Alabama (inc. TN, MS) Sectional

AL/TN/MS Sectional Results

The 'Bama Sectional has concluded and the results are in. Event organizer Russell Berger is happy with Day 1 results, aside from a pull-up bar malfunction which put the first day an hour behind schedule, things are shaping up nicely for Day 2.

After the first day of competition the following competitors find themselves within the top 5 heading into Sunday:

1. Rich Froning Jr.
2. Drew Shamblin
3. Mike McGoldrick
4. Aaron Betts
5. Forrest Walden

1. Christina Van Der Hulst
2. Michelle Kinney
3. Amber Hill
4. Shyla Cundall
5. Carissa Boone

Day 2 registration starts on-site at 8am. Briefing of the movement standards will go down at 9am. All athletes must be present.

Event 4:

As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
5 Handstand Push-ups
95 pound Squat snatch, 7 reps
20" Box jumps, 10 reps

As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
3 Handstand Push-ups
55 pound Squat snatch, 7 reps
20" Box jumps, 10 reps

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102 comments on this entry

1. Matt Baird wrote...


Keep it up big dawg. Gotta represent for T-town.

2. Lisa wrote...

More wall balls are u kidding couldn't they think of something else????

3. fox wrote...

i guess they are trying to get their $ worth out of the wall ball target.

4. WOW!!! wrote...

WOW that girl is PIPING HOT!!!

5. Jim Moore wrote...

Box jumps were announced on site, not wall balls. Which is it?

6. Russell Berger wrote...

Sorry folks, I sent in some bad info last night on accident. Here is the correct version of today's events-

7 Squat snatch @ 95 pounds
10 box jumps @ 20"

7 Squat snatch @ 55 pounds
10 box jumps @ 20"

Good luck!

7. ed wrote...

looks like a great in the PA sectional next weekend and The "fittest woman" in the world still hasn't annouced the WODs....sooooooo annoying.

8. Damon - Wasatch wrote...

Great programming, nice work. Can't wait to see some video.

9. CrossFit Innovate wrote...

Go Team CrossFit Innovate !!!

10. ferb44 wrote...

Just wondering where klowe is in the rankings. I know he is a beast and has to be in the top 15. Good luck to all and God bless crossfitters.

11. Karen wrote...

Way to go, Chrissy. Next stop Jacksonville!

12. Tom wrote...

K. Lowe ended up 9th. Final scores up at

13. 2POOD.COM wrote...

A video of Stephen from WOD 1. Thanks to all for stopping by our booth, great event!

14. amber wrote...

Hi. Just wanted to give some comments on this weekend's crossfit events.

I came as a spectator to a competitor and I was very disappointed in the way things were ran.

$25 per person/day is outrageous. You guys weren't selling anything, and the set up was awful. At most I would've gone for $25/weekend. We paid, but I know a lot of people didn't, I don't personally blame them. Then on day 2, You (Russell) threatened them with brute force if they didn't leave when you swept the crowd. Isn't crossfit about getting the name out there and getting people to get pumped about the sport? If i didn't know anything about it, I would've left and never wanted to know anything about it ever again. That was just stupid.

Then, you wall ball target was ...just... well I don't really have words.

Your pull up bar..contraption ... was DANGEROUS. even YOU fell off of it. Putting people in danger is a little off kelter don't you think?

I wouldn't say anything, but I overheard rumors that you might be hosting this again next year? You need serious adjustments if that's the case. Trying to make money of this is one thing, but what do you care more about? Safety, money? getting the name out there and letting people learn about the sport? or money? To me, this weekend, it seemed like the money, so I hope you made it.

Have a good one.

15. Russell Berger wrote...

I'm sorry you left this weekend disappointed. I'm also sorry you feel that our event was too expensive. I'm actually in agreement with you, which is why all spectators were given a free t-shirt.
as for my "threat", the event you are referencing is a total misrepresentation of what actually occurred. Two members of my staff noticed two spectators who looked out of place and did not have wristbands on. They asked these individuals to register and were met with hostility and a lack of cooperation. My female staff members felt uneasy and were unsure of how to proceed. My announcement was not a threat, but a reminder that there were several off-duty police officers competing who would be happy to physically remove people from the premises that do not belong. If you had some idea of the geography of the area we were in, you would understand that it wasn't the best part of town, and it was advised to me by one of these off duty police officers that this was the best course of action. If you weren't doing anything wrong, then I would have a hard time understanding how you took this as a threat.

We had two pull-up bar stations, one was constructed specifically for this event, one was a pull-up cage from my gym that has been in use for over two years. This is the cage that broke. Obviously this could not have been predicted, though while I took the glass-half-full approach of viewing this as a success ( meaning I fell and not our compeitors) I see that you don't. Do you do Crossfit? If you do, then I've got some bad news for you, there are potential risks involved. Have you ever been to another professional sporting event? a Hockey game or a football game? I guarantee you have seen more dangerous things happen. The fact that we pulled the second cage from the event, skillfully managed to reduce our heats and still get all athletes through, and had not a single injury is apparently not important enough for you to acknowledge.

I also find it hilarious that you view "making money" as somehow at odds with hosting a successful competition. If you had any idea of how difficult, expensive, and time-consuming hosting an event like this was, you would realize how important charging enough from spectators and participants is. If you didn't think it was worth the 50 bucks to see 92 athletes go through four events over 2 days, with nearly 17 hours of athletic competition for you to view, then you shouldn't have paid it.

16. Kyle Mooneyham wrote...

I have some agreements and some disagreements. Yes I thought that $50 was overpriced for spectators, and the pull up contraption was dangerous, but Russell didn't even consider using
it the second he fell off of it. That is why it took so long to finish the 3rd WOD, because we used the safe pull up bars. On the wall ball target, yeah it sucked as a competitor, and yeah I bitched a little but get over it, it's crossfit, it's not suppose to be easy, I would rather be held to a higher standard. Yes, I am sure there were some people there on Saturday that didn't pay but not very many, and just because Russell called some of them out on Sunday doesn't make him the bad guy. It's not fair to the other people who did pay to have somebody else watching for free, so don't blame Russell for enforcing the rules. Overall I thought it was very well ran, and Russell, the staff and volunteers did a very good job rolling with punches as they were dealt. If crossfit Huntsville hosts the event next year I know I will be there.

17. Melissa W. wrote...

Thanks for hosting a fun event. My family got to come and see all the amazing competitors and meet folks from other CrossFit boxes in the area. It was great to be so close to all the action and was nicely laid out for spectators. For what its worth, I thought the price was fair.

18. Mark wrote...

Congratulations Drew & Josh from Team CrossFit Innovate for making us proud.

19. reid wrote...


I enjoyed the event as a spectator. You could not have been more swift in dealing with the broken pull up bar. The only suggestion I would make would be that the language in much of the music was unacceptable for the many kids that were in attendance. I am all for using it for motivation for the competitors and spectators, but there are pleny of songs out there that would've served the same purpose.This is an observation from a parent and Crossfitter. Repetitive foul language in the presence of children did not enhance the show. In all fairness there was clean music as well.Otherwise....great event!

20. Anonymous wrote...

I didn't get a free tshirt! And we paid! I actually bought 3 shirts. We had a lot of fun watching thanks for all the hard work that was put into putting it together.

21. Tasha wrote...

I just gotta comment. It's SUPPOSED to be challenging, folks! If it was easy, what's the point of competing to find the best? I can't help but chuckle.... A spectator whining about the wall ball target---REALLY?

And, as far as the pull-up bar comment, Amber, you left out the important fact that it was found to be faulty and was not used. Oh, let's complain about everything in the world that "could have" happened rather than focusing on the truth: again, that pull up bar was not used and no one was hurt.

Was $25 a day a lot to pay to cheer on someone you care about during a grueling weekend? Guess it depends on your perspective. Was it announced to everyone who registered as an athlete or spectator ahead of time? Yes, it was. Based on that info, as grown adults, we all decided whether or not to attend. There were many members from CF Huntsville who wanted to attend this weekend, but didn't because of the price. Hey, it's a choice--and as an adult, you had the free will to decide to pay and attend, or not pay and not attend. EASY, BREEZY! We all knew there were grown adults (who should've had a mother who taught them better) who were actually sneaking in to avoid paying and then getting extremely rude with the staff when questioned about it. If you didn't get the mix of serious and humor in Russell's announcement and got offeneded, maybe you should ask yourself why? Common sense tells me you'd be more offended by the lack of morals in the folks who snuck in than by Russell asking them (for a second or third time) to please go up to the registration table and pay the fee like MOST everyone else in the crowd.

There are always going to be people who aren't satisfied, but I want to say that I think the event was fun, full of energy, the staff was helpful, and the judges worked their tails off! I enjoyed every moment of watching some truly amazing athletes push themselves to their limits and met some fantastic people this weekend. Thank you to everyone who put countless hours in making it happen--and congrats to everyone who competed!

