved up 17 places after the three events on Saturday, but heading into the final workout of the Regional he was still in 10th position, 5 spots outside of qualification for the Games. Only a win would ensure Garard’s spot at the Games, and the Australian accomplished just that—in emphatic fashion no less. Gerard went unbroken on his 15 muscle-ups and 5 cleans on his way to setting an event record of 1:17.9. Gerard’s win in event 7 moved him into a tiebreak for 5th with James Connew, but because Gerard won the event (and Connew had no event wins), he managed to secure qualification and complete an epic comeback.

The final week of Regionals concludes this weekend with the West, Central and Meridian competitions.

Photo credit: “©2015 CrossFit, Inc. Used with permission from CrossFit, Inc.”

About Damect Dominguez

Co-founder of BoxLife Magazine. Author: Training Day: 400+ Workouts to Incorporate in Your Training.

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