2010 CrossFit Games Finals

Affiliate Epic Matchup 4: Fort Vancouver and CrossFit Delray Beach

East meets west in this fourth matchup.

Hailing from the temperate Pacific Northwest, CrossFit Fort Vancouver won the Northwest Regional Affiliate competition. They employed a very balanced performance of raw strength and technical skill. They finished in the top four for each event, and dominated the second event. On the opposite side of the geographic spectrum, CrossFit Delray Beach took the podium at the Southeast Regional for the second year in row. They took the tire flip, burpee event by 30 seconds. Both teams are comprised of excellent athletes with very different backgrounds. Despite last year's top finish for Del Ray Beach, both teams are relatively unknown in Games competition and look to bring the element of suprise to the HDC.

Last year CrossFit Delray Beach took first place at the Dirty South Regional competition, but were unable to make the trek to Aromas. This year at the Southeast Regional qualifier, they showed consistency in competition and earned a spot at the HDC. They went 4th, 1st, 11th and 2nd in the four events, good enough to grab the top spot.

CrossFit Fort Vancouver took 1st in one event and 4th in the other two at the Northwest Regional. Both teams were exposed to diverse challenges and proved they perform extremely well with the unkown and unknowable. In the Southeast, Delray faced a tire flip and burpee event. In the Northwest, Fort Vancouver was challenged with team clean and jerks.

When it comes to competition experience, Delray has the upper hand. In addition to last year's team competition in the Dirty South, they have team members with Division 1 athletic competition experience. Additionally, 3 members of the affiliate team competed in the Florida sectional this year as individuals.

In competition Fort Vancouver relied heavily on team dynamics and strategy. "Our success at Regionals was the product of an absolute team effort," explains Adam Neiffer, owner and coach at CrossFit Fort Vancouver. "From the six athletes in the arena to the sea of green in the box, everyone did their part at Regionals. Although none of us stood out individually, we all stepped up and contributed in a big way when there was an opportunity to excel."

CrossFit Delray Beach had  adopted a slightly different strategy. By precisely assessing the strength of the individual athletes, they coordinated their performances at the event. "We strategized carefully in team selection, a vetting process which began immediately following the Florida Sectionals," says Sarah Bowling, CrossFit Delray Beach coach. "Going into the competition, we fully understood each athlete's individual stats, which made it easier to predict how each athlete would perform in each workout. This preparation allowed us to execute our strategy in winning points and meters and seconds where it counted most. Above all else, our team (and team supporters) came in fired up, full of heart, and prepared to do whatever it took to perform at their possible best."

A collective focus on team competition at Fort Vancouver began before the current Games season. "Prior to the 2010 Games season, we made the decision to come together to compete at Regionals as a team," says Adam. "Even when several members excelled individually at Sectionals, the focus remained on the Affiliate Cup. As a result, no one on our team cares about individual accomplishments; our success is shouldered evenly by the group.

Team tryouts at Delray commenced after the Florida Sectional. Bowling added, "Immediately following the Florida Sectionals, we began auditioning members for our Affiliate Team. We asked all interested members to complete a series of seven workouts over the course of two weeks. From this test, we were able to determine who would best be suited to represent our box at Regionals."

Fort Vancouver team athletes have added additional layers to thier training in preparation for the Games. "Although we participate in classes at the gym, we also work out as a team as often as possible." explains Adam. "We typically get together for team workouts five times a week, occasionally adding multiple sessions. The competitive camaraderie of training together has fueled steady gains across the board for each of us as well as the group as a whole. We've definitely targeted individual and team weaknesses leading up to Regionals and the Games, and have recently added some non-traditional elements to our training. We constantly challenge one another in and out of the gym."

Delray has also placed a premium on volume and attacking weaknesses. "For 10 weeks leading up to Regionals, both the three individual qualifiers and the six team members began training in a high volume ‘RTG’ (Road to the Games) program," says Sarah. "In general, the athletes were asked to train three days on and one or two days off. Their daily program usually consisted of strength work, a WOD, an olympic mechanics session, and a tempo/agility session. Often the athletes would work part of the RTG program in the morning, and return in the evening to work the second half. Certain modifications and individualized designs were also implemented depending on the athlete's particular strengths or weaknesses."

Both teams are bringing a reservedly optimistic attitude to the competition. "We are pumped up and ready to attack each challenge with the same fire we brought to the Regionals. More than anything, we are excited to share this experience with each other," Bowling added.

Both teams will have thier work cut out for them with the depth of the Affiliate pool. They have managed to prove themselves in competition and will be exciting to watch at the HDC.

CrossFit Fort Vancouver (’10 Northwest Regional - 1st)
Adam Neiffer - Farm boy, trainer, not great at anything, decent at a few things.
Nathan Loren - Father of two, camo-clad hunter, master CrossFit technician, dominates AMRAPs and anything on rings.
Ryan Smith - Chiseled out of solid rock, eats wall balls for breakfast and puts a motor on the Concept 2.
Jessica Core - Nursing student, cycling/endurance background, superhero by night, loves burpees!
Marie Rochat - Powerlifter-turned-CrossFitter, excels at anything barbell.
Marissa Rodriguez - Former gymnast, mother of two, fierce competitor with a touch of finesse in everything she does.

CrossFit Delray Beach (’10 Southeast Regional - 1st)
Max "The Sheik" El Hag - Division 1 Wrestling & Football at Lehigh; 1:25 "Grace", snatches 270lbs, and has a 6:42 2k row.
Dom "Diesel D" Paonessa - Division 1 Football & Track; 16:35 "Linda", a 5:27 "Annie", and a 1:22 500m Row. Placed 9th as an individual at the FL Sectionals, advanced to the Southeast Regional and placed 9th.
Ian "Nueve" Harris - Background in soccer, baseball, and wrestling; runs like he's being chased; has a 4:35 "Karen" and a 3:10 "Randy".
Katie Lewis - Triathalon background - consistently Top 10 overall, age group winner; has a 2:48 "Grace", 8:51 "Helen", and a 11:15 "G.I Jane". A veteran team player for CFDRB, she was on the 1st place winning Affiliate Team from Dirty South 2009, competed in 2010 FL Sectionals as an individual, and placed 11th qualifying for the Regionals.
Aline LaBar - Background in track and marching band; competed as an individual in the 2010 Florida sectionals, advanced and competed in Dirty South 2010 Regionals tied for 38th place; has a 337 "FGB", a 26:11 "Kelly", and an 18:56 "Filthy Fifty".
Jessica "J-Tizzle" Till - Division 1 collegiate Golfer at Michigan State, top 25 in the nation; triathlon and marathon background; has a 6:53 Mile Run, a 322 "FGB". Competed in the Affiliate Competition at the SE Regionals and brought the burpee-tire flip WOD to it's knees. A fearless competitor with an infectious "happy dance".

Additional Reading

Event Recap: Southeast Regional
"The 2010 Dirty South Qualifier is in the books. The final podium finish was reminiscent of last year with some familiar faces taking the stage..."

Northwest Regional Weekend Wrap-Up
"The dust has settled on the Puyallup FairGrounds and 6 individuals and teams have earned the right to compete at the Home Depot Center in July. Day two of competition was packed with all the elements expected of a CrossFit competition…"

Rogue Fitness Again Faster Equipment CrossFit Journal

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The CrossFit/USA Weightlifting Open

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1 comments on this entry

1. Manimal wrote...

Go CrossFit Fort Vancouver!

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