Archive for August 21, 2011

“You didn’t think it was Gonna be that easy, did you? You know, for a second there, Yeah, I kinda Did.”

Posted in Competition on August 21, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

2011 PipeHitters Classic Recap – The Finals

Last Saturday, 45 men and women poured their hearts out over three workouts with one goal in mind, to become the 2011 PipeHitters Classic Champion. And after a morning of all or nothing effort, the men’s and women’s field would be cut down to four of each to slug it out for the title.

Going into WOD 3, the crowd was made aware of just how close the race was to qualify for the top 4 finals positions in both divisions. The top 5 for both men and women were separated by a mere point in descending order. But there were also ties in both. With the destruction laid on the competition field in that last qualifying workout, we were left with a clear 4 men and 4 women to advance to the forth and (hopefully) final workout.

The women’s division was gonna be a true dogfight. Jaime Papineau and last year’s defending champion Jessica Suver were tied in second. And sitting 2 points ahead TIED heading into the finals were Michelle Chan having dominated the 3rd workout and Emily Kent who had been consistently at the top of the pack all day. Game.

Consistency was the name of the game for the men’s division. Jordan Holland of Xplore Crossfit was sitting in first after turning in very similar results to that of Emily Kent. Skylar Pond was holding the second place position after having won WOD 1 & 3, but becoming caught in the 275 Log Jam of workout 2. Last year’s defending Champion Ryan Andrews was holding 3rd on the shoulders of his second place finish in the max overhead workout. And first time PipeHitters competitior Blake Johnson had fought tooth and nail and found himself in the finals in the 4th place position.

Of the 8 athletes announced, 6 are members of the Old Country Iron Club with a 7th being a athlete that follows the training program. I was very proud of them all.

Now with our finalists announced, racks were moved onto the floor, bars were rolled the center of the room, and a very large tire was brought into the gym. The equipment was set out and it was time to find out how we were gonna settle this.

W0D 4 – The Finals “All or Nothing”

Athletes had their attention brought to the four squat racks that had been moved out onto the floor.

“This wouldn’t be PipeHitters without squats right?”

Each athlete was going to have 4 minutes to perform as many rounds as possible of…

4 Squats
11 Hand Release Pushups

The weight announcement sent out a groan, “Women’s weight for this workout will be 185 pounds and our men will be working with 315 pounds.”
…Shit Just Got Real
You will complete this as many times as you can in 4 minutes. The bar must be on the rack at the call of time or the reps of your current round would not count.

You will then rest 3 minutes
I directed my mega phone to the center of the room.

After your 3 minute rest you will have 4 Minutes to complete as many round as possible of…

6 Cleans
4 Tire Jumps

“Our women will be working with 135 pounds and our men will have their bars loaded to 185 pounds.”

A power clean to front squat was going to be allowed for this workout. Down and back up. Very simple standard on the clean. The tire jump was made even more simple by stating the athlete was stand fully on the box with their hips open before returning to the ground for the call of good rep. Complete these two movements as many times as you can in 4 minutes.

You will then rest 3 minutes

Our final 8 athletes began to show looks of worry, when would this end?
After your 3 minute rest you will complete your final 4 minutes of PipeHitters.

I brought the megaphone to my lips, “while you rest we will move the equipment to the sides and roll out our rower we have over here and supply each athlete with a plate.”

The final four minutes would be again as many rounds as you could complete of…

Rowing 250 Meters
Overhead walking Lunges the length of the gym and back.

“Ladies you will be supplied a 25 pound plate for your lunges and men you will be working with 45 pounds.”

The athletes were then made aware of the scoring of this workout. Every rep was a point. In the row every 50 meters was a point and down to one end of the gym was a point and back to the other was another. Most points at the end of the 3 workouts would dictate the winner of the finals and with how close the standing were the winner of the 2011 PipeHitters Classic

The ladies would be the first to take this beast on.

Not many words were exchanged between our finalists as the warmed up their squats. Lifting shoes were laced, belts were tightened, and chalk was applied to backs and bars. The ladies took their positions…

“3, 2, 1, GO!!!”

Right out the gate, our two ladies tied for first jacked out their squats like pistons and hit the ground. But last year’s defending champion wasn’t far behind them making it to the ground. Wild card finalist Jaime Papineau had hit a snag though. She had become buried in the hole on the bottom of her squat and had to dump the bar. She would watch a the others build a lead as she stripped and re-racked her bar.

But Jaime is a competitor, Jaime is Game. She got right back under the bar and knocked out 3 more unbroken reps.

But the pace was being set by Michelle Chan and Emily Kent. As both athletes finished out their 4 minutes almost neck to neck.


Athletes sipped water readjusted belts, dug down deep to lowered their heartrates… but the thought of the cleans to come consumed their minds.

“3, 2, 1, GO!!!”

