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Rand Stevens


August 16, 2023

Local CrossFitters podium at LEAF Gym’s first regional competition

Last April, when Kyle and Trina Vierck opened a new CrossFit gym they dubbed LEAF — for Leading Edge Athletics and Fitness — they had in mind a mechanism to grow a healthy community with regional competitions as a stepping stone to national events.

CrossFit has nationwide gym affiliates that focus on a rotation of varied, functional, and high-intensity group workouts that can scale with diverse age groups and ability levels.

According to the CrossFit website, the organization was “founded in 2001 and can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to better performance… It’s the formula for everything we do, from forging elite fitness to preventing and reversing chronic disease. It’s the inputs that give us the outcomes, the results that have revolutionized an industry and changed millions of lives for the better.”

CrossFit organizes a national competition they call the CrossFit Games that measures qualified athletes as individuals or as teams in various fitness-focused events that change every year. Since 2007, and every year that followed, competitors have raised the intensity while hoping to be crowned the fittest human being at the annual event.

In order to qualify, gym-goers rely on smaller regional competitions to make the cut.

LEAF got one step closer last Saturday when they hosted their first regional event — the LEAF Classic. It wasn’t officially sanctioned but it provided a dry run for the open they’ll host in February and hope to make it an annual thing.

“This was in-house competition,” Kyle Vierck said.

The event drew 21 teams of three athletes who competed in five different workouts and four divisions. It began at 8 a.m. and finished around 2 p.m. and 40% were NCW athletes and the rest of the field were from the surrounding region. Overall, around 150 people packed the gym including the 63 participants.

Teams of three were tested on overhead clean and jerk, front squat, 1,000-meter row, pull-ups, 150-pound sandbags, and a run just to name a few. The top clean and jerk weight for men was set at 330 pounds and women at 200.

“We have diverse athletes,” Vierck said. “It pays to be strong and fast but it’s better to be well-rounded.”

He added, “We’ll continue to build from a regional standpoint."

They also plan to help create a competitive Eastern Washington league that starts in the fall.

The Podium Winners

Rx Male Division

  • Eli Phillips
  • Colton Ayers
  • Will Lohman

Rx Female Division

  • Emily Benson
  • Annette Demeyer
  • Courtney Ruane

Scaled Men’s Division

  • Andy Harris
  • Dale Smith
  • Jeff Mortensen

Scaled Women's Division

  • Shelby McCreary
  • Adela Bower
  • Jessica Banks

The RX female team was the only group to podium who was not from NCW.

“We’ll be running it annually,” Vierck said. “It will be open to all comers. We want as many community members as we can to build a healthy lifestyle around competition.”

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