Tomorrow the CrossFit Regionals begin! I. Can’t. WAIT! The first two regions to go are the South and Atlantic.
The South Regional is my favorite since it includes Denver and athletes I am familiar with and have worked out with (some of them). The South Regional is comprised of the old Southwest, South Central and Latin America regions.With the super regions the top five advance to the games, not the top three. In the South Region’s case that is two fewer than in year’s past. In year’s past the Southwest and South Central regions would have sent three each while Latin America sent one. Now five go from the combined region. In the Atlantic region it is one fewer (three each from the old South East and Mid Atlantic regions).
Here are my picks for the South region.
My top five: Adrian Conway, Matt Chan, Christian Lucero, Chris Hoppe and Roy Gamboa. In that order. I think Chan turns it on and with his experience and strategy beats out Lucero who has really made huge improvements over the past two years. I am really rooting for Hoppe as I have crossed paths with him a few times and he is a great guy. He was in the top three last year in the Southwest region until the flu outbreak that occurred got the better of him.
Other people to watch will be Travis Williams and Sean Sweeney from the South Central and Orlando Trejo from Latin America. All three are moving to a group of more competitive athletes in that typically the guys from the Southwest perform better in the Games than those from the other two regions. I will also be curious about Pat Burke. He qualified for the Games last year (and I think it was his sixth appearance?) and he barely squeaked into Regionals thanks to athletes ahead of him declining their invitation to go team or not compete.
My top five: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Amanda Goodman, Margeaux Alvarez, Tiffany Hendrickson and Natalie Newhart. In that order. CLB will run away with this region. I think the lighter weekend (only one really heavy WOD) will favor Newhart who dominated the Open in the body weight type WODs. I also saw her compete against Andrea Ager at the Turkey Challenge last November and she won that match up, too. I like Newhart to make it back to the Games and see how she improves over her performance from two years ago.
Other ladies I am excited to watch: Ager, Maddy Myers, Jenn Jones ad Alexandra LaChance. Ager because she is local, Myers because she is 18, Jones because she is a repeat Games competitor and LaChance because she is relatively new to the scene and an OPEX athlete.
My top three: OPEX Red, Ute CrossFit and CrossFit the Club. Really, this one is really hard to guess. Hard to bet against Ute who won the Games twice (with a different roster). Backcountry Black is a stacked team. Love rooting for local gyms like both Backcountry teams, NoCoast CrossFit, CrossFit 702 and CrossFit Verve. I do like watching teams better than individuals in some cases, but in the South region it is just fun all around.
Here are my top picks for the Atlantic region.
Top five: Ben Smith, Noah Olsen, Garret Fisher, Jacob Anderson and Jordan Troyan. Smith wins this Region, but not by a landslide like he won the Mid Atlantic region in year’s past. This time Olsen makes it a close race. Troyan barely edges into Regionals, but makes it to the Games for the third straight year.
The only other male athlete I am interested in watching is EZ Muhammad. He is explosive and fun to watch.
Top five: Sam Briggs, Emily Bridgers, Christy Adkins, Gretchen Kittleberger and Cassidy Lance. Briggs dominates. I’m calling it. I think her injury will be healed enough where she runs away with it. Bridgers is going to give her a lot to compete with and these two will clearly be the best of the best in this region, but Briggs runs away with it.
I don’t recognize any of the teams so I can’t pick who I think will win. In this region I clearly would rather watch the men and women go at it.
Time to lock down my schedule for the weekend so I can watch as much of the action as possible!!