The East regional features the 2015 Fittest Woman on Earth, Katrin Davidsdottir, and two-time runner up at the CrossFit Games, Mat Fraser. Both the men’s and women’s divisions are stacked, so let’s take a look at who we think will be at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.
Mat Fraser has had this regional on lock down for the past two years and this year will likely be no different. Fraser’s strength, experience and his ability to push through pain will get him to the top of the leaderboard. There doesn’t appear to be an event that Fraser could struggle with this weekend.
Alex Vigneault burst onto the scene in the East regional last year with an impressive 2nd place finish behind Fraser. Vigneault won’t be surprising anyone this year, but expect the same result – a solid 2nd place finish.
Paul Tremblay missed qualifying for the CrossFit Games last year after finishing 7th. Tremblay, always known for his strength, appears to have improved his engine after performing very well during the Open. With regional programming looking for a combination of strength and conditioning, Tremblay has the potential to make it a tight race for the top of the leaderboard.
Albert Dominic-Larouche is back this year and is always a force to be reckoned with at regionals. Larouche made it to Games four straight years from 2011 to 2014 and won the Canada East regional in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He might be unable to keep up with Fraser and Vigneault at the top, but expect Larouche to be in contention for a qualifying spot all weekend.
Spencer Hendel and Austin Malleolo are great friends and have been able to make it to the CrossFit Games together many times, including last year after a wild Event 7 shake-up on the leaderboard. This year, however, the 5th qualifying spot might come down to a battle between Hendel and Malleolo. Hendel has destroyed legless rope climbs in previous years, which is bad news for Malleolo should it come down to the last event. We think Hendel holds the advantage this year and will make another CrossFit Games appearance.
1. Mat Fraser
2. Alex Vigneault
3. Paul Tremblay
4. Albert Dominic-Larouche
5. Spencer Hendel
The East regional became a lot more interesting with the addition of Katrin Davidsdottir this year. With another year of training under the watchful eye of Ben Bergeron, look for Davidsdottir to pick up where she left off last year with another competition victory, this time at the East regional.
Michele Letendre is used to going head-to-head with a great athlete from 2011 to 2014 when Camille Leblanc-Bazinet battled for the Canada East regional. While Letendre only beat Leblanc-Bazinet once in that four year span, she didn’t go down without a fight. Expect the same year and a similar result. Letendre won’t be able to bring down Davidsdottir, but will finish solidly in 2nd place.
Kari Pearce took 3rd place in the East regional last year and then went on to finish 21st at her first CrossFit Games. Pearce will likely come out of the gate slowly on the snatch ladder, but will comeback with a solid performance on Regional Nate to put herself into contention after Day 1. A solid Day 2 will cement Pearce in the top 5 and she will hold on to a qualifying spot on Sunday to make a second consecutive CrossFit Games appearance.
Sarah Scholl started off the CrossFit Open very strong battling Davidsdottir the first few weeks. He fell off the last couple weeks, but showed he has the talent to compete with the top athletes in the region. After entering regionals hurt the past couple seasons, Scholl enters this weekend healthy and ready to compete. Look for Scholl to punch her first ticket to the CrossFit Games.
Whitney Gelin moved over the past year and is now in the East regional. Last year, Gelin qualified for the Games out of the Atlantic regional. Gelin makes the East regional more competitive, but she will have to battle for the fifth and final qualifying spot with Dani Horan. Horan finished 2nd in the East regional last year, but an injury prior to the CrossFit Games kept her from competing. With different strengths, Gelin and Horan will likely ping pong on the leaderboard, but at the conclusion of Event 7, Horan will be in the final qualifying spot and heading to Carson.
1. Katrin Davidsdottir
2. Michele Letendre
3. Kari Pearce
4. Sarah Scholl
5. Whitney Gelin