Just sixty pounds denied Michael Bodi, Crystal Lake & Vanessa Stack, St. Charles, a perfect Leader Board run at the CrossFit Arlington Heights 2013 Tandem Throwdown. The CrossFit-style event drew forty tandems of one man and one woman from across Illinois, and Wisconsin and New York. The eight teams with the highest scores after three intense workouts advance to the fourth and final workout.
Event champions Bodi and Stack -- competing as "NorthWallers" -- dominated the Leader Board with first place finishes in Workout #1 / "Shackles", Workout #3 / "Run -- Row "and Workout #4 / "Chip You." But a seemingly effortless ascent through Workout #2 / "Ground-to-Overhead Ladder" by Jessica Layman, Chicago, competing with Taylor Layman, Chicago, slowed the Bodi / Stack steamroll, handing them their lone second place finish of the competition.
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Layman was the only woman to complete the Ground-to-Overhead Ladder, and even made a valiant effort for a second lift at 205 pounds. Every additional lift completed by an athlete at the last rung of the ladder (205 pounds for women, 315 pounds for men) added weight to the Tandem's finish total. Taylor Layman cleared 275 pounds, giving Taylor / Taylor a combined weight of 480 pounds for a first-place finish in the workout.
Joining Bodi & Stack on the 2013 Tandem Throwdown podium were Jason Kalinowski & Leah Perri, Antioch, in second place; and Scott Carlson & Mary Kate Olsen, Arlington Heights, in third place.
The Bodi / Stack championship run was not without challenge. Kalinowski / Perri came within three Partner Burpees of Bodi / Stack in Workout #1 / "Shackles", completing 88 Burpees to the 91 logged by the "NorthWallers." A single Partner Burpee separated the third place team, JR Phillips & Amanda Phillips, Hanover Park, from Kalinowski / Perri. The top eight Tandems in "Shackles" completed an amazing 621 Partner Burpees within the 17 minute cap.
Workout #2 / "Ground-to-Overhead Ladder" congested the Leader Board with three Tandems joining Bodi & Stack at 420 pounds combined: Katye Kettler & Josh Burrell, Lisle; Eric Gustafson, St. Charles, & Jyllianne Czanstkowski, Lake In The Hills; and Josh Refenes & Heather Refenes, Mt. Prospect. Several Tandem athletes reported personals bests during Workout #2, a particularly impressive feat considering the workout structure -- 20 seconds to complete the lift and 10 seconds to rotate to the next station -- and the levy weighed on the athletes by Workout #1 / "Shackles."
Tandems across the Leader Board leveraged Workout #3 / "Run-Row" to their advantage. Jessica Rush, Arlington Heights, & Jason Garrett, Hinsdale, finished the workout in second place, seven seconds behind Bodi / Stack, to catapult from a disappointing 29th place finish in Workout #2; the performance earned them a spot in the Elite 8 and an eventual 7th place finish in the 2013 Tandem Throwdown. The Rush / Garrett Tandem -- the two met for the first time the morning of the competition -- formed out of necessity when each lost a partner earlier in the week, and turned out to be one of the great stories of the competition. "Run-Row" handed three of the ultimate Elite 8 finishers their lowest placing finishes of the day.
Consistency across workouts which demanded teamwork, communication, strategy, strength and muscular endurance was paramount to the top finishing Tandems. Heading in to the final workout, "Chip You", it was mathematically impossible to dislodge Bodi / Stack, yet the champs set a blazing pace for the event, finishing in 9:15. The battle for the final two podium spots was fierce with five points or fewer separating seven teams. Carlson, a CrossFit competition veteran, and Olsen, in her first CrossFit competition, perfectly executed their Workout #4 strategy and placed second in the workout, their highest placing of the day, locking third place. And Kalinowski / Perri landed in second place after finishing events in second, eleventh, third and third.
The Tandem Throwdown will return to CrossFit Arlington Heights Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.
Find the complete event standings and other event information on the 2013 Tandem Throwdown web page, http://eliteathletic.com/community-calendar/tandemthrowdow/. More event photos can be found at the CrossFit Arlington Heights Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.687953901231539.1073741838.132752280085040&type=1&l=04af5bcbbf