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Big ups to Josh Howey and Danielle Worden!

Josh finished 4th in the state for wraastling and Danielle finished 3rd in the state for powerlifting

Entries in crawford (19)

College Kids Power Rankings: Winter 2018




So with this being the last day most of the College Kids will be around until the spring, I thought it would be fun to do a little ranking based on how they performed over break and the kind of shape I think they'll be in come Summer.

1. Alyssa Jabara

Highlights: 285-lb. deadlift at Lifts 4 Gifts, good kipping pull-ups

Lowlights: still can't do double unders

Notes: Alyssa seemed like a girl possessed this winter. She was in almost every single day and did not seem to lose as much from a good Summer as I thought she would. I also noticed a serious tone to her that I had not really seen before. She's headed into her junior season on the softball diamond at Concordia and she's got that starting catcher spot locked in tunnel vision now.

2. Noah Heide

Highlights: Filthy Fifty, that sleeveless hoodie thing, kipping pull-ups

Lowlights: that deadlift/box jump workout, and the thruster/burpee one after

Notes: Due to some kind of witchcraft, Noah has habitually suffered lower back pain every winter since 'Nam. We had a brief stint of that after his first workout back (that deadlift/box jump one that made everyone sore), but we've seen him recover well enough to the point where he's at full strength now. He also routinely stays after the morning session is done to work on footwork, throwing, and other quarterback drills. Missing the Christmas workout cost him the top spot, but he will also be in for this next week, so he gets bonus points.

3. Josie Junkin

Highlights: Filthy Fifty, running jump ropes, overhead squats with the 15-lb bar

Lowlights: when she tried to add 5's to that OHS bar, allowing those hooligans to wrapping-paper the basketball hoop

Notes: The Josie Junkin I've seen the past two weeks almost made me completely forget about the headaches she caused Jesse, Jay, Jacob, and I during our adolescent years. Almost.

Josie was a quiet addition to the Champions Club this Summer who all-of-a-sudden finished in the top 5 for attendance. After some digging, I found out that she had done virtually nothing while away at Michigan to keep up the fitness she gained during the Summer and I was worried things would regress. Well they did, but not nearly as much, and not nearly as long as I though. In fact, yesterday she had one of the best Filthy Fifty times out of anyone in the gym. And the tequnique on things like overhead squats and push-ups looked good. She even let two spotters hold her upside down for about 7 seconds in something that resembled a handstand.

4. Ally Kauzlarich

Highlights: attendance, handstand walks

Lowlights: feet still can't stay together

Notes: Ally is literally always at the gym. But she is by-far the most quiet in our group. In fact, I've decided to do the next Behind the Champion on her, so be on the lookout for that. She's one of those people who's always good to have back, even though you don't really know a lot about her. I have zero complaints for Ally over the past few weeks, and that is about the highest compliment one can receive.

5. Lindsey Eason

Highlights: all of Lifts 4 Gifts, cheering on everyone working out

Lowlights: every time she walks into the gym, Taylor Swift radio on Pandora, please take down my picture from your mantle

Notes: As much as I hate to admit it, Lindsey is quickly becoming one of those Shakes-types that just makes things go during a session. She's fit enough to where she won't lag too far behind in any workout (or she'll just cut reps), and she talks to anything that moves. So best bet is to stay completey still and she might ignore you. 

6. Luke Heide

Highlights: Filthy Fifty, kipping pull-ups, longsnapping, running wasn't horrible

Lowlights: cheating in Spike-ball

Notes: I'm not gonna lie, I was not expecting Luke or Noah to retain much from the Summer. But I was pleasantly surprised to see their form didn't look too bad. Luke rounded his back on deadlift set-ups early on, so I yelled at him and he fixed it. Unfortunately he was gone for about a week, which is why he's so much lower than his brother on the rankings, but he's got an extra week too which helps place him ahead of...

7. Cecilia Steinwascher

Highlights: running/thrusters, running/overhead squats, running in general

Lowlights: cheating in Spike-ball, that weeklong vacation

Notes: Cecilia got off to a really good start on her return, but like Luke, the vacation let the likes of Lindsey, Ally, and Josie crawl ahead of her on the power rankings. She also wouldn't let us hear the end about how sore her calves were after box jumps. Still a useful couple weeks of workouts for the soccer star.

8. Ricky Carey

Highlights: snatches, the double-unders on the Filthy Fifty

Lowlights: attendance, sit-ups on the Christmas Eve Workout

Notes: We got to see Slick Rick for only about a week this Christmas break, but it was an entertaining one nevertheless. He missed out on Lifts 4 Gifts and the Filthy Fifty, but Ricky is always Ricky; he'll be ready in whatever shape he needs to be in should the desire come his way.

