After two weeks of competition in which multiple CrossFit Games veterans failed to qualify, SoCal athletes took the floor at one of the most hotly contested regionals.
Favored to win Event 1—a 1-rep-max hang snatch—Games runner-up Lindsey Valenzuela faltered with 185 lb. overhead, surprising fans.
“I didn’t like that I missed the 185,” Valenzuela said after the event, “but that’s the way weightlifting works that’s why it’s kind of a fun sport.”
Despite putting up a tough fight over the next six events, Valenzuela was not able to edge out rookie individual competitor Lauren Fisher for the third and final qualifying spot. Atop the podium stood Games third-place finisher Valerie Voboril, and Becca Voigt—who will make her seventh consecutive trip to the Games—took second.
“The nerves have released. I am just so happy,” Voigt said at the end of the weekend. “It’s so cool to be going back to the Games. I honestly didn’t expect that I would be doing that.”
On the men’s side, Central East transplant Dan Bailey, was sure to shake things up. Having trained with Bailey leading up to the regional, Josh Bridges said he uses the friendly rivalry to keep him going.
“There’s a lot of good competitors in SoCal, but having a guy like Dan to train with is just an extra push that you always need in the gym sometimes when you’re just not feelin’ it,” Bridges said.
At the end of Day 3, Bridges and Bailey took the second and third spots on the podium, respectively, and Kenneth Leverich stood on top.
Video by Marston Sawyers
Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 323 by Justin Judkins, published March 29, 2014.