22. TREY wrote...


I don't know of any spectators that got T-shirts. However, thanks for putting this together. Everyone is going to have their complaints (mine is that I'm sore). You know that.


23. Drew Hill wrote...

Russell Berger,
You put on a great show. Amber and I had a lot of fun. We liked the classic CrossFit programming and getting to interact with the athletes. I like how you made the female programming more inviting to get more girls to participate. Thank you for being strict on the judging. That is a hard standard to keep and your team did a good job at it. I appreciate you taking the broken pull-up station out even though it meant doubling the workout time. Good call. Your setup was excellent. We set up our tent and watched every event from it. The last event was especially fun to watch. Running the competitors from last to first gave them the chance to go head to head with athletes at their fitness level. My wife worked hard to keep her third place ranking and was really looking forward to being on the podium (or a stack of bumpers or something). It was nice to give everyone a medal but it would have been even nicer to see the top three men and women standing on bumpers wearing theirs. Thanks also for having the Marines out there doing the "Earned. Never Given." thing. Everybody, competitors and spectators, had a chance to earn a prize at their tent.
Call me if you want help fabricating a pull-up station (portable or stationary). I am a certified welder/fabricator by trade (but a CrossFitter at heart lol). I built all the pullup stations for my own box and would be glad to help you with yours.

24. Craig wrote...

I was at the event all weekend and there was great athletes competing, there were quality people judging, volunteering and cheering their friends and family members on. I thought it was very well run and everyone involved did the best they could to make sure the competition was tough but fair--it was. Cross fit is about holding performance to higher standard and that was the goal. Ask the top 15 men and women if they felt fairly challenged--I feel confident most if not all would say yes. Do you learn things when put on an event like this sure--will there be improvements next year, you bet but the events were well run and we found the fittest 15 men and women to represent us at the Regional!!

I suggest Amber start doing cross fit and even consider volunteering to help with the event next year!! When you help you get a t-shirt and you get in free. You might suggest a wall ball target that is enormous so you could hit it will a marble without even squatting down then we could have everyone from the crowd compete.

It was awesome to meet all the athletes and their families--it is why I am a cross fitter and support events like this!! Quality hard working people from top to bottom.

25. Drew Hill wrote...

Just to clarify, I am talking about Amber Hill who had a great time competing, not the Amber who had a bad time spectating.

26. Matt Hughey wrote...

It was posted weeks ahead of time the prices for competitors and spectators so i cant see why anyone would whine about the price. No one is making you go,if you dont want to pay that much then dont go. Those that did not pay and were being rude to the staff were in the wrong and should have paid or been made to leave. It is wrong to criticize Russell for standing up for those who did shell out the money to be there and support the competitors. Also, as soon as the one pull up station malfunctioned Russell immediately discontinued using it and also tested the bars on the other station before any competitor used them.

Ok, I will admit that the wall ball station was cramped with competitors and was very frustrating to use but I seem to remember seeing somewhere that crossfitters should prepare for the unknown and the unknowable as well as being comfortable with being uncomfortable. There will always be things that could have been better but overall I thought the event was very well ran. The events were tough as they should have been. It was a great atmosphere and I was happy to have been there. Thanks go to Russell and Crossfit Huntsville for hosting a great sectional as well as the Marine Corp, and all other volunteers and sponsors. Good luck to all competitors moving on to regionals in Jacksonville!

27. Craig wrote...

To clarify my comment as well, I was talking about angry Amber not 3rd place rock solid Amber Hill! I had the pleasure of judging her in several WODs and I can tell you she deserved to be top 3 no question--one tough but very nice lady.

28. Smitty wrote...

$25 a day is a rip job. It is crossfit. You aren't watching big time college or pro athletes. And someone don't feel the need to argue the level of the athletes there. Don't care, $50 bucks is just too much.
Russsell - you referenced crossfit to "other professional sporting events" - not a sport buddy sorry, its training. There is a difference. Don't get carried away.

29. Trevor Brown wrote...

This was my first competition, so not sure what to expect but I had an amazing first experience! I did think $50 was steep as well for the spectators as well, but they had the choice to pay it or not. I really enjoyed running the last event in heats from bottom to top so that I got to compete with guys at my level. Pull up bar was an event no one could have predicted, it was tested, found to be faulty, and quickly taken out. I thought the overall flow of the entire event was great. I really liked the tougher standards. There were questions at times of the judges all being consistent with how strict they were on the standards, but I can tell you this did not effect my placing at all. As far as the judges go overall I thought they were great. Mine were very motivational the whole time, very informative, if I missed they let me know exactly why, very quickly, and when I wanted to slow down they made sure I didnt. I had an absolute blast, the event was an eye opener, and now I only have 364 days to do some serious work! If you guys host again I will be there for sure. Great job!

30. Disappointed wrote...

It becomes exceedingly common to see people defend poor choice of venue, lack of equipment (or quality of equipment), movements, standards, etc on "it's Crossfit, unknown and unknowable."

At some point, it should be understood that this is a serious competition. This weekend was supposed to select the 15 fittest men and women from AL/TN/MS to send to Jacksonville. There is simply no excuse for such a poorly executed event.

1) The Venue. While the space and area were plenty nice, it is entirely unreasonable to have an olympic lifting movement (squat snatch) on grass. I saw a couple competitors doing snatches from their shoelaces because of the amount their weight had buried into the soft grass/sand. Also, as was stated above, the music was entirely inappropriate for a "family" oriented event.

2) The Judging. I understand that not every judge at every event can be a level 2 certified CF trainer, but the difference in the standards behind held by each judge was ridiculous. Most commonly, I'd see judges allowing shoddy reps, then Russell or Grant (head judge) would come over and watch a few, discount most of the, and walk away. As soon as they were gone, the poorly performed reps were being counted again. In a workout like WOD 1 where a few seconds could mean as much as ten places, even one or two missed reps was huge. The disparity between the judges was simply unacceptable. It's one thing to announce movements with ridiculous strict standards (chin clears vertical plane of bar, entire foot on box, wall ball shots to a ~1 foot board etc) and hold every athlete to them. It's another to announce standards that you are simply incapable of enforcing fairly for everyone.

3) Organization. With my best regards to the dead horse, how can a pullup station/bar be completely untested until Russell himself jumps up on it to demonstrate standards?

All this aside, it was an otherwise great weekend. Nothing beats the comradarie of the CF community, and the sheer inspiration of all the hard work being done.

31. Kerri wrote...

CrossFit isn't for the weak-minded, nor for the complainers. Ask anyone that goes into a CrossFit box 2, 3, or 7 days a week. Constructive criticism? Yes. Complaining without offering up a solution? No.
Over 100,000 Nascar fans don't hesitate to pay $100+ for 3 hours of watching cars take 4 left turns in Talladega on a balmy April day, now do they? Nor do parents complain about the $5 and a Friday night they spend watching their children pour their hearts out on a court or a field.....
Bottom line, it's all about where your passion lies...And, we/they, and those who support us find that passion in CrossFit.
I was pleased in the event as a first time competitor, that didn't advance to Regionals...with that said, you WON'T hear me complaining about the $100 I 'wasted' either. It's about personal commitment and putting yourself up to a challenge.

CrossFit draws a specific caliber of people, and I can honestly say that every athlete, judge, volunteer, and MOST spectators displayed that level immaculately and with class this weekend.
I enjoyed meeting so many new faces that came into our city to partake in the fun, and I'm proud to be a member of CF HSV!!

32. Amber Hill wrote...

Thanks for all your encouragement, Craig!

33. Larry wrote...

Excellent programming, Excellent volunteers, Excellent event!

Russell and company did a great job for year one with the Sectionals. As with all big events, year one is a pathfinder year and year two will build on all of the strengths and lessons learned from year one. I think the top 15 male and female athletes are very well rounded in their fitness. I can't wait to see how they represent our Section in Regionals and Aromas.

34. Patrick Baldwin wrote...


Concerning the "announcement": The aforementioned unpaid spectators were not interested in a genteel athletic competition, they were looking to steal your purse.

Yes, the WallBall target sucked. That contraption mentally destroyed me. I must work on accuracy, found a new goat.

Concerning the pull-up cage: It has been rock solid for the year I've been swinging on it, and has seen many a first pull up by many a newb Crossfitter. It broke in transport and the weld repair was poor. It was tested, seemed fine, accidents happen.

35. Candice wrote...


How is CrossFit NOT a sport? It is competitive and requires endurance, stamina, flexibility, strength, speed, power, agility, coordination, balance, and accuracy. Sports such as football, soccer, tennis, basketball, track and field, etc., etc., require most, if not all of these ten physical skills/domains including CF, and each is competitive in nature. Just because CF events are not featured on your T.V.'s ESPN channel (yet) does not mean that CF is not a sport. CF is in its infancy, but it is growing into something huge and I think many can agree with me on that. It is just too great to too many people to not continue to grow. Your comment to Russell that it is, "not a sport buddy, sorry, its training," is your opinion, and it can be just training to some... or just a way to burn calories, or just a way to LGN, but I hate to break it to you,... buddy... to many of us it is a sport, and a damn great one at that. I am sorry you're missing out on an amazing sport and the comraderie that goes with it.