9. Kris Campbell

Highlights: gracefulness on box jumps, kipping pull-ups, bringing in the Spike-ball thing

Lowlights: stretching out my hoodie, that deadlift/box jump workout, forgetting the Christmas Eve workout was on Christmas Eve

Notes: I was not aware that the Air Force football program does not believe in doing deadlifts (true story), and the last time Big Kris deadlifted was Summer 2017 here. So in retrospect, 70 deadlifts at 225 may have not been a great idea on my part. After a few days of being sore, he was back at it. Wish we could have seen him more, but always good to have the Big Fella back in any capacity.

10. Brendan Crawford

Highlights: brought in that bite-sized cheesecake thing for me

Lowlights: continues to allow Sweet Dreams to get in the way of him being a strong girl one day

Notes: Crawford is Crawford, and I will defend him to the death. That's my man 50-grand, and the Champions Club is always better when he's around. Definitely was hoping to see more of him over break, but his running background should keep him in pretty good shape for the Summer.

11. James Willis

James pictured behind CrawfordHighlights: the attention he pays to his new smart watch, seeing his car parked in his normal spot when I pulled in on my way back from Stoney Creek

Lowlights: not seeing it much more after that despite him working AT THE SAME FREAKING BUILDING NICK AND ERICA WORK!

Notes: You're right there dude. Literally right there! You don't even have to make a turnaround. Straight across Stephenson.

12. DIV

Highlights: those two workouts he was here

Lowlights: form, technique, he still has my Steve Jobs movie

Notes: pissed

13, 14, 15. The Banets

Highlights: still look and move like Banets

Lowlights: conditioning is down a bit, Biff is working through a hip thing

Notes: They're the Banets. They'll be fine. Summer 2019 should be fun!

Honorary mention - Bubs

...for having the audacity to choose a grad school not withing driving distance of the Champions Club. We miss you!

Honorary Mention II - Rachael Kroll

All you need to know about Kroll is this was her med ball for the Run 400 meters, 50 squats workout. Ol' Floppy, sad and depleted and not meant to be squatted to.

Beast Mode: Marathon Crew

Yesterday the Champions Club represented well in the Free Press Half and Full Marathon races. The cold conditions proved difficult for the runners, but it still turned out pretty well.

Mrs. Fitz did a half marathon for what I believe was the first time in her life and finished the entire thing without walking. She ended at 2:32.

Keep your shin vertical Fitz-OAlso in the half was everyone's favorite crybaby Brendan Crawford. He finished in 1:45 and kept a sub-8 minute mile pace the entire time. Hopefully we'll catch him back soon.

Finally, Matt Fecht finished 2nd overall in the American-only half marathon, running 1:06:46 - which was actually good for a pr. He was surprised considering he has been off with his running and lifting due to teaching and coaching obligations. Rumors have been floating around about his return as well.

On the other side, we had one athlete complete the entire marathon, and as you would expect that would be Mrs. Crystal Reed. For the first time she continued her CrossFit training in the two months leading up to the race, and she feels like it helped her with the hills, and with her recovery after the race. She ran a 3:45! We'll see her back in this week.

Senior Tribute 2018

by, Danielle Worden...

Jennifer Banet aka Jen

One of the most hard working athletes I know. She never gives up especially when it comes to breaking records. Off days you ask? Jen doesn't know what those are. Not only is she a top athlete but she enjoys what she does. Whenever I see her in the gym she never fails to have a smile on her face. She shines bright and inspires those around her. Overall she is an amazing person and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for her!! Good luck girl!

Jennifer's first day at the Champions Club - Summer 2014

Brendan Crawford

I honestly didn't know his first name until a month after meeting him; I only knew him as Crawford. Oh boy where do I start...besides calling everyone a "Jew" Crawford is a pretty good kid and actually quite intelligent, outside the gym. But in the gym he works hard until the work is done and from there on out it's all fun and games. He is definitely the goofball of the gym yet his dumb jokes never fail to put a smile on someone's face. The gym will be much quieter without him but overall his work ethic and personality will be missed. Good luck at Macomb and Lawrence Tech!

Crawford and his 11 am goobers from Summer 2016

...and Carter the Blob

Aaron Sexton

Aaron is one of the weirdest people ever. He can roast you and then be cool with you. A big part about what kept me trying to compete with the rest of the people in a workout is just to beat Aaron a brag to him(never beat him). He has this weird catchphrase that makes no sense whatsoever but is just so odd and catchy that Chris and I both say it. Holy potatoes Jim, its been awhile since you been in the gym.  (That rhymes, I'm a poet and I didn't even know it)

7th grade Aaron Sexton - Summer 2013

Dawson Bielski

I was hella impressed ever time I saw dawson play football and he'd be out on the field. Crossfit has worked wonders on him and from a perspective of a younger highschooler it was interesting to see someone built to be a jock be so chill and relaxed. I would always laugh when he pulled up with the purple Dodge Charger. That was so funny to me.

Super Gump in the flesh with his first double under. Summer 2016

Kenny Jensen

KENNYYYYY. By far one of the quietest people in the gym but that's ok. He works his ass off any work out I've seen him in. I remember the good ol' no on squad with Crawford, Kenny, and the little short kid(matt?mike? Something with an M). That was fun and I'm glad Kenny would be one of the few i tried to keep up with. He always gives his full and I'd like to see him back in the gym some day.

