Team CCF Wolfpacks Journey at the Meridian Regionals in Madrid 2016!01 June 2016
To say that I am proud is the understatement of the year..
The Team's performances this year was obviously something to be proud of, but even more so I think that our TEAM spirit and positive environment that we created this year was something to not only be super proud about but also something that I know will allow us to keep on growing stronger in the next few years! [caption id="attachment_8567" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The team after a well executed weekend! The smiles and constant positive energy in this group is one of the things that made this one of the best years yet for us all.[/caption] I'm gonna put it out there right away, with the growing competitive group of athletes at CCF we are aiming to not only improve over the next year but we are now aiming for a top 15 spot next year and a top 10 finish or better in 2018 - and I am very confident we will get there... But first, let's talk about a magical week in Madrid!
The Week leading up to the competition.
The team landed on Monday afternoon in Madrid and I immediately sent them out on a "flush run" to get rid of stiffness from the 24h of flying, the athletes didn't need much convincing and 2 hours later they came back energised and with phones filled with photos (obviously) from weird stuff along their not so straight run.. The next day we had decided to find a box to train at and we had been in contact with one quite far away from where we were staying so we simply decided to walk for an hour through Madrid to get there, but also check out any boxes along the route. That turned out to be a good choice, the very last one on the route before the one we were actually meant to train at, turned out to be an amazing place run by amazing people - CrossFit Distrito Chamberi have an incredibly set up and they let us train there for hours Tuesday - Thursday. A thank you is not enough, but THANK YOU! Thursday was registration and before that we spent the days walking around Madrid and the nights eating good food and doing RomWOD to keep the bodies fresh.
The Regionals Events.
- The Hand Stand Push Ups + Synchro Bar Muscle Up + Machines + Power Clean Conga Line! [caption id="attachment_8569" align="alignleft" width="338"] Tammy cruising through massive sets on the Power Cleans - "Why didn't we get to use the bar with the blue weights??"..[/caption] This was an event where we didn't really know what to expect as it had a few variables where an athlete could easily get stuck (Strict HSPU & Bar MU) but the team really pulled out a great performance. Vicky & Tammy lead the way with a 2-3rd place finish out of the first couples and Justin & Matt followed suit by clearing the way quickly for Tash and JP. Now, the times hit in training indicated that we would end up anywhere between the HSPU and the Bar Muscle Ups for the last couple but they finished the HSPU faster then ever before (PB for both) and then got all the way to the machines! Place: 21st.
- The Snatch Ladders. [caption id="attachment_8570" align="alignleft" width="338"] Justin smashing 3 full Snatches at 102kg like it was a warm up, Matt got little time for this weight but managed one as well![/caption] We knew that this was meant to be our worst event of the weekend and even though it was ranking wise, I think the team did great! On the mens side Justin showed that he has not only recovered from his injury, but has become even stronger due to it when he cleared it all the way through the 3 reps at 102kg! On the women's side Tammy was the strongest as expected and she did her job getting trough the 5 reps at 61kg and even hit one at 65kg. On top of this Vicky PB'd from the floor when she hit her one rep at 61kg! All in all an event well executed, but something we will make sure to be better at next year. Placings: Men 24th, Women 26th.
- The True Form + Over Head Squat + GHD Sit Ups, Women first / Men to follow. [caption id="attachment_8571" align="alignleft" width="338"] The ladies leading the way on the Conga Line Chipper, Tammy and Tash holding the bar while Vicks sprinting through some GHD's.[/caption] We know that we have good runners in this team and we expected the ladies to clear the way pretty easily for the men. In the end there were a few glitches that slowed us down on both the Men's and Women's side but the ladies kept on clearing the way JUST as the men needed to move forward so the end results were ok. Not perfect, but ok. Placings: Women 23rd, Men 24th.
- Deadlift / Burpee Partner Conga Line. [caption id="attachment_8572" align="alignleft" width="450"] Tash running away from a pant-less man.. ;) Tash & Justin crushed their part of this event![/caption] We thought this would be a good event for us and in the end we ended on a positive note where the pairs did their job and more. The end result in this event wasn't necessarily super exciting, BUT there were some really cool performances that still made us leave day 2 on a positive note: Firstly Tash & Justin annihilated their part of the WOD (The 27-18 reps) and made up +1 minute on the rest of the field! JP & Tammy did their job, and from a coach's eye I was stoked to see Tammy keep her back posture for a full 45 reps at that heavy load (something she could not do last year) and in the end seeing Vicky push Matt to the limit and leading him through the Burpees we know he loves. Jokes aside, watching Matt push himself that hard on the last 9 in a WOD we were worried about due to his back was really cool! Placing: 24th.