36. Craig wrote...


Glad to do it. I wish you and the rest of the athletes great success at the all earned it!!

37. KLowe wrote...

First I want to congratulate all of the competitors that laid it on the line this weekend. Several firebeathers and several doing their very first CF comp ever! This is what is all about! I much rather see someone hopping of the "fence" and finishing 73rd than the firebreather finishing well. Total respect for all my "brothers" that took the step. Very proud and something to build on!

Did you happen to notice that the competitor and spectator fees were handed down from HQ? Russell did not pull a "profitable" number out of his magic hat and enforce that number. It was, what is was. So take your complaints about spectator fees a level above and complain to CFHQ. Not the person that didn't make a dime to host this

WallBall target. Last I check....every COMPETITOR shot at the SAME target male or female. So the point you were trying to make (whatever it was) is dead in the water.

Shirts....(Amber)...send me your address. I'll send you my shirt (a competitor) shirt. You can have it. I'm sorry you didn't get a free shirt. I know several people that did.

Pullup bar. Many have made the point already that Russell Immediately eliminated the obviously malfunctioned pullup cage. All of the COMPETITORS used the same there should be no complaints. next.......

Judging. Yeah. There needs to be improvement in consistency. I vehemently agree on that topic.....but I also realize that the judges were volunteering their time away from their family and they did the best they could. Next year there will hopefully be no fear of taking aware reps that were not to stated "standards". As CF grows and the competition becomes more fierce and meaningful the judges will understand that a "standard" is a "standard" and there is no "A for effort".

Programming. I'm a certain body type and I may have bitched a bit about the programming but WOD 4 seemed to even everything out across the board. I personally feel that 1RM strength (completely different metabolic pathway) was not represented AT ALL during this event.....but isn't that what CrossFit is all about??? Prepare as a specialist and you will be PUNISHED as a specialist during these events.

Bottom line. The fittest 15 moved on to J'ville. The fittest 4 will go to California.

It was a hard fought weekend. There were no "handouts" and everyone earned the spot they were capable of representing.

KUDOS to Russell and Grant and all of the rest of the VOLUNTEERS that love CrossFit and make it happen for the rest of us (competitors and spectators)

-see ya'll in J'vill. I've got some work to do.


38. Jeff Barnett wrote...

I plan to write a more detailed review tomorrow, but I would like to quickly point out a few things:

1. I've swung on that pullup bar many times, as have many people from CrossFit Huntsville. It failed, but Russell caught it before the event started and removed it from the competition. What else could you want?

2. We all shot at the same wall ball target. If you can't handle the crowding and accuracy then you need more work capacity and mental acuity. I lost many reps on wall ball. Every rep I lost was a legitimate miss. Doom on me.

3. $50 was too expensive for spectators. This decision from HQ shows a total lack of understanding of our market. This isn't NORCAL. CrossFit has very little brand awareness in our area. Cost of living is very low in our area. $50 seems like a lot to many people. That's half of many people's monthly utility bill. We are not yet D1 college football. The $50 price tag for admission ensured that nobody spectated this weekend but existing CrossFit converts. We could have introduced hundreds of people to our lifestyle, bettered their life, and bettered our own pocketbooks (I'm an area affiliate owner) in the long term, but $50 a head right now was more important. This decision lowers my confidence in HQ and the CrossFit business model. Anytime a company I'm invested in starts looking for short term profit over long term, I get worried.

4. Russell ran a great event, on a volunteer staff, working 12 hour days. His "threat" about removing unpaid spectators was light hearted. I heard it from afar and assumed he was joking. Amber, you try to pull off something with as many moving parts as this weekend's event with volunteers and see if it goes flawlessly for you. When he got handed lemons Russell made lemonade.

5. I enjoyed the music. It was not all kid appropriate. I'm glad. I'm not a kid, and I like kid inappropriate music. I'm sure parents have a different view. I did like how Russell would announce over the swear words when he could predict them. I remember a particular rap song that went "...big old titties and big old [Russell breaks in]Four thirty two remaining in the round. [/Russell]"

39. Russell wrote...

Did you consider that we might have wanted to do these movements on grass to make them more challenging? All competitors were consistently reminded that they could move their bars as they needed. some didn't. Does it mean anything that the last heat of men had the highest score by over two rounds and yet that competitor was lifting on a horribly beaten-up surface? sounds to me like fitness prevailed.

On a side note, anyone who registered for both days, meaning came on Friday or Saturday, received a T-shirt, if this should have been you and for some reason you didn't get one, email me at and I'll get you taken care of!

40. amber wrote...

not all spectators got a free tshirt, we didn't.

i am from huntsville, and i'm familiar with the area, I don't think think it was the appropriate way to handle the situation, it still came off as a threat. I was with people that were NOT from the area, and they took it as a threat, and it made you look awful. I don't know you, so that's how I took it.

For the record, I help put on TWO huge soccer tournaments every year, so none of this criticism is coming from out of nowhere.

I think that the competitors had a great time and Russell probably did the best with what he had for the first time, I didn't mean to come off so angry, and NO i didn't realize that HQ set the prices, if I did, i wouldn't have accused him of only wanting to make money, so I apologize, but to whoever might see this in the future, $50 is TOO EXPENSIVE if you want people to learn about crossfit!!!

I realize that Russell took the pull up bar out of play and kudos for that, but shouldn't it have been tested BEFORE competition??

I realize none of this matters now, the weekend is over, and everyone has made it through safe and sound, but I just thought that this criticism could be of help to you in the future.

I for one was disappointed and I know others were too, whether they get on this board and tell you about it or not.

On the one hand, Russell, I don't think you should change the music, this is not a children's crossfit event. I don't want to hear barney while tyler does his deadlifts.

I also like that you had sponsors like Spine and Neuro that was a great idea.

I would be GLAD to help you next year if you need it. I've done this before.

Good Luck to everyone that moved on, you guys did great.

41. Caleb wrote...

Great job this weekend everyone! We saw some extremely strong dark horses come out and I'm highly confident that the top competitors are moving forward to represent our states well! We've got some stiff competition in our area, and it was amazing to compete amongst you guys!

Thanks to Russell and Grant and the other judges who put a lot of time and effort into the event. While the judging (other than Grant and Russell and a judge named Jessie and a few others with names I'm unsure of) fluctuated from average to poor, they used what volunteers they had. I think the programming overall could have been better, but of course I'm biased to what I would like to see come out of the hopper. So do I have holes to fix in my training, of course. Like others have pointed out, this was the first year, and with all things considered everything moved pretty swiftly and was executed as best as possible.

I did feel as if I was in a time warp back to the mid to late 90's as far as the music goes. Forgive me for leaving my JNCOs and chain wallet at home. KoRn and LiMp BIzkIT (or however you spell it) must have sponsored the event as far as I could tell, because I haven't heard so much of either of those two bands in the last 10 years accumulated as I heard in the 48 hours that I was there. Too much cussing, and flat out just awful. Fire the DJ and put in some Andrew WK please.

Overall, I (and let me stress I) would have changed some things in the programming...but that's ME. Great event, great competitors, great friends, awful music :)

Can't wait to see everyone in Jacksonville!!!

42. fox wrote...

Jeff, you have every right to like kid inappropriate music and to wear an ipod with whatever you want. Fact is there were lots of kids (and many older people/parents who are not used to that stuff) and the music was inappropriate. A much needed change next year will be to make it an event that families can feel comfortable at...that is the least you could do for charging them that much to get in. Otherwise thought it was well run but must have missed the announcement for free t-shirts.

43. Andy wrote...

TO AMBER: The pull-up bar was in use the entire day at the warm up station. Athletes were doing pull-ups on that bar since 7 a.m. It could have broke anytime, anywhere. Totally freak accident.
Having been at similar events in the past, Russell and his crew planned, coordinated and executed an outstanding event. It is easy to nit-pick details because the enviroment is so intimate. At a soccer tournament, for example, no one knows who coordinates the whole thing. No one knows your name, your affiliate, your background. EVERYONE knew who Russell was and that's a good thing. The Man took charge. Leadership sucks sometimes. It was probably embarrassing when he fell off the bar, but he INSTANTLY decided it was out of play and he stuck with that decision. I can't believe anyone is even bringing that up. You might "help put on two 'HUGE' soccer tournaments," but do you actually make decisions that affect every athlete? Or do you just hand out coffee to the refs when they check in?
That said, if anyone took Russell's spectator-better-pay comment as a threat, they shouldn't have been there in the first place. It's not just a question of cost - everyone made a choice and knew the rules. BUT, if you think Russell was threatening you and you felt geniunely offended, spit the grass out your mouth and say something to him personally.
TO RUSSELL, CFHV, AND EVERYONE AT THE EVENT (EVEN AMBER): Thanks for an awesome weekend.

