Ogden CrossFit team explodes onto world scene

Wednesday , August 13, 2014 - 10:59 AM

SOUTH WEBER – Blake Bastian assumed CrossFit would be boring.

Ironically, it was getting bored with what he was doing that helped push him into CrossFit.

“I just got bored with what I was doing and wanted to do something else,” Bastian said. “(My brother’s friend) had been bugging me about trying it, so I tried it and I loved it.”

Now, Bastian can say he’s competed against some of the fittest people in the world after the three-man, three-woman team he was a part of took seventh out of 43 teams in the CrossFit Games, a four-day competition that took place in late July at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

“We were really happy,” Bastian said. “It was a good experience.”

Bastian, who trains with his teammates at CrossFit The Club, located inside the Ogden Athletic Club in South Ogden, describes CrossFit as “different workouts that basically test all-around fitness.” Examples of specific events included a 1,000-pound sled push, a 1,000-pound sled pull with a rope and a lot of gymnastics and weightlifting.”

“It’s addicting because you’re always competing against yourself or (someone) else,” Bastian said. “You’re always competing to beat your own time… You’re always competing with the class… you’re always trying to beat other people.”

As a former football player at Snow College, CrossFit brings back competitive memories for Bastian.

“It brought back the competitive side of me,” Bastian said. “I played college football and I kind of missed that competitiveness.”

Bastian and the team of six that included Sheena Hammer, Autumn Hawkins, Chris Perrins, Chase Heywood, and Dave Laloli entered the 2014 CrossFit Games following a regional competition which included athletes from Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico that tested the top 30 teams and the top 48 individuals which advanced through a video selection process where athletes submitted five different workouts. Only the top three individuals and the top three teams advanced from each of 17 different regional competitions. Bastian and his teammates, which were part of the South West regional and narrowly missed qualifying for the CrossFit Games each of the past two years by taking fourth, took first this year.

“We did (feel pressure to break the top three),” Bastian said. “I feel like we’ve always been good enough… but we had just one mess up at regionals that cost us the trip, one event that took us out of it that’s hard to come back from.”

No such event existed this year as the team surged into the CrossFit Games.

Once there, however, things unraveled. And that one event that the team avoided throughout the regionals finally reared its head.

“We had to hold this big, huge sandbag that weighed like 400 lbs.,” Bastian said. “Everyone had to hold it and squat with it and then jump over it synchronized… We just hadn’t practiced that kind of stuff.”

The team, which at one point during the first day was in first place, ended up finishing seventh – leaving Bastian with a bittersweet feeling.

“We were definitely happy to be there, but we knew we had the potential to at least stand at the podium, which was top three,” Bastian said. “During the first day we were in first place… seventh in the world – we were happy with it, but we knew that we could have done better.”

With the competition over, Bastian will continue to train – although he admits he won’t be putting in the five hours a day he was putting in in preparation for the games. As for the future of the team, Bastian is uncertain.

“We might all want to try individual after this,” Bastian said. “Just different, trying something new. A team is a lot of sacrifice because you have to do a lot of stuff with your team so it’s coordinating when you can work out. It takes a lot more time to work out with a team and meet with your team. It might be a little easier as individuals as far as time goes.”

Contact reporter Ryan Comer at rcomer@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @RyanComerSe and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RyanComerSe

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