Held on the final week of competition, the South West Regional was full of hungry rookies and seasoned veterans looking for redemption from 2013.
Last year, Chris Spealler missed qualification for the first time in the history of the CrossFit Games, and he had vowed 2014 would be his final year competing for a spot.
He wasn’t the only one wanting to go back. Tommy Hackenbruck, leader of two-time CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup champions Hack’s Pack Ute, returned to individual competition, and Patrick Burke was fighting for the podium after finishing the 2013 regional in eighth.
Hackenbruck—who took his kids to Chuck E. Cheese between events—won Events 6 and 7 to take first place overall. Spealler and Burke followed in second and third.
“I’m fired up,” Spealler said of going to his seventh CrossFit Games. “I’m so happy that I can go. With it being my last year, it makes it feel a whole lot better.”
On the women’s side, 2013 South West Regional champion Tiffany Hendrickson was looking to make a return trip to Carson, California.
“I can’t help but look over my shoulder a little bit (at) Mandi (Janowitz),” said the 33-year-old mother of three.
Janowitz, who was first in the region in the Open and was coming off a Games appearance with the Ute All-Stars, finished third and will compete as an individual this year.
Amanda Goodman, a transplant from the North East Region, handily won the regional on the strength of two first-place finishes and four other top-five finishes. Hendrickson was second.
Additional reading: “Future Unknown” by Andréa Maria Cecil, published Aug. 17, 2012.