With just one week before the kickoff of the 2010 Games, Ian Wittenber is closing in on the West Coast, chugging along in his car and catching interviews with the athletes headed to the Home Depot Center.
At a recent stop in Austin, Texas, Wittenber found himself inside CrossFit Central for a chat with ’09 individual Games competitors Lindsey Smith and Carey Kepler, as well as newcomers Jen Cardella and Jessica Sharratt.
Both Smith and Kepler finished in the top five at last year’s event, automatically qualifying them for the 2010 Games. Both have also had their fair share of setbacks this season: injuries, family responsibilities and careers may have momentarily distracted these elite athletes, but their eyes are still on the podium.
This will be Cardella’s second Games as well, only last year she was a member of the CrossFit Central affiliate team. A self-described former grain-eating distance runner, Cardella has submitted entirely to the CrossFit regimen and made some massive gains from last year, including a 100-lb. increase in her deadlift. Sharratt, Cardella’s training partner and also a veteran of the Affiliate Cup, has made some big improvements of her own in the last 12 months and managed to best the rest of the South Central competitors for the final qualifying spot in L.A.
Four women from the same box are all bound for the 2010 Games: will one of them stand atop the podium at the Home Depot Center?
Additional reading: Event Recap: South Central Regionals.