So our two lovely lady-dragons are off to regionals today. They’ve been preparing for and dissecting the workouts for months now, and finally the day is here. There are actually 33 girls total competing going “individual” because many of the other lady CrossFitters have opted to compete on the regional teams, but those are 33 of the fittest women in the whole of Northern California including several former CrossFit Games Finals athletes. Some of these athletes have the luxury of being able to dedicate significant time and resources to their training, but both Amanda and Jill have had their plates full for quite some time. Amanda not only coaches, but is now part-owner of The Cave, co-runs the gymnastics program, works part time for the state park service, and is going to school to better prepare herself for a career in health care. (Will she be a doctor? nurse? paramedic? physician’s assistant? Yet to be determined.) Jill is only a full time attorney, wife, mother of two young boys, 43 years old, and in the middle of moving. How they both find the time and energy to train the way they do is difficult to comprehend. Both of our ladies have relatively modest expectations, mainly because they are humble girls, but my predictions are that Jill will establish herself solidly in the top 10 during the first workout if not in the top 5 and then she’ll be fighting for one of the top slots, surprised to find herself easily in the top 18 in workout #6. Amanda will have solid performances in the first few workouts, meeting her goals of finishing under the time cap and then she’ll get to crush workout #5. (Sorry, I can’t help myself- I like making predictions. It’s fun!) No matter how they place though, our ladies are bound to have a wonderful experience, meet great people and make new friendships and we are very, very proud of them. Here is the CrossFit Games page with the event times for each day: http://games.crossfit.com/region/northern-california You have to scroll down and click on “Regional Event Details” for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to see the start times for each event. There will be two workouts a day for three days for a total of six brutal regional workouts. Roger and Bryan will be down at the Santa Clara fairgrounds today coaching our ladies and keeping us up to date. Be sure to wish these incredible girls luck in their Games’ endeavors!
That's our little Jill Sprague on the right with Terri at the 2010 Nor-Cal 40's. This is what a fire-breathing lady dragon looks like.
August of 2009... back when Amanda was a baby-Crossfitter at the ripe old age of... 23?
These are the WOD’s that Amanda & Jill will be facing over the next 3 days. They should have a blast!
The 2012 edition of TJ’s Gym’s Nor-Cal 40’s is coming up next on Sunday of next weekend. We have a little team of three attending with our own defending Champ Jill Sprague ready (sort of… she’s never really ready) to defend her title as last year’s Female Champ! Jacqui Miranda is joining her on the women’s side and Noah Guyot is competing is representing the Cave men this year! I wanted to let all you Caver’s know in case any one is interested in coming to support our little team. Last year Big Bad TJ’s Gym put on an AWESOME event. It was very professional, fun, and the workouts were brilliant. All of the info for the 2012 Nor Cal 40’s is here, in the Nor Cal 40’s page, of course. The event will be held at the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond. Competition begins at 8am. Here’s a snipet of the info off of the NorCal 40’s website:
Check-in time is 7:00am Competition begins at 8:00am Location: Craneway Pavilion (www.craneway.com) Free parking There will be food for sale, provided by Craneway, that is protein friendly but not all paleo. You ARE allowed to bring your own food into the facility. There will be a full bar, also for sale by Craneway. There will be a $5 spectator fee (kids 15 and under free).
Here’s a little video from last year’s competition for you to enjoy:
Here’s another one. Terri Rivero is an athlete from CrossFit Petaluma coached by Sarah Pierce.
Lastly I would like to give a special thanks to Joanna Sapir, founder of CrossFit Santa Rosa for coaching Jill during last year’s Nor Cal 40’s finals when I could not stay due to work back at the gym. Thank you, Joanna for all your help and support!
Our friendly neighborhood CF affiliate and rival, TJ’s Gym (yes folks, it’s ok to be friends) is hosting the Nor-Cal 40’s competition this Sunday, Feb. 13th, starting at 8am. It sounds like an aweful lot of fun. The programming is being done by Andy Petranek, founder of CF LA and one of the most experienced and craftiest hands at coaching this stuff. Rumor has it that there will be three workouts and since there is no scaling, I suspect that there won’t be any muscle-ups or handstand push-ups. Which is why Jill may be in trouble, because, if there were, she would win. I’m betting that there is a lot of running, and running is her goat, but since she dominates at everything else, that suits things just fine and will make things entertaining… errr, I mean interesting! Here is a picture of our heroine looking very apprehensive at her very first CF competition at the 2009 CF Games affiliate cup:
A very apprehensive Jill Sprague when we were looking on while Dave Castro explained the instructions from the 2009 CF Games Affiliate Cup. Famous quote from Jill: "Wall Ball?... What is Wall Ball? Someone needs to show me wall-ball before we start."