44. Tracey Rauer wrote...

I thought it very well. This being the first time for Huntsville to host this event and trying to make everyone happy.
I believe that the cost is a nation wide fee, set up by Crossfit??? So stop complaining! Its impossible to make everyone happy.
I enjoyed the games and met alot of nice people. Thanks Russell for taking it on and doing a great job!!! Its no small task.

45. Tracey wrote...

Amber, You are truely a buzz crusher. I bet its dang near impossible to make you happy. Tracey

46. John P. (Tupelo) wrote...

A few quick points from the perspective of a volunteer:

1. I'm not sure how many people realize the amount of moving parts that had to work together to pull this weekend off. Unless each part has a definitive "head" there are going to be hiccups. Russell was in many places at once and seemed to be on top of all of them. Does that mean everything worked perfectly? No, but as someone pointed out, the top 15 men and women are moving on to J'ville. As one who had a hand in entering scoring data it was clear that in the wash these were the best representatives.

2. Money. $50 is a good bit of money for this event but the take at the door went directly to the people who did a great job of supplying the dozens of volunteer staff with things like food and water. My stomach thanks you as a number of us didn't have the ability to leave our posts to grab a bite.

3. Judging. I personally asked about a number of sticking points on the standards. Each answer ultimately came back to the ability for all judges to verify a clean rep. I'd say that most competitors had reps taken away that maybe shouldn't have been taken away, but also gain reps that maybe shouldn't have. It was intense and there are a number of things to watch at once as a judge.

The only criticism I would add is to standardize the confirmation time for a missed or confirmed rep.

4. Music. I'm not sure who made the playlist but if you watched Russel he cut many of the songs when he realized the content. Yes, some of them ran too far and yes, that should be amended next year but I appreciate the effort. Frankly, music should have been the last thing on his mind this weekend.

Also, I heard many positive comments on the playlist from competitors.

5. Overall this weekend did what it set out to do - move the top 15 men and women on to the next level. The level of commitment to achieving this goal was very high and well thought out. I'm sure any of the chinks will be ironed out next year.

47. amber wrote...

tracey -- lol, i'll have you know, i had a great time. that was just my criticism so no, i'm pretty easy to please.

and no, i don't hand out coffee to refs. i plan, put on and promote the tourneys, so i feel like my criticism and disappointment is legit.

regardless, i'm not here to argue. I apologized for coming off so angry, I should've waited until I had calmed down from my frustration to post. But apparently, my apologies were not accepted by some.

Regardless, again, some things were done GREAT. Others, not so great. and again, I think Russell did the best he could with the venue he had, but I think that better planning and criticism that he has gotten this year will help with a much more successful event next year.

48. Randall wrote...

I think Crossfit is missing the boat concerning the pricing for specatators. Not everyone that goes to see the qualifying events is a crossfitter, but could be motivated to pursue this level of fitness by the inspiring efforts of the competitors. I currently crossfit on Redstone Arsenal with a group of guys and the workouts are grueling but the results are amazing. I think a more reasonable fee, say $10/day would get more people in to watch. As a result, the gym owners such as Russell would benefit from increased memberships and participation in the sport. Crossfit needs to look at the bigger picture.

I would have loved to come out and watch the men and women this weekend. I know I personally get motivated watching others that have achieved excellence in whatever it is they are doing. But $50 is a lot of money for someone that has a family, so I had to make to choice to not attend.

49. Polo Lopez @ CrossFit CFT wrote...

Angry Amber,

What planet do you live on?
If a person sneeks into a NFl, NHL. MBL, or any event of the like, they will be asked by an usher to pay for a ticket or leave. If that person cops an attitude, acts like a thug, or refuses to comply with the usher, some professional men that carry guns, and do scary and dangerous things for a living will physically remove that person from their seat. Should they decide to resist they will soon understand the error of their ways. They don't care if you've never seen a football or hockey game live. Walk up to the ticket window of one of these sporting events and say, "hey I've never seen a game can I go in for free" and see what happens. After the ticket salesman stops laughing, he'll say, "No" and tell you tickets are $$$. Why should it be any different at any other event? Stealing is a crime and if people didn't pay the spectator fee, no matter what it costs, it's stealing. You're probably the type of person that believes terrorists are being picked on by the U.S. Military or yells Police Brutality when a cop is fighting for his life. If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. I didn't hear the "threat" and I'm sorry I missed it b/c if I had known someone was treating the staff with such disrespect I would've removed them myself and not in a kind and gentle way. Stop protecting thugs and stand up for what's right. If you didn't feel the fee was appropriate then say so but don't complain about Russell doing the right thing and not letting some dumbass thugs treat his staff with aggression. Grow Up!!

50. Dee wrote...

I thought Russell and his crew did an amazing job. As a 1st time competitor and easily the oldest I was greeted by an amazing community of athletes. In regard to the Wall Ball comment, it's CrossFit. It's supposed to be hard and as our coach says crappy rounds don't count. The music no different that any other sporting event that I have been to lately. I look forward to next year and to the senior ddivision.

51. Polo Lopez @ CrossFit CFT wrote...


Even though I bashed you here, I forgive you. Maybe we should've all waited a day or two before commenting. However, I stand by Russell on his statement to those that didn't pay the spectator fee.

52. Polo Lopez @ CrossFit CFT wrote...

What a great weekend. The first CF comp for both my fiance, Carissa Boone, who finished 4th Overall, 2 of our athletes, 1 female, and 1 male, and me. They had a great time and did an incredible job. I can't express into words how proud I am of all the competitors, but especially Carissa.
For those of you that watched her incredible performance, I will give you the skinny on her. She did NO preparation for this event, none. We knew there was going to be Sectionals this year but we had no idea when they would take place b/c we weren't planning on competing this year. Carissa was just training like normal and 2 weeks before this event she was taking some time off from training b/c she was focusing on completing some projects at work. On the week of the event we got a call from Grant asking if we would consider competing in the Sectionals. Tuesday she decided to sign-up.
She has been training CrossFit for just over a year. She is 27 y/o and before CrossFit she had never lifted a barbell. Carissa was a gymnast up to her College years where she received a scholarship, but unfortunately never competed b/c the program was shut down by the college. She never competed again. When we met she couldn't do a Pull-up or a decent Push-up. She couldn't run longer than 200 meters w/o suffering a sports induced asthma attack. Carissa suffered from severe lower back pain and Deadlifting a 45 pound barbell with good technique used to make her back hurt for days. For those of you that watched her incredible Pull-Up performance (all rounds completed unbroken) and think just b/c she was a gymnast that kipping pull-ups come easier to her, think again. When she started CF She understood the concept but couldn't do them. Like I said, she couldn't do a Pull-up, strict or kipping. It took a long time for her to be able to do kippings unassisted.
Thank you to all of you that cheered for Carissa. Many of you came up and let us know how impressed you were with her Olympic lifting, Pull-up, and Handstand push-up technique. If you missed watching her in the last event, she completed all but one round of Handstand push-ups unbroken.
Words alone can not express how proud I am of her. I am honored and truly blessed to be able to coach someone like her. Thank you Carissa.

53. Katie G. wrote...

I have to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the future marines who were out there. I was incredibly impressed with their quiet dedication and support throughout two very long days. What impressed me the most was when they stood out there for the 400M run. Not only did they stand out there in the hot sun, they offered a "good job" every time I ran by. While most high school kids are getting into trouble on a Saturday they were most impressive to me.

Thanks again Russ for putting on an awesome event. I am proud to be a part of the CrossFit Huntsville community.

54. Grant wrote...

I will try to stay as objective as possible considering I was the head judge this weekend. A few things stick out in my mind after reading through the comments:

1) For those athletes complaining about judging, I would say while not everything substantiates, you are doing so with some reason. But instead of lambasting the men and women who gave up watching the events and went without food or breaks most of each day, go back to your box and ask your Level 1 and 2 coaches why they didn't volunteer their time to judge and help us keep a set standard. Tennessee alone has 23 affiliates which means at least (but obviously many more) 23 certified Level 1 trainers. Where were they? They were not all competing, that's for sure.

Also, shame on several of you athletes who vocally berated my judges when they discounted some of your reps. This is one reason why it's so hard to keep a set standard. You are talking about people who may not have their Level 1 cert, but had the cahones to step up and volunteer their time regardless. And when they try to hold the athlete to the "crazy" standard that Russell and I set forth they are met with screaming and expletives. That's enough for anyone to be a bit shaky on holding future athletes to rigorous standards. Have any of you seen the video of Chuck Carswell discounting all those KB swings from Miko Salo at the Games last summer? Miko didn't open his mouth once, he just kept plugging away - because in the end, fitness prevails.

