Some would say the start of the 2012 Games was at the moment the 2011 Games came to a close in July. While this year's season will not officially begin until February 22nd – when the Open kicks off – there is no doubt CrossFitters across the globe have been putting in the blood, sweat and total-body punishment over the last few months in preparation of the upcoming season. There is no time off when it comes to CrossFit.
Looking ahead at the more well known CrossFit athletes in the South West Region who will play a major role in this year's Games, Peter Egyed of CrossFit Fury in Goodyear, Ariz., and Patrick Burke of MBS CrossFit in Broomfield, Colo., both appear to have the inside track in 2012.
After a string of five straight appearances and being predicted as an early favorite, Egyed fell short of making the finals in 2011. However, the top athlete has pledged to come back, “stronger and better” this season, which could very well be bad news for his fellow competitors.
Burke took 1st at the South West Regional and 13th at the Games. He is once again expected to vie for a top spot, but to do so, he will need to hold off Tommy Hackenbruck of Ute CrossFit in Salt Lake City, who finished 2nd at Regionals and 24th at the Games.
Look out for Zach Forrest of CrossFit Max Effort in Las Vegas once again this year. Despite finishing behind Burke and Hackenbruck at the South West Regional games, the Las Vegas-based trainer managed to best both athletes at the finals competition with a finish of 12th-overall.
For the women, Taylor Richards-Lindsay of Ute CrossFit will be gunning for a top spot at the finals this year after finishing 27th at the Games in 2011. The top overall athlete at the South West Regionals will have her work cut out for her, with 2nd and 3rd-place finishers Cherie Chan and Jasmine Dever, both looking to improve on last year's performances.
The South West's top team a season ago, Front Range CrossFit, will be wrangling to improve upon last year's performance in the Affiliate Cup. 2012 will mark the Denver-based outfit's 5th year of competition, and the team enters the season a year removed from a 5th-place finish at the finals. Team Ute CrossFit, who placed 9th overall, is another strong team contender.
In the Masters section, Gene La Monica of Colorado Springs, Colo., returns in 2012 after finishing the year with the highest ranking among those in the 45-49 age division. Jim Duwve, Scott Olsen, and Greg Walker are others to keep an eye on in the 50-54, 55-59 and 60-plus categories, respectively.
Former gymnast and 11th-place Games finisher, Rosanne Allen once again represents the Masters women in the 45-50 age group, along with 1st place Mary Beth Litsheim (50-55), Marcia Walker (55-60), and Dee Jones (60-plus).