- Power Snatches + Synchro Toes To Bar + Hand Stand Walk. [caption id="attachment_8578" align="alignleft" width="336"] The team just before the second last event of the weekend - good looking bunch if you ask us.[/caption] We thought that our first triplet with Justin, Tammy & Matt would be able to do really good in this one, and after seeing them take a full minute off from their time in training we can only be stoked. For the second triplet with JP, Vicky & Tash the synchro TTB got a bit unexpectedly rough but in the end they pulled them self together and did almost as good as they did in training. Placings: 1st Triplet 17th, 2nd Triplet 19th.
- Thrusters & Rope Climb Relay. [caption id="attachment_8574" align="alignleft" width="338"] Vicky took about 2 minutes off her time in training and could've gone even faster, she would have finished within the time cap for the individuals in this event. Something to think about for next year..[/caption] For many of the athletes in the team they told me this was the absolutely scariest event for them personally. They had to go out there on the floor alone and if they got stuck, the team would be stuck... Now, as nervous as they were so was I. I had all the confidence in the world watching these athletes taking the floor one at the time, but they were the ones having to pull it off - and they did! Tammy cleared the way as expected and once again seeing her move well was probably the coolest part in her leg of this relay. Tash smoked her thrusters and we all know she has some of the best Rope Climb technique out there and to see her take on this WOD at full speed with confidence was very rewarding for me on all levels. Vicky. Well we already knew we have a future super star athlete here, but to see her absolutely crush the competition and bring us up from about place 4-5 to second in the heat simply by having an amazing strength on those Legless Rope Climbs was mind-blowing - watch out world, 2017 will be her year. Matt's role in this WOD was to go at close enough to full speed and use his athleticism on the rope to get the team past that high volume of climbing, and he did. He kept us in 2nd place in the heat and left Justin with about 2 minutes to sprint as far as he could. Justin then came in and at full speed he got us halfway through the round of 15 thrusters and the team ended up 2nd in the heat and almost on the top half in the competition in this WOD - not bad considering I actually think these guys could have gone faster... Placing: 18th.
FINAL PLACING at the Merdian Regionals for Team CCF Wolfpack: 23rd.
Special Mention: The right Team Captain.
[caption id="attachment_8575" align="aligncenter" width="450"] A giant among men, humble yet lethal. I dig this guy a lot.[/caption] It was an easy choice, JP was the most experienced athlete on the team with 5 total Regional comps under his belt (including this year) and he is as much a part of our community as anyone can be. That said, Japes also proved to be the right man for the job with his calm and humble demeanours that kept the team focused yet hungry. He is not a man of many words, but he always delivers everything he has without any complaints and I think that really spread to the rest of the team this weekend - I am proud of you brother.
South Africa, a competitive nation to be!
A massive shoutout to all the athletes and teams from South Africa that competed at the Regionals this year, I am super proud to be part of what is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Jason Smith (8th) & Ruan Duvenage (10th) really put the SA men on the map with their top 10 finishes and Mary Jamieson (22nd) & Celeste MacIntosh (24th) on the women's side and Billy Pullen (21st) & Alan Foulis (28th) on the men's side wasn't far behind showing that the depth of athletes in South Africa is growing! On the team side CF Tijgervalley pulled off a super impressive performance ending up in the top 20 (18th) and the other teams from BST CrossFit (21st), RTF CrossFit Repeat (25th), USN CrossFit Eikestad (27th), CrossFit The Slab (28th) once again showed that the depth in our part of the world is improving - I really believe that we are on the path of becoming a threat to the top teams in the world. It will take a while but if we work together it will be worth it in the end.
After day 2 when we got back to the apartment we stayed in I simply told the guys that I was proud of them so far, but that I really thought day 3 would be a great chance for them to prove what they really could do. And they went out there and proved me right. These guys did in no way have a "perfect weekend" and still they placed better then last year which was our big goal. When things went against them they did what was required of them : take 5 minutes and blow off steam by yourself if you want to, but then bring it back to the team and focus on the next event. There were many times during this weekend where the moral could have been broken and the coming results could have turned really negative, but instead these guys picked themselves up over and over again which for me as the coach makes me proud and excited about what the future have in store for us at CCF. No one knows what the future will bring, but knowing that our competitive group of athletes only gets stronger every day and that it is also continuously growing with more and more athletes makes me very confident that we will only become better and better at the competitive side of what we do at Cape CrossFit. I see new and young athletes fighting hard to get in to the team and I see an understanding from everyone involved that this environment filled with hungry and hard working athletes can and will create the best possible arena for them all to get as good as they can, yet they also continue to support each other in and out of the box. A positive energy around your training is after all the most important part of making it successful. Together all the CCF athletes form a massive team of individuals that have chosen to be part of a positive community, we avoid excuses and we create results - in the end it really is that simple.. Coach Chris EDIT: Sorry for the disposition of this post, Wordpress being Wordpress. Good thing we are soon moving platforms..