Finally, those complaining about different standards between Russel and myself versus our judges need to understand something. Between the reps that Russel or I discounted and the crap reps you got away with occasionally, it was a wash. Russell and I wanted to make ourselves out to be the bad guys during WODs so our judges could deflect attention off of themselves.

I challenge anyone to make a valid argument that judging standards were the sole reason keeping an athlete from gaining a trip to Jacksonville.

55. Randall wrote...

You mentioned a senior division. Are they for sure adding this next year, and if so, what is the age limit for senior?


56. Grant Scalf wrote...

2) The wallball target was the same for everyone. Everyone was given 1 yard to do their wallballs. The fact is only a handful of people complained about it while another handful of athletes said they enjoyed the added elements. If it was so bad, how did McGoldrick do his wallballs unbroken every time?

3) As I discussed with Polo from CrossFit CFT, I look forward to the day HQ comes out with a rulebook. I understand the repercussions of such a venture, but if we really want to term this a "sport" then we need a set rulebook to follow. Then again, I'm sure many of you would find things to complain about.

4) In any sport (or for those who cringe at hearing CF termed "sport" how about any human endeavor?) you will have gray area or subjectivity. What can be construed as pass interference in the NFL on one specific play by one specific official can be totally different the next play. Rarely can history present us a situation where officiating truly dictated the outcome of the game.

5) Great weekend. Good work to all athletes, volunteers, and spectators. I come away from every CF event fired up to coach and train. This one is no different. I can't wait for Jacksonville.

57. Grant Scalf wrote...

And to echo Katie Glasscock, a big thank you to the future marines. I don't think they understood just how crucial they were to keep things running smoothly.

58. Dennis wrote...

Hello Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi CrossFitters,
Thanks for a wonderful, professionally conducted, and competitive CrossFit weekend. While my family and I have been to many boxes across the US and afar, we are extremely new to this region, but we could have not been more pleased with the sectionals this weekend.

The events effectively and fairly tested all competitors (myself included) through a vast array of exercises to find the fittest 15 male and 15 female athletes (all on the same course with the same conditions). Most impressively was the hard work Russell, the head judge, and all the other judges did to enforce the standards to the best of their ability and support this region's CrossFitters. No easy task to say the least! Furthermore my hat goes off to all the volunteers and sponsors that also assisted this complex feat that ran successfully. Last but not least, Marine Corps volunteers your support and assistance was excellent. Thank You.

CrossFit has always been such a great community to my family. This weekend proved to be no different! There was great camaraderie, awesome athletes, and many helpful and encouraging people present. We definitely met some great friends in this new area. Glad to be a part of this in today's times.

Good luck to the 15 male and 15 female CrossFitter's that will go to regional's and represent. Give it your all, you earned it.

Train Hard, Train Smart, Train to Survive! Deferentially, Dennis

59. Daniel Byrne wrote...

My wife and I were very impressed with how smoothly the AL/TN/MS qualifiers were run. Events were generally on time except for the last WOD of the day, when the pull-up/run WOD went long because of a malfunction with one of the cages. However, as was typical of the weekend, as a problem arose, it was quickly handled with decisive, prompt and effective action. These sectionals were a well oiled machine.

I was also impressed with the judging. The judges were all held to a rigorous standard that they kept. If the coordinators witnessed a rep that was marginal they were quick to point it out to the judge, who would then either take the rep away or be careful to watch for that infraction on future reps. No one was given a free pass. Everyone had to bust ass; which is as it should be.

Other notable achievements of the AL/TN/MS sectionals:
- Parking was a breeze and well coordinated.
- Warm up areas were well stocked with equipment.
- Plenty of porta johns, and facility bathrooms
- They performed fast accurate updates of the scores
- Plenty of chalk
- Good Music, Good MC
- Tight schedule

60. Smitty wrote...

I hate to break it to you, but it isn't a sport. No matter how hard you try. Mowing your lawn takes many of the same qualities that you have described to quantify Crossfit as a sport. So "all of you" can think what you want, but athletes look at Crossfit for what it is, training. And because you drink the Kool-Aid, you just assumed I don't use Crossfit training methods or that I am ignorant to the program, which are both incorrect. It just isn't a sport, buddy.

61. Daniel Byrne wrote...

Sport as defined by ""
1. An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature,...

Crossfit unambiguously adheres to this definition. There is no gray area. Crossfit is a sport.

Many sports are also used for "training" and to "burn calories". I know many tennis players who play tennis to "stay in shape".

62. Dustin wrote...

For those of you who are complaining about the $50 being too high. Would you also complain if there were 10 times the amount of spectators, most likely limiting your view of the events if you only had to pay $10 to get in?

My point is to keep in mind that these venues are limited in their size and $50 also helps limit the amount of people so that it does not get overcrowded.

63. KLowe wrote...

I know you are just trolling with your comment and I regret even giving you the time of day.....but explain to me why it is not a sport?

Present your case.

64. Mike McGoldrick wrote...

I want to thank everyone who helped out this weekend making it another great event for the books! Each and every time I compete it gets better and better. I am privileged to be a part of such a great community!

A couple a points I would like to make, although almost everthing has already been covered I just want to make sure that the complaints don't outweigh the praises.

I thought the judging was ok. These are humans judging so there will be plenty of human error. Now I have only been to less than 5 CF competitions, two of which were qualifying events, and the judging this weekend seemed to be the most consistent I have seen yet. I am not saying it was perfect, plenty of room for improvement but definitely fair in my eyes.

I felt the programming was fine. Yes, there were a few things left out of the equation but overall it was a GREAT test of fitness. All of the athletes had plenty of opportunities to "catch up" after being set back by some of their goats. I personally loved the standards. It's funny how I have never heard someone complain about programming that favored their strengths.

The pullup station incident was handled in the best way possible...the BEST. What happened out there, no one could have predicted.

"Mr./Mrs./Ms. Disapointed", I believe you said they should have tested it? I am positive they did, but when the staff fastened it to the ground with straps and spikes in an attempt for more safety I am positive some of the support members bowed causing several of the welds to weaken or break. Luckily it was discovered before the event started, and thank god no one was hurt (Except for Russell's dignity haha). I thought he handled it great, I would have freaked out and shown my ass for sure.

I have to disagree with the comment about the size of the wallball board and the soft ground. Everyone used the same board and from what I saw, those who had done their homework had no trouble with it. The same point with the soft ground. Everyone had to deal with it. One shirt I saw this weekend simply said "Crossfit is Hard." It's true!

As far as the so-called "threat" some may have heard from Russell, I'm sorry, but I just fail to see how that would offend anyone. If I were a spectator who paid, if anything I would be thankul and would back Russell up for doing what he did. Asking "nicely" obviously wasn't working anymore.

To all the competitors who did not qualify, keep your head up, and keep training hard. Some of us lucked out on events and some it just wasn't the best weekend. There will be plenty more opportunities.

Overall, great venue, great programming, great event! I had a freakin blast and I can't wait to do it again in Jacksonville!

65. Daniel Byrne wrote...

Thefreedictionary .com website defines sport as

2. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.

66. Daniel Byrne wrote...

If grass was mowed competitively and required certain skills and followed a set of rules and customs then it would be considered a sport as well.

Actually sounds fun...

Cut 1 acre of fescue for time and appearance, with a push mower, no motorized propulsion. Grass wil be judged for consistency in height. Time accounts for %60 of your score and appearance %40. Ant hills cannot be mowed over. Mulching is fine, but if clumping occurs it will affect your appearance score. If bags are used, they must be emptied before your timer will be stopped. 2 man teams. If refueling is necessary, please do not spill gasoline on the grass. A tarp under the lawn mower will be required for mid field refueling. Aiso aid stations with water will be provided. Good luck to all the competitors and welcome to the sport of competitive grass mowing!

67. Jeff Barnett wrote...

A note on judging: my wife and the co-owner of my affiliate were both judges. I can't speak for them, but I have talked to them extensively about the judging, and these are some of my takeaways.

Russell said that close doesn't count. He said that this is game day and there are no warnings, only lost reps. The judges I know took that direction and executed it. It meant docking some people 30% of their pullups (among other exercises and events) because they would not follow the standard. However, my opinion is if Russell says we must break both planes and then whistle Yankee Doodle Dandy, I had better whistle Yankee Doodle Dandy.

However, humans are imperfect. Volunteers are less motivated and less trained than paid staff. Mistakes will always be made. But do you know the easiest way to overcome mistakes in judging? Have greater work capacity than the competition. Russell said at the beginning of the day, "Make it obvious that your rep counts." That's a lot of work, and that's what we signed up for. Every time I lost a rep, I think it was legitimate, because I trust the person who isn't inside the WOD visiting crazy-land and who can see my entire body--not my own ego.

I don't have any illusions that the judging was perfectly to standard or perfectly uniform among judges. I also don't have any illusion that I can link 100 wall ball shots like the #1 finisher. I think I'll do better to work on my wall ball shots than complaining about how shots are judged.

