The brawl between Northern California and Southern California commenced May 21 at the Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, California.
In the women’s competition, eight previous Games competitors were fighting for return spots alongside 32 hungry athletes hoping to get their first shot. Eyes were on Rebecca Voigt, who was aiming to set a record by qualifying for her eighth consecutive Games, and Lindsey Valenzuela, who wanted to reclaim a spot at the StubHub Center after failing to qualify in 2014.
In a tough field, it was rookie Brooke Ence who stole the show. Going into Event 7—15 muscle-ups followed by 5 increasingly heavier squat cleans—she and Valenzuela were tied in points at the top of the leaderboard. With a second-place finish in the final event, Ence not only snagged her first trip to the Games but also first place overall at the California Regional. Valenzuela locked up her ticket to the Games in second place, and Voigt made history by finishing fifth.
The men’s competition brought seven previous Games athletes to the floor. Perennial competitor Dan Bailey started and ended the weekend with event wins, earning regional gold and a sixth trip to the Games. Neal Maddox—the only male representative from NorCal—will return as the oldest individual competitor, and Jon Pera qualified in third place after a hiatus from solo competition.
California will send three rookies—Ence, Julian Alcaraz and Chad Melton—and seven veterans—Valenzuela, Chyna Cho, Alessandra Pichelli, Voigt, Bailey, Maddox and Pera to the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games.
Video by various.
Additional reading: “Won Two” by Hilary Achauer, published June 27, 2012.