CrossFit athletes chase Cali fame

After a dominant regional showing, a local gym now wants props in the US.

CrossFit Seven Mile will be sending a team to compete in the 2012 CrossFit Games next month. The gym recently dominated the regional qualifier for the event in Colombia.

Jon Pump is co-owner of CrossFit Seven Mile and states the South American triumph is a good precursor for California.

“As a result of winning the regional competitions, athletes get to compete at the main CrossFit Games in Carson, California 13-15 July,” Pump said. “ESPN carried online coverage of the games last year and will be televising the event live this year. Total purse money for the entire Reebok CrossFit games has risen to an impressive $1 million, to be shared among the top finishing individuals and teams.

“CrossFit Seven Mile’s team one and Tarasa Barnett from CrossFit Cayman will be travelling to California to compete against the best in the world. Given the relatively small size of the Latin America conference, a big challenge for the Cayman athletes is to show they belong with the top performers from regions all over the globe.

“Based on the scores the team achieved in Colombia, they would have ranked in the top 10 in most other divisions but repeating those results under the main spotlight will be a daunting task. In a show of support, typical of our home gym here in Cayman, many members of CrossFit Seven Mile are also making the trip and will be in the stands to cheer them on.”

Heading to California will be Chris Spigner, Trevor Amodeo, Zak Kepner, Wanda Brenton, Jenn Chailler and Schmarrah McCarthy.

In Colombia, they were joined by Warren Weiss, Mike Ivanchan, Mike Backalov, Tiffany Eason, Jacque Hastings and Lizzie Rae. CrossFit Cayman had their own team in Tim Pell, Matthew Barnett, Fabio Sordinelli, Krista Pell, Ashley Puschman and Danielle Dufrene. All would propel Cayman to a top ten finish. Both squads competed in six events over three days.

For the record, CrossFit is a type of fitness programme that focuses on short workouts of 20 minutes or less and incorporates elements like sprinting, rowing and weightlifting.

Pump states aside from the Carson competition, the ultimate goal of his gym is to garner more participants.

“Chris, our head trainer, was primarily responsible for the team’s training and preparation leading up to the regional competition; which consisted of anywhere from five to 10 or more workouts a week. However, in order to compete in Colombia for the Latin America region, each gym was required to compete in a qualification process known as the CrossFit Open, which lasted five weeks starting 22 February.

“A large portion of our members also competed in the open and provided an incredible amount of support and encouragement to all the athletes that ended up going. The overall atmosphere, created not only by the coaches but all members, contributed to the positive training environment and ultimate success of the teams.

“Ultimately, CrossFit is a means to better health and fitness and is based in the grassroots local gyms and the communities they create among all their members. However, a major impact of Reebok signing a 10-year sponsorship deal in 2011 has been the overall exposure and coverage the Games and CrossFit in general are now receiving.

“Once the Games in July are over, there will be a few months of rest and everyone will start to get geared up for 2013 and another year of competition that, if the last few years are any indication, will be that much tougher. In Cayman alone, there is already another CrossFit now open at World Gym.”