68. amber wrote...

i'm not arguing, let me just say that, before i say this.

here's the reason that some of the people around me saw the spectator thing as a "threat"'s mostly because we didn't hear anything before it. ...nothing like "hey, in case you didn't know, this is an admission event, please pay your admission" type thing. You know, because there were many entrances to which one could enter, but only one which had a place to pay. Does that make sense?

Also, WE didn't see the so called "thugs" so we didn't know WHO russell was talking to, for all we knew it could've been some teenager who came up from the baseball field who wanted to see what it was about.

That's why it came off that way. I wasn't "offended" as some of you have put it. Just kind of taken back by it.

Also, to the commenter on the $$ (even though I'm aware this is not Russell's fault) yes, $50 is STILL too much, even if more people came and I couldn't see because of a smaller admission fee. It's worth it to get people into the sport.

Also, I'm not "angry" lol, I was FRUSTRATED by a lot of things, I do think..AGAIN (jeez) that Russell and his staff did a lot of GREAT things. I should've waited to post my first message until I wasn't FRUSTRATED but i didn't, so I can't take it back.

Oh well, now I just have to take the bashing as it comes.
-"angry amber" ha.

69. Larry wrote...

Some have commented on the standards of the programming. I want to encourage all of the athletes that compete at Crossfit to demand more from your affiliate coaches. I talked to two different athletes that said they don't have any targets when doing wall balls in their gyms. Getting reps taken away by Russell in normal WODs on a daily basis is frustrating, but worth it. Accuracy is one of the ten fitness domains recognized by Crossfit. Also, the athletes that I know that did not get many reps taken away in the pullup often practice chest-to-bar. Fast and sloppy will not carry you to the next level. Get your coaches to pay attention to your form if you want to go to the next level.

70. N. wrote...

I thought this competition went really well; Russell had the entire competition coordinated like clockwork, dealt with the few unforseeable hurdles as well as I imagine he would deal with real hurdles, and was lucky to have a friendly and capable staff of volunteers and judges. The programming was good imo, as it was fairly broad and did seem to thoroughly test and identify the top 15, while leaving the bottom competitors right at the threshold of being able to complete the wods. As for criticisms - (1) I think this would have been a disaster if it had been raining and muddy (imagine doing snatches in an inch of mud) - perhaps there was a back-up plan; (2) there didn't seem to be any refreshments - it would have been nice if some kind of concession stand had been arranged; (3) as a rule, judges should be required to keep tally of rounds on paper - I noticed some using fingers during wod4 and seemed unsure at times of what number round they were on.

P.S. Following the debate above, a few factors for considering this a sport, as brought to mind by this weekend:

1) a sample of our terminolology: points, scores, heats, judges, coaches, rankings

2) I participated alongside acquaintances I could only collectively describe as "teammates"; we're not exactly "friends" or "training partners", as I hadn't previously even met everyone, and we have no connection by employment or blood, yet we are clearly bonded by something more specific than citizenship or a common sympathy. Also, did anyone notice all of the matching t-shirts?

3) a sport has winners and losers - I had the pleasure of seeing many winners over the weekend, and apparently from these comments we also have a few losers.

and finally, a test based on my own personal experience with various activities over the years (and unfortunately not an exception this weekend):

4) taking a shower after sports is when you find out where you're bleeding

71. Tyler Smith wrote...

Awesome weekend! The standards were strict... but that's CF. If you are complaining about them, get back to work in the gym and get it right. Thanks Russell and everyone at CF Huntsville, volunteers, Marines (and future Marines), and spectators. I know putting and event like that together was extremely difficult!

72. Candice wrote...


Define sport b/c as you can see by some of the other comments, the definition of sport (that is found in a dictionary, not in your head) would make CF a sport. So you tell me what sport is defined as.

73. Scooter wrote...

What were the results of the steroid testing?

74. Andrew wrote...

Of course it's a sport - they charged $50 to watch it.

75. Polo Lopez @ CrossFit CFT wrote...

Amen Brother. And there you have it, definition and all.
Smitty you may or may not know but at one time Baseball wasn't considered a sport. No one is America would go to the fields to watch it. Mind you I'm talking about pre WW 1 days. The sport that was all the rage was Cycling. It took 2 wars to make Cycling take a backseat to Baseball. You have an opinion and that's exactly what it is, an opinion. It's just the like the folks, including myself, that think Golf isn't a sport. CrossFit as a sport is in it's infancy stages. Strongman events didn't take off until ESPN got involved. Now everyone thinks of that as a sport but ever notice that all their lifts and movements are things you do for training for other sports. Competing in CF comp takes strategy. You may not see it but it does. There are game plans on how to attack the events. Ask any of the coaches that had an athlete competing. See if they didn't come up with plan. You may see the individual pieces as just things you use for training in the gym but those pieces combined make for sport, especially if you put a point system to it.
Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Jump roping, Badminton, Table tennis, Skate boarding, Bull riding, the Highland Games,and believe it or not even weight lifting are just some of activities that people used to do for fun that have now been turned into sports. ESPN wanted to air the Games and I believe Coach G. is in discussions with them on that. If ESPN thinks it's worth airing on their network then you might as well just start to "Suck It Up Buttercup", b/c if they think CF is a sport then it's a sport. And unless you think you're smarter than they guys at ESPN I would just sit back and enjoy.
In closing, Smitty you don't have the final say on whether CF is a sport or not. You just have an opinion and a right to it. That's why America is so great. Why not jump on the wagon, and drink some of the Kool-Aid? It tastes Great!!

76. Trance_CF wrote...


cf will have a hard time being recognized as a sport when it's own homegrown people are no longer winning its official games competition.

To wit:

Give a DI defensive back 3 months to learn the ins and outs of cf and what do you think would happen. And conversly, put Jeremy Thiel in the defensive backfield at Oklahoma St.

Want to give Pat Sherwood 3 months to try out for a college decathlon? Laughable.

You see, not one single straight up cf'er is winning these competitions. Khalipa, Miko, Everett, OPT, Thiel, Gillian, even andro poster girl Eva EXCELLED at other sports that allowed them to step in and DOMINATE the wodd'ers.

77. d shamblin wrote...

great complaints

78. polo Lopez @ CrossFit CFT wrote...


You are confused. CF being recognized as a sport has nothing to do with whether or not the athletes that compete in it are doing just CF or not. I never made mention that CF being a sport had to have only those athletes involved. I whole heartedly agree that athletes from other sports would do well once the learn the movements. I never said how CF top athletes like Theil would do in other sports. Their performance at something like College Football is your opinion. You are just guessing that Jeremy wouldn't do well. Here's the thing about sports, never underestimate anyone. The guy you think that isn't going to do well is going to be the one crushing everyone. You have no clue how Jeremy would do at College ball. Seriously, do you? You can only take a guess. Do you know Jeremy personally? How many guys have walked on football teams in college? I'm not a Sherwood fan but I'm sure he would fair better than most that have never done the Decathlon. Have you ever met him or watched him train? I have. The guy is powerful.
Point being never underestimate what someone can do and don't overestimate someone b/c they played football. And yes, I played football, only in high school, and I was the staring cornerback. I was born with a disability and doctors said I should never play sports if I wanted to walk. I also raced bicycles as a Cat. 2 and placed in some very big Pro events. I then went onto Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and beat a 4-time All-American Wrestling Champion from Syracuse to win a National jiu-jitsu title. i have submitted football players that learned jiu-jitsu and were twice my size. I'm sure they thought they were going to crush the "little guy." Later I was the winner of the PT award in my Police Academy class at age 31. This year I competed in my first CF comp, that being the Sectionals and at 40 y/o I held my own. I'm sure there are plenty of folks that underestimated me and said I couldn't do something. We're done with that topic now.
You took my comment and twisted it, b/c you're ignorant. I said that CF would be recognized as a sport b/c of the point system and the movements involved, much as other once hobbies are now sports. You said that the top CF athletes got crushed by Mikko and others. Those are 2 different discussions. If you're going to make an argument then keep on the original topic.

79. Jennifer P wrote...

To Russell and Grant,
Thanks to you both so much for putting on this event, and also Grant, for calling my coach Polo and encouraging him to invite people like me, someone who is not a firebreather. I had never planned to compete in a CF Games at all but after the message from Grant was relayed to our box, I thought, what the heck. I was the only woman scaling the wods (3 of them anyway) at the event and no one made me feel inferior. I felt genuinely supported and encouraged.

I enjoyed the entire event. I've never done 4 wods in a weekend, but I'd watched the Every Second Counts video, so I knew it would be tough even if the sectional event would be a fraction of the real games. I decided that I would throw any expectations of failure out the window and just go and see what would happen.

What happened was...I met a ton of amazing people, athletes, coaches, judges and spectators. I did workouts I never thought possible. I overcame my tendency to give up. Honestly I think I did 60 wallballs during the first round of the 2nd wod and I was happy to do them. Ask my judge Andy. I couldn't hit that wallball board for love or money at first but by the end I could get 3 or 4 in a row usually.

