2014 OC Throwdown Recap!

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to compete in my 4th OC Throwdown! The competition is local for me but has grown a lot over the years, enough to where it now brings in top athletes from around the world to SoCal for the multi day competition. This year the caliber of athletes was definitely at its highest, on the mens side most all of the competitors were contenders at their respective regional for the 2013 CrossFit Games season and a good number were past games competitors. The womens roster was stacked with some of the most elite competitors out there including last years champion Samantha Briggs, Lindsey Valenzuela, Talayna Fortunato, Rebecca Voigt, Julie Foucher, and a host of other top names in the sport. CrossFit Kinnick’s own Elyse Persico also qualified for the throwdown and got the chance to show that she can hang with the best of the best in her very first individual competition! Elyse has competed twice at the CrossFit Games in the team competition with the gym she trained with out in Ohio and we are lucky to have her now as a big part of Team Kinnick. She has trained with us ever since she moved to SoCal for vet school and competed on our regionals team that placed 4th in 2013. It was great having another CrossFit Kinnick athlete in the competition as we battled through a brutal set of events with some high volume and unconventional tests.

The competition kicked off Friday night with a twist: a pool workout with 25m swims paired with burpees. Swimming is definitely not something I have a lot of experience with but I was happy to finish the event and move into the full competition days. Day 2 started off with the athletes running through the NFL combine, which was a cool experience to test on CrossFit athletes. One of the best surprises of the weekend was when I finished the 40 yard dash in 4.6 second (laser timed), which puts me right in the mix with NFL prospects! I had never tested that before since starting CrossFit so it was awesome to put up such a great performance there. The rest of the day included an event with freestanding handstand push ups, handstand walks and squat cleans. The final event of the day was “Frantastic,” which essentially challenged athletes to complete the classic 21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pull ups three times under 5:00. Day 3 kicked off with a 3 mile run, 1 mile of which was weighted with two 53# kettlebells, the second mile was with a single 53# kettlebell, and the third was unweighted and a separate scored event. The final events of the competition brought some strength tests with a 3 rep touch-and-go snatch, 3 position clean and jerk, and 2 rep back squat and a huge chipper style event to complete the throwdown. I made it through the 3 rep snatch and finished up at 27th place overall in the competition.

All in all, it was a little unfortunate that some of the more unique events didn’t play to my strengths and it held me back from competing in the events I could crush. The high volume was a big challenge for me because of where I am at in my year. The competition came around just as I finished up a big strength period and I have only been slowly building up my metabolic conditioning for a couple weeks now. My training season is completely geared toward peaking and hitting my prime during the 2014 CrossFit Games Open and SoCal Regional. I have a laser focus on crushing the 2014 SoCal Regional which is going to be much tougher this year with the addition of my good buddy and incredible athlete Dan Bailey.  Also, this year I have taken my programming into my own hands with the help of my brother Jonathan Kinnick. We have completely reworked my approach and I know I have what it takes. The fire is there and this week kicks off a big ramp up in my training as I prepare to make this a big year for me. I have attacked some weaknesses that I needed to handle and now I am ready to build up to full capacity and get after this CrossFit Games season! Butter will be spread!

*Photos courtesy of Julianne McDorman

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