Glenwood CrossFit team looks to learn at regional |

Glenwood CrossFit team looks to learn at regional

Jon Mitchell

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The members of Glenwood Springs CrossFit who are competing in this weekend’s CrossFit Games South West Regional team competition are well aware of what’s ahead of them.

“Don’t get me wrong,” gym owner Thad Eshelman said. “We’re going to go over there and compete, and we’re all going to go over there and do the best that we can do. And if we all do that, well, victory will lie in the effort.”

To be sure, Glenwood Springs CrossFit is reserved to knowing its competition at the regional in Salt Lake City, which takes place today through Saturday at the South Towne Exposition Center, will be the best its seen through a season that’s been going since February. Still, the eight team members from the gym were good enough to reach a competitive level that is primarily reserved for CrossFit affiliates from major metropolitan areas.

That’s what the team from Glenwood is focused on headed into the weekend, and it hopes that some of the workout performances leading up to its qualifying run will carry over into the weekend.

“We are the only team that’s not from a city or a suburb, so we are the only small-town team that will be there,” Eshelman said. “In the past we’ve finished, 60th, 90th and 60th. This year we finished 27th. That’s a pretty big deal.”

For the eight team members, who include Matt Cova, Cory House, Ryan Erickson, Deanna Spracher, Christine Smalley, Tara Applegate, Makenzie Eshelman and Thad, a major change to CrossFit Games rules made a big difference in the team cracking the top-48 ranking it needed to advance to the regional. The rule change requires teams to show a more balanced workout performance over the course of the season leading up to the regional as opposed to years past, where the performances of very strong individuals could blow up the team’s workout averages and carry weaker team members.

That’s never been a problem for the Glenwood team members, whose individual workouts typically rank above 130th place in fields that include 400 competitors. Individual weekly workouts are posted on the Internet, giving athletes a chance to compare themselves to other CrossFit athletes.

So what was the overall reaction when they found out they’d made it?

“We kept hitting refresh on the Web page,” Smalley said, laughing. “We couldn’t believe it.”

Spracher explained that the workouts CrossFit sent to the participating teams in preparation for the regional are very strength based, which diverts from the gym’s typical skill-based workouts. Add in some injuries that have come up with team members since Glenwood reached the regional, and the team has toned its expectations down from the top-15 finish it hoped for after it heard it had qualified.”

“Next year, we’ll go in with a different mindset,” Spracher said. “We’ll take this experience this year and learn from it.”

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