2010 CrossFit Games Finals

Affiliate Epic Matchup 3: CrossFit Apex and CrossFit New England

Two Regional winners littered with talent.

CrossFit Apex (Central East) and CrossFit New England (Northeast) are both coming into the 2010 CrossFit Games fresh from wins at their regional events. Both teams are littered with former Division 1 and 2 collegiate athletes, marathoners, triathletes and all-around all-stars. Stack the teams up side by side and the athleticism runs so deep that we have to add them to the list of Epic Matchups.

First up, Apex, led by the powerhouse Wagner family. Josh and Tanya will be bringing their humble yet hopeful group of six into the 2010 CrossFit Games for a run at the Affiliate Cup.

“We're going to have to work hard to get to Sunday. There are a lot of other strong teams out there bringing their A-game as well. We're going to give all we got because that's all we know how to do. We'll leave the rest up to the programming and see what they throw at us,” said 2009 CrossFit Games champion Tanya.

Wagner, who finished second in 2008, will not be defending her individual title and has been able to focus on training with her teammates.

“We train together as a team once a week on Saturday mornings,” she said. “Other than that, we train either solo or with/against one other team member. Of course, we focus on weaknesses but mostly try to keep hitting all areas of training. We're doing some of the team events as well as individual events from a bunch of the regionals.”

The team from CrossFit New England has its own all-star couple behind it. The group is coached by 2009 and 2010 Games competitor Heather Bergeron (17th in ’09) and firebreathing husband Ben. Heather will compete again this year as an individual but lends a hand training the team.

“Since January we have been doing a periodized strength-bias program, where most days consist of a focused lift followed by a 5-20 minute met-con,” Ben said. “The strength has been periodized with cycles of Olympic skill development, linear strength progression and MEBB strength. We supplement all of our regular training with endurance work and attacking weaknesses—we program in one ‘Tabata goat’ WOD per week.

“Our team gets together every Saturday to compete in team workouts. We invite other top CrossFitters in the area to give us their best as well. We have also been going to Harvard Stadium to get accustomed to that environment.”

Those in the Northeast don’t have the opportunity to train the high heat that might show up if the forecast calls for SoCal sun in Los Angeles, but the CFNE crew got creative to solve that problem.

“We live in New England, so while it gets hot in the summer (high 80s right now) I don’t think it’s as hot as L.A. in July,” Bergeron said. “We’ve been doing 10-15 minute met-cons in sweatpants and hoodies to get used to being miserably hot.”

The individual contest will be won by the athlete without weaknesses, and the Affiliate Cup demands well-rounded athletes as well. The team with the trophy at the end will no doubt be composed of people who can do it all.  

“Our team is very well balanced,” Ben said. “No one has glaring weaknesses, and we have some studs at certain movements. Every guy on our team has a sub-six-minute mile, and one girl is the second-fastest female in the country over 40 for the 200 meters and 400 meters. Every girl has at least a 150-lb. clean and jerk, and every guy has a sub-2:30 Grace. Derek (Mohamed) is 1:21. The place we could get hurt is if there was a 1-rep-max test; there are some beasts out there that we can’t match in max strength.”

Both teams credit a large part of their past success to their ability to strategize and work as a group, and they’ll rely on that as they head into the CrossFit Games. At the Home Depot Center, teamwork and strategy may very well be the deciding factors if each team has similar work capacity and experience. Cohesion will be key.

Team CrossFit Apex (1st Place Central East Regional)

Tanya Wagner - ‘09 CrossFit Games Champion, second place in ’08.

Josh Wagner - Division 2 baseball player, ‘08 CrossFit Games 46th place, ‘09 Games 40th place.

Keith Bussom - Division 2 football and rugby player, defensive captain.

Mike Feliciani - Division 2 decathlete, 12th in nation, finished 2 marathons, father of 2.

Angie Nice - Apex’s sleeper, Nice has never played sports a day in her life. Tanya Wagner’s sister.

Teresa Davenport - Newest addition to the Apex family. Runs like a deer, moves like a racehorse. Former gym junkie who found CrossFit at the end of ‘09.

Team CrossFit New England (15th at ’09 Games, 1st Place ’10 Northeast Regional)

Derek Mohamed- First place at the New England Sectional. Former college hockey player.

Mat Frankel- CrossFit New England coach. Former Division 1 college football. Fifth place at Northeast Sectional.

Ben Bergeron- Owner of CrossFit New England. Former Ironman Triathlete. Was in third place at Northeast Sectional going into the last event before stopping due to injury.

Mel Ockerby- CrossFit New England coach. Former gymnast. Finished sixth at the New England Sectional.

Lisa Mikkelsen- Head of Inov8 shoes, North America. Third place at the Northeast Sectional. First in the country for Ultra Masters (over 26.2 miles), second-place master in the country for 200 and 400 meters, both established at the U.S. Track and Field National Championships.

Jenna Gale - CrossFit New England Coach. Former division 1 basketball player.

Additional Reading

Event Recap: Central East Regional

“The Central East Regional is over and after a weekend of events we are sending our best athletes to California for the 2010 CrossFit Games…”

Day 1 Recap: Northeast Regional

“Since Thursday afternoon, set up has been underway at the Northeast Regionals, with tents being constructed and equipment being organized abound…”

Day 2 Recap: Northeast Regional

"Fresh off an exciting first day, the Master's Division was up bright and early ready to tackle their final challenge, 'Cindy...'"

Rogue Fitness Again Faster Equipment CrossFit Journal

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6 comments on this entry

1. Daigle wrote...

Woohoo!!! Nice write up! Go CFNE!

2. LP wrote...

GO CFNE!! What a BEASTY group of athletes!

3. B.Keefe wrote...

Breath Fire Raise Hell.

4. Karen wrote...

So proud of the CFNE athletes!!

5. Tom wrote...

Team CFNE Rocks! Best of Luck at the World Games.

6. Toni Testeroni wrote...

GO APEX!!!! Best of luck to all the competitors.


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