Amanda Barnhart at the 2018 CrossFit Games Central Regional. Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
Amanda Barnhart at the 2018 CrossFit Games Central Regional. Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Take a guess at who won three events at the Central Regional this year. Brooke Wells? Kristi Eramo? Nope. It was actually Amanda Barnhart!

Barnhart won the last three events of the weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, to cement her place in the top 5. Barnhart finished 3rd overall and will be heading to the Madison, Wisconsin, to make her rookie debut at the CrossFit Games.

Barnhart has competed at Regionals four times now, twice on a team (2014 and 2016) and twice as an individual. Last year as an individual Barnhart finished 25th overall with her best finish coming on the final event where she took 7th.

2018 was much different. Her worst finish was Event 3 where she ended up 18th. Other than that, all top 10 finishes…and 3 event wins.

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I’m not even sure how to formulate the right words to describe this weekend but it truly was a dream come true. HUGE thank you to all fans- the crowd in Nashville was seriously incredible! Thanks to all the volunteers, judges, and support staff who helped this weekend run flawlessly- you guys are all amazing🙏🏼 This year has been a crazy ride and I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the support from my @centervillecrossfit family! Thank you so much everyone for cheering me along all season! My friends @abby_vichill and @gusthedogsuperfluff for all the emotional support during training 💪🏼 💜 @benbergeron and for top notch programming! My coach and one of best friends @mlyons75323 for taking care of nutrition, spending countless hours in the gym with me, and most importantly believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. THANK YOU Mitch! Special Thank you to My parents and sister @allisongpallija for being my rocks and supporting me in everything since day 1! Love guys so much ❤️ and last but most definitely not least THANK YOU to the husband of the year otherwise known as #theoriginalhubbahubs @wesbarnhart for literally working like an insane man to support us while I spent so much time training. He truly never complained and is the hardest working man I know ❤️❤️❤️ ok that’s a wrap..See you all in Madison!👋🏼#crossfit #crossfitgames #centralregion @crossfit @crossfitgames

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We caught up with Barnhart recently between her Games training (she was in New England last week training with Katrin Davidsdottir, Brooke Wells, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Ehea Schuerch and Jessica Griffith) to learn a little more about the Games rookie.

Oh, and a little bit more about her trip to train with other Games athletes…CrossFit was there to gather some film. Heber Cannon shared on a CrossFit Games post that he thinks Barnhart is someone to keep an eye on and could find herself in the top 10.

The Barbell Spin: When did you get into CrossFit and what was your background before that?

Amanda Barnhart: I started CrossFit in 2014 after I graduated college. I swam Division 1 in college at Cleveland state University for four years. In high school I played volleyball, swam, and ran track for four years. During my childhood, was a gymnast for about 10 years.

TBBS: What programming are you followinging and who is your coach?

AB: I follow Comptrain Programming and my coach is Mitch Lyons the owner of Centerville CrossFit.

TBBS: You finished 2nd in the Central East during the Open. What were your expectations heading into Regionals? Did the workouts line up to your strengths?

AB: After finishing 2nd in the CrossFit Open this year I knew I was good enough to make the Games if I performed at my potential. The last three workouts definitely lined up with my strengths at Regionals.

TBBS: At what point during the weekend did you know you could compete at the top of the leaderboard and qualify for the Games?

AB: When I won event 4 on Saturday 🙂

TBBS: How has training changed now that you are preparing for the Games?

AB: Volume has definitely increased, I started swimming and biking every week, and I’m setting aside time for specific skill work every day.

TBBS: What are your goals at the Games?

AB: My goal for the Games is to place in the top 10 but I most importantly want to walk away feeling like I gave everything I had in every workout! If I do my best and don’t place in the top 10 I want to be proud of my overall effort.

TBBS: If you could bring back one workout from last year to this year’s Games, which one would it be?

AB: Definitely the clean ladder with Bar muscle ups – I love heavy cleans!!

Make sure you follow Amanda Barnhart on Instagram (@amandajbarnhart) and keep an eye out for her in Madison!