Kenny's death stare in his rookie class at Summer 2016

Pic of the Week: Crawford and his Coach

Many of the fall sports around the area held their annual banquet at some point this past week. Warren Mott Cross Country was in that camp, as theirs went down on Wednesday. As you know, we have quite a few runners on that team that are part of the Champions Club now, or at least were for a while - Andre, Kenny, Hickey, Parker - and the guy that started that connection was Brendan Crawford. Yes he's annoying, yes Avery can beat him up, and yes, he's still one of my favorite athletes to have in the gym. He's in that Katie Shakes camp as far as just being a plain, old-fashioned good kid.

At the banquet on Wednesday, somewhere between dinner and their coach getting silly-stringed, a few of runners interrupted the procedure in favor of a special announcement: they gave Crawford a trophy and nominated him as an honorary captain. He brought it to the gym on Thursday and the first person he hold was Mrs. Pip, who took a lot of time to work on his nutrition over the past year.

Crawford finished the season very well, and is looking to run at Macomb Community College next year.

Congratulations kiddo! Keep up all the hard work!

Beast Mode: Crawford

In relation with our recent Campus Improv Eats series, Summer 2016 rookie Brendan Crawford has been doing a much improved job with his nutrition over the course of the past six months or so. He fell off a bit at the start of the school year but picked it back up in recent weeks.

Yesterday at his Cross Country meet at Grosse Pointe South, Crawford ran an 18:26, which is an all-time best by 50 seconds. 

Crawford also made a good decision on Monday to do half of the workout and spend the rest of the session on the Marc Pro. In-season athletes should do some experimenting on whether they tend to get more sore the day of or day after a workout. Crawford is usually sore on the day after, so he opted for a lighter effort on the day before.

Now he's hoping to get as close to under 18 as possible before the end of the season. Keep up the good work kiddo.

Coach's Corner: More With Tempo

Among other things, this has been the Summer of tempo lifts. On Tuesday we worked slow sets of 5 front squats with everyone in our constant attempt to develop more movement control - and therefore strength. Here is the last sets from the 11 am and 6:30 pm sessions.

Carter: "OOWWWWW"

A couple points of note:

Rack position. The front rack archetype is one of the fundamentals shapes our shoulder need to be able to go through, and is very prominent in things like throwing and tumbling. In the front squat, the main limiting factor for most in keeping the elbows up isn't the wrists, and it's not necessarily the shoulders (although improved mobility will help). It's actually midline strength. At the bottom I yell out "elbows up" as a means to make sure the athletes are not breaking any position of the midline. I'm sure they noticed how much harder this made the lift.

Gravity. The more I am learning about strength and conditioning, the more I am beginning to realize the role of strength: resisting gravity when needed. If we are exaggerating the skill/technique of a movement, then we are working with natural forces (gravity, muscle/tendon elasticity). But in real life, we will not always have the perfect technique to serve what nature is offering us. Or maybe we will be blindsided by a linebacker. This is where strength comes in to help us keep our position relative.

Movement control. In order to keep position, we need to control how our body moves. This is what I refer to as movement control. This can be as simple as bracing the midline, or holding the figure-4 Pose in running. When you speed a movement up, athletes can find flow that can help them with the skill/technique; when they slow it down, it helps on the other end of the movement control spectrum. The front squats in the video above are a great challenge to the athletes' position. Watch Elizabeth go through her front squats; how many moving parts are there? Is her head moving? Her arms? Her belly? Not really. Watch Crawford (with 3 years less CrossFit experience); how many moving parts do you see? Was he able to control the squat movement to the tempo of my counting? What about Kroll?

Now this is all fun for me to talk about, but the thing I really value is intensity. So when we see movements with the squat performed at high intensity, I am interested to see if this translates as well as I think it will. Just some things to keep in mind...

Athlete of the Week: Crawford

The Athlete of the Week award this time around goes out to Brendan Crawford.

Crawford has definitely come a long way since his Rookie Session days last Summer, and this week he’s been at about the best I’ve seen him. Fueled by a brewing/entertaining rivalry with Murley (his coach from last Summer) and Mrs. Pip’s constant nutrition guidance, Crawford is put on quite a performance this week. He started off things on Monday by doing handstand push-ups to a wall for the first time in his CrossFit career. On Tuesday he finished a few seconds behind Murley, though he did partial ROM GHD sit-ups with good form.

Hish highlight from this week definitely came on Thursday, where he topped out at an impressive 225-lbs. on his 1 rep max deadlift - which is a pr by almost one hundred pounds! Then yesterday he showed great breath control and posted the top score of the day.

Another important aspect of Crawford that cannot be overlooked is his community involvement here. Besides leaving us with a delicious box of cheesecake goodness at the start of the week, he also brought in a great new addition for our 10 am session.

Keep up the good work Crawford! Finish strong for your senior year!