Over 300 athletes from across Canada and the U.S. went to the wall and over at the fifth annual Okanagan Valley Throwdown last weekend.
Competing in six divisions, the men and women battled the strain of fatigue and exertion, many winding up on their hands and knees after each event on the floor of the South Okanagan Events Centre.
“It was great, the athletes had an amazing time and that’s what’s most important. We want to showcase a good event and make sure they come back year after year,” said co-organizer Lyndie Hill of Hoodoo Adventures. “I always say Crossfit is like the new triathlon, it’s just driven athletes who like the challenge of something different all the time. You know what they say: ‘expect anything in crossfit,’ and that’s what I think they do is show up and expect anything.”
According to Hill there are plans to expand the Penticton event, which one of a two-series schedule, the other being in Abbotsford.
“We’re looking at ways to house these athletes and put on a solid event they want to travel to,” said Hill. “It’s just so beneficial for the community to have 350 people travelling here in January and if we can increase that that’s a big win for the community.”
Events included weightlifting, handstand push ups, rope climb, wall ball, toes to bars, hang clean and abmat sit up.
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Among the athletes competing on the weekend was local teen Jacob Andersson (men’s rec division) who at age 16 was the youngest competitor in the individual category.
“This is my second event, I competed in one in Kelowna in October,” said Andersson who attends Penticton Secondary School. “It’s just kind of fun for me and I actually feel like I get stronger (as the competition progresses). It’s the only sport I seem to enjoy.”
He usually trains about five times a week at the CrossFit Penticton gym.
While he finished lower than most of the other, older competitors in his division, Andersson said he was in it for the fun this time around.
It was in the competitive team event Penticton had the best showing with the CrossFit Penticton squad earning a fourth place behind CrossFit Kitsilano Wolfpack, CrossFit BC (Vancouver) and the winners, The Centaurs from CrossFit Fraser Valley.
In the recreation team division CrossFit Prince George topped the standings followed by CrossFit South Delta and Body Shop Training Centre (Kelowna).
Adam Davidson of CrossFit Lolo (Victoria) was the men’s competitive individual winner followed by Matt Ciolfi of CrossFit North Vancouver and Luke Waterhouse, Kelowna CrossFit.
On the women’s side it Nicole Degoeij of Kamloops CrossFit topping the list followed by Miyoko McKeown of Natural Strength CrossFit (Kamloops) and Nathalie Scharf of CrossFit Salmon Arm.
In the men’s rec division it was Fernando Villasenor of Rockey Point CrossFit (Coquitlam) in first followed by Justin Fulford of Victoria and Stan Heunis, CrossFit Salmon Arm.
For the women, Jessica Jones of CrossFit South Delta topped the standings followed by Breanna Witzke of CrossFit Abbotsford and Lula Darquier of Opus Athletics (Whistler).
For additional results go to www.throwdownseries.ca/leaderboard/ and click on “live results.”