I DNF'd the 3rd wod by 4 pullups and everyone was literally yelling "go Jen" for the last 5 minutes of the event trying to get me through that last round of pullups. I've never done a fully rx'd wod EVER and to even get that far was amazing.

I would say that the judges were incredible. Any rep they didn't count was my fault entirely. Chris literally got me through 26 more pullups in one day than I have ever done in my life (71 - woohoo!). Leisha (sorry I don't know how to spell your name) encouraged me to try the 55 lb squat snatch and not scale it down even though my notebook says my 1 rep max is 70 lbs. I managed 3 rounds of that wod, which means there were 21 of those suckers - how did that happen?

I met several awesome athletes such as Christina, Amber, and Ashley and I got to watch my friend Carissa do what she does so well. I'm so proud of her for overcoming her fear of competing in front of a crowd.

Also thanks to my wonderful husband and son, who supported me at all times and handed me food when I was too tired to remember I was hungry :-)

I was going to write a list of what I liked and what I thought could be done better but it's all been listed above in greater detail than I thought imaginable. So I will end this post by saying, I drank the Kool Aid and it tastes good!

80. Daniel Byrne wrote...

Grabmybone, Russell is a leader precisely because he makes waves. Because he isn't afraid to speak his mind and draw his own conclusions and because his thoughts are reasoned and insightful people will always follow him. He is not a sheep. I've had many an argument with him and he is a worthy intellectual adversary and not to mention an absolute beast of a crossfitter. If you knew him beyond the headlines you would know how idiodic your statement sounds.

81. Patrick Baldwin wrote...

And on a completely different note:

If I were the Huntsville Parks and Rec guy that had to repair all the divots in the soccer field we essentially destroyed, I'd be pissed. Looks like a couple yards of sand and top soil, a skid steer to smooth it all out. Bunch of work for someone to make that field safe again.

Or maybe they don't care.

In the interest of good relations and securing a similar venue for this event in the future...maybe we should get some heavy stall mats for the barbell lifts.

82. Paul Smith wrote...

Let me start by saying this was my first Crossfit event. I thought it was great. I met a lot of great competitors, and now I know where I stand as a competitor and where I need to improve.

I want to address the judging issue that keeps coming up. If anyone has ever competed in any other athletic event that requires human judgment they know that it is not going to be perfect. The judges that I had over the weekend did a great job letting me know what I did wrong if they took a rep away from me and I moved on and tried not to do it again. Yes, I would have preferred not to have had to do an extra power cling in the first event and I don't know an extra 20 wall balls but that's the way it goes.

Overall, I thought it was a great weekend, and I can only imagine the amount of work and time it took to coordinate this event. Thank you Russell, judges, and volunteers for taking your time to make sure we had a great weekend.

See you in Jacksonville!!!!!!

83. Paul Smith wrote...

"Yes, I would have preferred not to have had to do an extra power cling"

Not sure what I did there, meant Power Clean. I'm sure I did an extra power cling as well, whatever that is.

84. amber wrote...

"Or maybe they don't care." -- they probably don't. it is on drake.

"In the interest of good relations and securing a similar venue for this event in the future...maybe we should get some heavy stall mats for the barbell lifts." -- awesome idea.

85. Smitty wrote...

If you have gone to a dictionary for a defintion of "sport", then you have proved my point. If you want to pull definitions, look up cult. That fits better.

If you ask athletes, crossfit is training, not a new form of training, just one that has been branded and trademarked as something new and different. Effective, sure. Revolutionary, No.

The subjectivity is hilarious. No one has a clue, rules are written by each certificate toter that deems it necessary. Qualifying is as random as it could possibly be. 2 day cert. people are running the empire. Its a fitness regimen, nothing more.

If you want to call it a competition thats fine, but it isn't a sport. Doing pushups and situps for time isn't a sport.

To Buttercup Lopez, Espn also airs men sawing logs in half, bowling, dogs running through tunnels, the World Series of Poker, and Bass fishing.

86. Dustin wrote...


In your opinion, what makes a sport a sport?

87. Dustin wrote...

Also, "if you ask athletes." Crossfitters are not athletes? Hell, there are plenty of former D1 athletes competing in crossfit. Are those the athletes we would ask or some other specific group of athletes. I played a Division 1 spot and I'd certainly say that crossfit is more than training.

88. Bret Ellis wrote...

Smitty tell ignorance really bliss? Troll away buddy.

89. Fleming wrote...

Does anyone know where we can see video or pictures of the event. I know there has to be some great pictures because the camera man was sticking his camera right in the competitors faces as the did their WOD.

90. Polo Lopez @ CrossFit CFT wrote...

"Troll away buddy" HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Awesome Bret, I love it. BTW, it was great to finally meet you.

91. Tom wrote...

Guilty. Hoping it didn't disturb anyone. I had no complaints.

We ended up with around 8,000 shots which have been pared down considerably. Everything will be up at after HQ has their go at them.

Video was by Again Faster and I'm not sure about their timeline/publishing. I imagine it'll go through the main site.

92. diane wrote...

When are the final results going to be posted on the Crossfit Games site?

93. jason daniel wrote...

russell and all vols,thanks 4 a very challenging weekend.i've hosted a few events similar,so i know how challenging it is.the only comment about the location i have is based on comparing to what the other sectionals looked like(grounds/facilities),seems like huntsville would have much more to offer,but it was safe and it worked. loved:workouts,even run/pullup- greatly appreciated:judges,staff,marines hated:music disliked:porta johns(pregnant wife) lack of prizes for top winners,spectator fee,lack of vendors(hq problems) all said and done had a blast,thanks to all who worked so hard .btw how do we find out about registering for jacksonville? by His grace 4 His glory psalm 66:8-12

94. Robert S. wrote...

Short and sweet....

This event was a huge success because of the hard work of a few very dedicated people. Russell did an amazing job putting this together. The volunteers and future Marines dedicated many man-hours to making this thing work as well as it did.

Thanks to everyone involved and to everyone that was yelling at my narrow ass!

95. David Sumner wrote...

Smitty, why split hairs. Would you walk into a USA Weightlifting meet and say that clean & jerk and snatch is not a sport because coaches and athletes all over the world use olympic lifts to train for other unrelated sports?

I liked the wall ball target. If anything I would have preferred it to be smaller :) Accuracy is one of the measures of fitness to which CrossFit strives. I train my gym members to hit a wall ball target that is 10" wide by 12" tall target. If you don't, you should. Anyone can put a basketball through a hoola hoop that is ten feet off the ground, but putting it through a basketball goal takes skill and practice. Sounds sport-ish, right Smitty!

Overall, fantastic weekend. I would do it again and I will definitely do it again next year. The pullup bar incident could not have been anticipated. Welds are strong until they break. Moving the pullup bar system around probably stressed it to the point of breaking and a Russell Berger kip broke it loose. Shaq broke a few backboards in his day. They were not supposed to break, but it happens.

96. Polo Lopez @ CrossFit CFT wrote...

The perspective of a competitor, coach, and spectator on the "Deep South" Sectionals. Warning, if you don't appreciate or want to read blunt, to the point, and possibly offensive comments don't read this one.

Plenty of Parking. Easy access to the event to watch. Plenty of room to warm-up for athletes. Competing with Oly lifts on a soccer field wouldn't be my first choice but it added an extra challenge, which I throughly enjoy. What would life be like w/o challenges? It's CrossFit not a basket weaving competition. CrossFit doesn't try to fit in a nice little box and I don't think Coach G. wants it to. I bitched about the field at first but after talking to Grant, I know now that they thought about adding plywood sheets or rubber mats. This would've prevented the divots but I'm sure they know that.
One suggestion. Don't add sand and gravel to the divots for the last heats. This made the surface firmer and so possibly changed the affects of the surface for those competitors. The middle heats had to do Snatches from our shoe laces, with the bumpers being pulled with suction from the holes as we went through the first pull. So the last few heats should have to go through this too. Only fair. If anything just fill the holes back in with only dirt. When the earlier heats got a firm surface to Deadlift from we had holes. No one filled them in for us.
I understand hindsight is 20/20, so Russell you can send my medal to..... Just kidding. But I am serious about the suggestion.
Again, it was a challenge and I know that if I make my athletes do it, they can rest assured that I've done it and know what they're about to go through. Even if it had of rained, and the field was a mud pit, I would've done it. Ever heard of the Mud Run?

Holy Crap was it hard. I watched the heats before mine go through and watching the guys fall to the ground after their last round let me know that I wasn't in Kansas anymore. I didn't see one person, male or female, walk away from any event like it was a cake walk. If you couldn't do something in the comp then you should visit your coach and ask why he/she isn't teaching you what you need to know. I'm still sore in my lats. Thanks Russell.