Last year’s champion had been waiting for this workout. Jessica Suver went about destroying her cleans. Emily Kent who had just destroyed the squats in the last round found herself having to power clean the weight, then perform a front squat. But the real drama was on the other side of the tire. As determined as ever, Jaime Papineau jumped under 135 pounds… and was sent spiraling to the floor under the bar unhurt but a bit shaken. The quiet furry Michelle Chan had been keeping in all day came out as again after again she was UNABLE to clean the weight. A shocked crowd cheered her on as she again tried to rip the bar to her shoulder. The former collegiate rowing champion had spent the last year coming back from a torn achilles, and the time off from her Olympic weightlifting training was catching up with her.

Few could keep their eyes off these women laying it all on the line. But it was Jessica Suver who would truly take it to this leg of the workout.


The floor was cleared and the rowers were brought out.
Emily Kent found herself in the lead, but not by much. Michelle Chan, pride of UW crew, was already setting her rower. Jessica Suver, another colligiate rower, switched out her lifts for more athletic shoes. This was going to be for the title. 4 minutes, who wanted it the most.
“3, 2, 1, GO!!!”

You would not have known that these women had just completed 5 other workouts by the pace with which they hit their rowers. It was raw, it was gritty, all were Game. The women lept from their rowers and, step for step, challenged eachother up and down the gym on the lunges. Michelle Chan had her steel gaze etched on her face. But Jessica Suver‘s long strides were eating up the distance. Emily Kent fought to keep the pace. All four competiotors returned to the rowers and pulled faster splits than the men who were warming up would on the second leg of the row. Again the pace was just as intense on the lunges. But this time, we would find Michelle Chan and Jessica Suver back on the rowers, first pulling with everything they had as the count went out:

“3, 2, 1, TIME!!!”

Who had won? It was too close to call without an official rep count. But the announcement would come after men’s heat.

Bars were loaded to 315 pounds. The final 4 athletes paced back and forth eyeing their bars.

“3, 2, 1, GO!!!”

I always tell my athletes that, “Weight doesn’t get Lighter, YOU get Stronger.”
And every competitor on the floor showed that. Bars moved up and down, 315 pounds was not going crush their fighting spirit… but sometimes gravity has other plans. Last year’s champion Ryan Andrews blew the weight out of the water rep after rep. Jordan Holland would not be slowed either, even Blake Johnson (who was flirting near his one rep max with this weight) attacked it. But Skylar Pond would have gravity reach up and pull the bar from his back to the ground. He would recover and reload the bar, but find himself behind.

Ryan Andrews was running away with it. He was a clear round ahead of the next closest challenger Jordan Holland when he decided to back off the gas and try and save some in the tank. Jordan Holland would seize the lull in the action to crank out 4 squats then hit the deck at a furious pace to complete another round. Ryan registered this in enough time to get 4 more squats, but not enough to make it back to the ground. The lead was slight but it belong to the defending Champ.


Unlike the composed women, the men sprawled all over the floor and tried to get their bearings. This thing hadn’t even started yet.

“3, 2, 1, GO!!!”

If Ryan Andrews had made 315 look effortless in the first leg of the workout, then Jordan Holland was about to do the same with 185. Jordan went unbroken through his first 6 cleans and never slowed down. Ryan and Skylar both would drop between reps and try to get back on the bar to catch the leader of this leg of the workout. With tired legs, Blake Johnson was the picture of no-quit and continued to fight even when hopes started to seem slim, Game.


Again the PipeHitters machine kicked into action and the room was cleared. After dominant performances in the first 2 legs of the final workout, this workout was coming down to Andrews and Holland. But Skylar Pond wasn’t going out with out a fight, Game. Rowers were secured to feet.

“3, 2, 1, GO”

Unlike the ladies, the men’s rows were long powerful strokes. If I hadn’t been walking the line calling out where they were in their distances, it might have looked slow. But it wasn’t. The sprint would come as soon as the competitors touched the plates. The race on the lunges was intense. It was so close when the rowers kicked alive in the second round. Andrews and Holland paced right off of eachother. It had become a chess match as they went back and forth. Apparently Skylar doesn’t play chess. He would jump from his rower and lunge his ceremonial Jhorts down the floor. The final heat was everything you could ask for in 4 athletes going toe to toe for the win.

“3, 2, 1, TIME!!!”

The final call of the 2011 PipeHitters Classic was announced. Who had taken it for the women? Who had won in the men’s?!

Score cards were taken into the back room as athletes congratulated eachother. It was an awesome event, but it wasn’t over. Ten minutes after the conclusion of the fourth workout, the grind of steel against concrete was heard. A prowler was pushed into views.

“We have our Champions, it was close, single points separating first and second place,” I announced.

“But we don’t have any points separating second place. We have a tie in the men’s division and we don’t do ties.”

You’ve already waited this long, the surprise sudden death tie breaker at this year’s 2011 PipeHitters Classic will be recapped tomorrow along with the announcements of the Champions!

To be Continued: Sudden Death

Posted by: Z