BY NICOLA PAERG
The Sacred Heart University Big Red CrossFit (BRCF) club team participated in the 2019 CrossFit Open. According to the CrossFit website, the Open is the largest fitness competition where athletes from all over the world show up and push themselves hard over a five-week period.
The competition consisted of five workouts which were released and available to stream every Thursday night at 8 p.m. from Feb. 21 to March 25.
“As a first year coach here, I was really surprised by the students’ dedication, granted that we are at a school gym,” said graduate student and CrossFit coach Tyler Wakefield. “Usually student schedules are inconsistent so for them to have the ability to perform a high-stress work out in addition to the high stress that comes from being a student is very aggressive and I am impressed.”
After each workout was released, the participants must have completed and submitted their scores into the CrossFit Games app by the following Monday at 8 p.m.
“The CrossFit Open is basically the way in which the CrossFit headquarters determine which athletes are eligible to compete in the CrossFit games every year,” said BRCF head coach Channing Vidal. “It used to be a very competitive thing when there was a regionals division and it was the focus of the entire season to see who could score the best, who would go to regionals, or who would be selected and sent to compete in the games.”
In order to submit an eligible score, the athlete had to be judged by a certified coach, which for BRCF was Wakefield.
“The process to become a judge includes taking the CrossFit judges course in order to be considered eligible for the official position,” said Wakefield. “I got involved with judging the Open because one person from every affiliated box needs to be in charge of validating all of the participants scores.”
There were a total of 11 athletes that paid to participate in the Open at the Big Red affiliate. Others who attended the classes completed the workouts without getting judged and scored.
“I am satisfied with my results as I placed in the 92nd percentile,” said senior Rebecca Rutkiewicz. “In the future Opens, I will work on my gymnastic skills and will prepare by doing more chipper workouts to increase my lung capacity.”
Anyone can pay the fee to participate in the Open and can complete the workouts at any affiliated box or gym.
All of the undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the coaches, that are associated with Big Red CrossFit had the opportunity to participate if they were willing to pay the fee.
“I have been a CrossFit athlete for about three years now and the open is something that I look forward to every year to test my mental and physical abilities,” said senior Riley Cassin. “I loved the workouts, especially because I was able to do all of the movements this year.”
Big Red CrossFit has now begun their own annual “in house” open competition where the coaches have an opportunity to create a workout that is released on Fridays. It is conducted in similar style to the official Open as participants have a week to complete the workout and get officially scored.
“This is our third year as an official CrossFit affiliate and doing the Open and it is a worldwide effort,” said Vidal. “At BRCF it is mainly about the community and getting people to step outside of their comfort zone. To compete a little, but have fun; to suffer together while doing the same workouts together.”