Competing on the first weekend of Regionals, Canada West athletes knew the top dogs on the men’s side: last year’s Games athletes, Lucas Parker and Tyson Takasaki. But the women’s side was wide open with last year’s qualifiers—Heather Gillespie and Erin Light—not competing.
“It’s going to be a real dogfight because there are only two spots,” Parker said before the event. “But now there’s a good 10 or so guys that could put up a good showing at the Games. So that increases the pressure.”
Parker, true to form, pulled out to a large lead, while Emily Abbott staked her claim to the top spot by winning two events and placing second in one. While the two had the top spots virtually locked down, second was up for grabs on both the men’s and women’s sides, setting the table for the wildest finish of the first Regional weekend.
When athletes in front of her faltered in Event 7 and Emily Beers finished third, the “CrossFit Journal” writer moved into second place and finally crossed a goal off her list.
“I knew that a miracle basically had to happen,” Beers said.
She added: “I absolutely can’t believe it. I’ve been chasing this since 2010, and every year it gets harder.”
On the men’s side, Takasaki, sitting fourth overall, won the final event but was forced to wait and watch to see what second-place Brent Fikowski and third-place Joe Scali did. Scali fell well back, but Fikowski made it dramatic. With but one overhead squat remaining, Fikowski missed a rep, and several athletes passed him. After scores were tabulated, Dave Castro, Director of the CrossFit Games, gave Takasaki the good news, and the first one to offer congrats was none other than the very classy Fikowski.
And Parker? Always one to offer a sound bite, he was at a rare loss for words after winning the Regional for the second year.
“You can’t do this on your own,” he said after choking back some emotion.
Video by Jeremy Podlog and Martin Ray.
Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 329 by Justin Judkins, published May 9, 2014.