Rookie Rally

By Hilary Achauer

In CrossFit Games

August 22, 2011

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Does experience count for anything at the CrossFit Games? Hilary Achauer explores how rookies Jenny LaBaw and Brick CrossFit came out of nowhere and stormed their way into the top 10.

This year’s CrossFit Games included some superhuman performances and unexpected workouts—from ocean swimming to a softball throw for distance—but the first-place finishers were not surprising. In many eyes, Rich Froning Jr., Annie Thorisdottir and CrossFit New England were the favorites to win from the beginning.

This doesn’t mean the weekend wasn’t without its surprises.

While sixth-place female finisher Jenny LaBaw took a Level 1 Seminar in January 2010, she only started CrossFit training herself in January 2011. She learned Olympic lifting during the Reebok CrossFit Games Open, and she did 70 percent of her Games training by herself, with no coach or training partner.

Nine-month-old Brick CrossFit finished fifth overall with a team they put together during the Open. Only two of their teammates had ever competed in CrossFit before, and they were one of the smallest teams—in weight and stature—in the competition.

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2 Comments on “Rookie Rally”

1

wrote …

Dead on with the Diablo info. Second place by one second on the sandbag WOD, tied exactly for 2nd on the muscle up deadlift (hard to do an a 'for time' WOD), got 'no repped' on a rope climb (that alone would have earned us something like 10 points). . . and many more small errors.
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The nutrition error was just the most prevalent, and the most heartbreaking because it was at the end of decent winning streak - but we could have made up that point so many times throughout Friday and Saturday. We lacked the experience, to some extent the fitness, and yes - the luck - to take home a spot on the podium this year.
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If the 37th place finish was our first workout, and we climbed back up to 7th over the course of the weekend, I am sure the team would have had a different perspective Saturday night. We knew we'd do pretty good, but without any "all stars" everyone admitted (after the fact) that they were hoping for a top 10 finish. After holding 2nd place after the first 3 workouts the team's hopes changed to something bigger.
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It is hard to say how we would have done on Sunday. All of our team has completed all of those workouts multiple times. We knew exactly who would have done which workout (the team took to calling each other by their perspective "girl" for most of Sunday). New England's performance was amazing, and I think the whole team was happy to see them crush the workout. Knowing that if we did go on Sunday we would have been hard pressed to wrestle 1st place from them was almost a comfort.
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Training for next year has already started. All of the team has seen strength and metcon PRs in the month since the Games. We've also got some newer "talent" that is making them work extra hard if they want to be on the team next year! We are hoping to field some singles as well as a strong team for 2013.
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-jj

2

wrote …

(2012 as well! I guess subconsciously I am thinking that far in advance. . .)
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-jj

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