Wall Ball Target:
Just my 2 cents b/c this has been beaten to death. I bitched at first but then thought about it. Remember the Sledge Hammer event at last year's Games? A one inch diameter spike and athletes had to hit with a approx. 4-5 inch diameter hammer. Some would think that fairly easy. Small target, big implement. Think again. You had to have precision or you were missing or worse yet clipping your hand. Again, it's not supposed to be easy. Russell and Grant wanted the ball to bounce off the target, not touch the top of the board, almost fall over and then come back. I can see where that would be debatable. Some athletes got it counted, some didn't. If it lands on the top of the target and rolls back it really didn't bounce off the target, did it? Precision won that event.

Pull-up event:
Can you predict when you're going to get a flat tire? How many of you load up your families in your car everyday and check the car's tire pressure, oil, brake, and head lights before leaving the driveway? "Let he who has no Sin throw the 1st stone...." Russell checked the bars, it broke, and he pulled the cage from the event. What more do you want? One suggestion and I'm not sure if it was an option, shorten the event by 1-2 rounds when equipment fails prior to the event. Just for time reasons.

Russell you are a magician or you have a twin. I've never seen one man do so much and not get frazzled. Cool, calm, collective. Russell and Grant didn't miss a beat and kept the competition running smoothly. I stopped competing in jiu-jitsu events b/c of the piss poor organization at the events. At those competitions you could win a fight and then have to wait 2 hours to fight again and there wold be no good reason for it, none. Sometimes they would tell you that you were about to fight and then you'd be told to wait for an hour without knowing when you were going to fight. Ridiculous. That did not happen at the Sectionals. Russell and Grant never stopped moving. One heat after the next and you knew well ahead time when to be on deck and start warming up. Bravo.
Prior to one of the men's heats I made a comment/suggestion to Russell and Grant about one of the judges and the standards for the Handstand Push-ups. I was met with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. They could've told me to piss off but they engaged me and we discussed the topic, even thought they had a heat waiting and still a ton more to do. Neither of them got upset or argumentative. They presented their side and it appeared they tried their best to have me walk away with a good understanding and in some type of agreement. What more could you ask for? BTW, Russell that was me heckling you when you were on the Marines pull-up bar.

Have you ever tried being a judge or referee? How many bad calls have you watched at professional sporting events and then watch it overturned b/c they have instant replay? My judges rode me like Zorro and that's what I wanted. I intentionally sought out one particular judge on 2 different events b/c I knew he wouldn't cut me any slack. He encouraged me the whole way and never let up. He had the best demeanor. Even when I missed he encouraged me to forget about that bad one and get on with it. The judges are human. If you've never made a mistake in your life then you can criticize. Some of you yelled at the judges and some called them "Nazis." Shame on you. It's competition. You should want to be held to a higher standard. It's quite possible some are complaining b/c they don't have the technique and haven't been doing their "due diligence." Thanks Coach B. for that great saying. "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect" - Vince Lombardi
One suggestion, on the HSPU event, long pieces of tape running up and down on the wall would've let athletes know where they have to keep their feet within. Grant and I talked and he let me know it was something they had considered. They had a lot of things they could've done, but even if they had done everything everyone wanted there would still be someone bitching about something.

Every volunteer and staff member but one was without a doubt some of the nicest and most composed people I have ever met. The one older lady at the registration table on Saturday made a rude comment when I asked if the t-shirts were all cotton or 50/50. I dismissed it as she wasn't a morning person. But other than that I can't say enough good things about the future Marines and all the volunteers that took time out their weekend to help us compete. Registration was the fastest I've ever seen. The ladies and gentlemen that put on our numbers were fast and helpful. These folks stuck around till everyone was done. They could've gone home but they stayed with us. Thank you. Russell I have no idea how you have so much energy especially on Sunday after a late Saturday. You're a machine. Thanks for trading affiliate shirts.

Russell can I have that playlist? Folks, there were no kids events held at the Sectionals. Disney was not a sponsor. Russell cut off the music before it got really foul but he shouldn't have to. CrossFit is an adult affair. The comp wasn't about or for the kids, it was about and for adults pushing themselves beyond what is thought possible. I have yet to see where CF comps are advertised as family events. If CF Kids had a comp at the Sectionals then I could understand that the music should be clean. I am a parent and I understand we all want to shield our kids from the bad things out there but you can't. Once they go to school they'll be hearing language you couldn't fathom. I've heard priests, mothers, fathers, politicians, and judges, swear. I'm an adult and I wanted that music played when I'm churning rep after rep of that God awful weight. Shania Twain's music ain't gonna cut it or get me geeked up when I'm in that dark world. Most of the kids probably couldn't understand what the hell was being said anyway. Today they're innocent but tomorrow they're going be listening to some rapper singing about slinging dope and hookers. You can't keep them in a bubble forever and shield them from the world. Prepare and help them understand. You can argue all you want but the truth is that the CF Sectionals were for the adults, not your kids. Stop making it about them.

Spectator fee:
I would've paid anything to watch my fiance compete. The fact that they let one person in free for every competitor was a great idea. Hell, if two people wanted to go for one competitor, they could've split the cost. I'd rather pay $50 for the weekend to watch hours upon hours of competition instead of $100 to watch football players run for 3 seconds and then need to suck on oxygen for the next 10 minutes.

Closing ceremonies:
My fiance, Carissa, came in 4th overall. Even though she wouldn't have been on the podium I would've liked to have seen one. Maybe next year? Possibly the U.S. Marine marketing team could make one for the event. I think it was great that the top 15 got medals. How many competitions give medals past the top 3? None that I can think of. Russell made a good decision on this. No matter what, those Men and Women will have something to remember that they qualified for the Regionals.

Suggestions for future comps and to HQ:
1. I talked to Grant, other coaches, and athletes about having a rule book that anyone can have access to. While there are videos there seems to be heavy disagreement on some of the standards for what is considered a completed rep on different movements. This should be remedied. If this is going to be a sport we have to have definitive standards.
2. Possible weight classes. Olympic weightlifting comps have them why not CrossFit?
3. We definitely need a a Master's division for 30+, 40+, and then Seniors division. I know this year there is a Master's division but the starting birth date is before July 1960. There is a big gap between 18-50 y/o. Maybe this is already in the works. Look at cycling races. They have these age divisions and even experience categories. Olympic lifting comps have age divisions.
4. To accomplish the above suggestions for age and/or weight categories you merely have to limit the entry. In cycling the organizers will set a entry cap for the races. So at a race each category and age division may have a cap entry at 100. While this may seem a bit high for each category at something like a CF comp it allows competitors to be more evenly matched. You could even scale the events for the older age groups so it all fits within the time alloted for the day. Again, maybe this already in the works or Coach may have no desire to see this done. It would just give us older guys a chance to brag about something we've done when we're drunk.

Great job. Great weekend. Lots of fun. Hey Russell I found your duct tape. Well organized and very challenging. I would go again if it's held at the same place or even if it moves to another locale. Very impressive performances from all the competitors. I was in awe. My only complaint was that those that got to finish the last event early took off and didn't cheer on the rest of the competitors that had to compete later. We cheered you on when you needed it and then you bailed on us. Not cool. I know it got cold but we could've used the support. Big thanks to those that stuck around.
No doubt that out those that came to compete at these Sectionals, the best 15 male and female athletes are going to represent us in the Regionals. I met some very nice and great spectators, athletes, coaches, and affiliate owners. Best of luck to everyone. We'll see you there.

97. naveen wrote...

re the music - the greatest man song by weezer during the last heat of wod4 was surprisingly good despite being somewhat slow. was it the original version?

98. amber wrote...

sooo, just wanna say this here too.

totally lame of me to go all nutso with my frustration on this board.

should've done that with russell first.


hey, when i'm wrong i'll say i'm wrong.

congrats everyone!!! on that i'm right!

99. Dee wrote...

That was perfect...

100. Michelle Robinson wrote...

I couldnt agree more with Polo Lopez on the music....friggin' GREAT song choices and I LOVE how none were the "clean" versions...and Im sure kids have heard all the bad words before.

I wanted to just say how amazing my coaches were..without them and their positive motivation, I dont think I would've made it through the WODs...there was one from Huntsville (dont know name) that without him, I wouldve DNF on the running WOD...and yes, I personally thanked him.

This was my first competition and I thought it was ran great and one of the best experiences of my life! thanks to everyone that put it together and made it amazing!

101. Kyle wrote...

Actually, if you look back on this site you will see that this was marketed as a family event. The "kids under 12 free" post would lead people to think that it would be a family environment.

All in all I found this to be a quality event. I enjoyed the good times as much as anyone. My only request would be that in the future better judgment be used with regards to music. Not only were mine and many other peoples children in attendance, Little League Baseball games were taking place about 100 yards from the event. We were in a Public Park.

102. fox wrote...

Totally agree with you Kyle. I regretted sharing my fitness interest with my family as they were subjected to the offensive lyrics. Thanks for your comments.


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