It’s hard to believe it’s already time for Regionals. In less than 48 hours, the South Regional team competition will kick off in San Antonio, Texas. With 39 teams coming from three regions (South Central, South West and Latin America), the South Regional is the largest field. It also means that the athletes and teams get a bit more rest between events each day because of the extra heat.
The 2016 South Regional Team Champion, #TeamDensity, is not competing this year so we will see a new team atop the podium. But familiar faces will also be fighting for a ticket to the CrossFit Games. Teams like Pillar CrossFit and Backcounty Black look to return to the Games while EaDo Elite Blue will attempt to fight their way into the top 5 this year.
Let’s take a look at who we think will make it into the top 5 and earn their way to Madison, Wisconsin.
1. Wasatch Brutes
This team is loaded with former individual CrossFit Games veterans. Led by Adrian Conway, two of the three women on the team (Mandi Janowitz and Tiffany Hendrickson) are Games veterans while Michaela North just missed out on qualifying for the Games as an individual last year. On the men’s side, Brennan Fjord was on Ute CrossFit’s Games team that finished 3rd in 2015.
2. Pillar CrossFit
Pillar CrossFit qualified for the Games last year and are looking to return again in 2017. In 2016, the team’s worst finish was 14th in the last event after their ticket to the Games was already guaranteed. Keep an eye out for Dusty Flores’ bright tights and wild hairdo.
3. EaDo Elite Blue
Last year’s team struggled with three events. The Men’s Snatch Ladder, the Partner Deadlifts and Synchro Burpee event and the Men’s Run, OHS and GHD Sit-up chipper killed the team’s chances in 2016. All three events featured a barbell. Without a barbell this year look for EaDo to be a little more consistent and to earn a trip to Madison.
4. Backcountry Black
One of the unique things about the team competition at Regionals this year is the introduction of the Worm. While the Worm has been a staple in the team competition at the Games for several years, it has never been programmed at Regionals. The Worm is featured in three of the six events making experience a big plus. Backcountry Black has been to the CrossFit Games each year the Worm has been programmed giving them an advantage heading into the weekend. If they can use that experience to aid them this year, look for Backcountry Black to be fighting for a qualifying spot on Sunday.
5. CrossFit Omnia
Similar to Backcountry Black, experience will prove critical for CrossFit Omnia. Last year’s trip to the Games and firsthand experience using the Worm in competition will give the edge needed to squeak into the top 5 in 2017 and return to the CrossFit Games.