Here are a few notes about Jill:
Jill is an attorney, married, and mother of two in her early forties. Her kids Will & Matty are about 6 & 8 years old. (more or less)
Jill was an elite gymnast at UCLA way back in… the late 80’s??
She also trains at the Ice Chamber in the east bay in the mornings.
Jill found CFM by searching for parkour classes. She brought her friend Caroline Lee to the parkour classes (Aka Liner, or Jail-Break and also a former UCLA gymnast), who proceeded to use her new found parkour skills to help her win Wipe-Out and $50K last year. Liner hasn’t been back to CFM since. BAD Liner! Infamous quote from Aero: “She didn’t even take her parkour coach out to dinner.” Don’t be sooo butt-hurt, Aero. She started off with Shane anyways. =)
Russell with his "Wipe-Out" idol "Jail Break" in the back ground at Caroline's viewing party
“The Face of Parkour Connections”
Jill has mainly taken parkour classes with us and done a few CrossFit classes and just a couple of adult gymnastics classes. (She likes the parkour classes because she can learn new stuff. The gymnastics classes haunt her with her competitive past more than anything else.) Jill is now one of our coaches and teaches the girl’s Intermediate/competitive-track gymnastics class on Tuesdays & Thursdays along with Amanda Norton from 4:30-5:50pm. Her son Will takes my competitive-track gymnastics class at the same time while Mathew Sprague takes the intermediate parkour classes with Aero. You’ve never seen a couple of kids prouder of having such a cool mom and it’s a real treat to watch Jill coach her boys. Unfortunately, since she’s started coaching for us in September of 2010, she’s hardly been able to sneak in any workouts. Coach’s curse, Jill, now you know how it feels.
Back in 2009 we needed females to represent us at the CF Games. Jill and Kristy stepped up and competed for us in all 3 events of the first day of affiliate competition. Both of their goats was running. They dominated at everything else. Even wall-ball. Jill is short, at least by CrossFit standards (she’s about average height for a gymnast) . When Dave Castro was giving the instructions for the Affiliate Cup in 2009 Jill had the most apprehensive look of disbelief I have ever seen. She turns to me and says: “Andres, how did you get me into this?!” I laughed. “I’m not sure, Jill, but you’re here!”. Moments later she turns to me again and asks me “What is wall-ball?” The target for wall ball at the 2009 games was more like 12 feet high instead of the usual 10 feet. Breanne Feudale, a fire-breather from Mad-Dawg fitness at the time and Nor-Cal favorite CrossFit Games contender, DNF’ed on the Snatch/Wall-Ball couplet in the individual competition that year because she could not get one wall ball at the target’s height. The movement required too much power and it was exceedingly difficult for short girls. Jill proceeded to learn wall-Ball for the first time and perform incredibly well in all of the workouts. (Except for maybe the hill run. That one wasn’t so good.) This rock-star carried the CFM team along with Kristy Graves that year to a respectable finish for the Cup, even though they both had to compete in every workout! We should have had three or four women competing and we only had two! Now, despite not having recently been training CrossFit, she’s stepping up to take on the Nor-Cal 40’s at TJ’s Gym. Jill is competitive, but she also goes for fun and to enjoy the experience, regardless of the outcome. I’m looking forward to coaching her on Sunday, especially because as a coach, she gives to others all the time. It will be fun to have this event be about her.
I want to thank the folks from TJ’s for accomodating us and giving us a few spots to compete, although registration had just closed. Unfortunately Martin hurt his wrist when a panel mat slid out from under him during a max-height box-jump and won’t be able to compete this weekend and Rosanna won’t be able to make it either. Nevertheless, I encourage any of you who wish to come watch and support us to swing on by. I just found this video of the workouts and standards, luckily for Jill, there’s not that much running!
Here is a more entertaining video (that you may have seen before) of Jill’s Ninja Warrior submission from last July:
We’ll see what she can do on Sunday. Wish her luck!