Teamwork Made the Podium Work at DUC
After a 3 year hiatus the Down Under Championships recently returned to Wollongong’s WIN Stadium on November 18-20. As the premier off-season event for CrossFit in Australia, the DUC boasted an extensive list of international athletes, but our eyes were closer to home with Team Gorilla Health fielding an impressive list of qualified athletes in all four elite divisions.
Over on the Teams side of the fence, Gorilla Health had representation across both Elite Mens and Womens fields, across an awesome FOUR total teams.
Team Awaside took out an impressive 3rd place finish with four top 5 placings across the 7 events. Gorilla Health athlete Alexandra Bulic featured strongly across Saturday’s programming, loving the outdoor workout Event 3:
"Favourite event was definitely event 3 - John Cleary Shuffle for sure! Fun, fast and in the sun!
"DUCC was a great first experience in that sort of elite scene, it really helped me work out what I’m like as an athlete under pressure and where I’m at as an athlete and what I need to work on.
"For the 2023 season I’m very excited about the season as a whole, I’m going to be going as a team this year and very excited to see how that goes and all the things I’m going to learn- not only as a group, but about myself as an athlete. It's all about the journey!"
Also in the women’s field, team Triple Threat lead by Gorilla Health athlete Tylah McGeary, were praised for great performances across the weekend including a top 5 finish in Event 5. In a field featuring a huge number of Games level athletes, Triple Threat punched well above their weight in securing an 11th overall placing in the Championship.
“My favourite event was the snatch ladder! I hit a PB of 77.5kgs - the week before I could only snatch 72.5kgs. That event made me cry after I hit that 77.5kg weight - I was so proud!
We were proud of you too, Ty!
“It was the best weekend! The comp was run so professionally, and we all felt like proper athletes. No one was treated any different even though we were around some really high-level athletes. It was such a great experience.
“I am feeling pumped for season 2023. I can’t wait to continue working on my weaknesses and prepare for the Open”
From the CrossFit CQ stable, Gorilla Health athletes Jake Standen and Darcy Hancock teamed up with long-time friend of GH, Brad Spreadborough. Batman, Robin & JJ finished strong after a conservative start, locking up a 5th place overall with an event win in the final 16.7 trio workout. Darcy Hancock took the opportunity on Saturday night to quietly remind the Oceania field of his 2022 Torian Pro event win, and was the first man on the event floor to quietly clear every snatch weight in the Regionals 12.5 ladder.
Captain Jake Standen reflected on the DUC:
"It was a really fun weekend, always good to throw down with Darcy and this time with Brad as well, as a team on the big stage.
"We had a couple of hiccups, but also heaps of fun. We all learned a lot about ourselves which is always a good experience when competing. Definitely walking away with a feather in our cap after taking out the event win in that last event! Overall a great event, awesome finish and we’ll be back next year!"
Darcy Hancock was also part of the trio that were Batman, Robin & JJ:
"It was great to compete with the boys – Jake & Brad- from CrossFit CQ at the Down Under Championships at Wollongong as a team of 3. (We) Didn’t have any expectations as a team heading down there; started a little slow on day one, but built up momentum over the course of the weekend. Ended up finishing fifth which we’re pretty happy with!
"A well-run comp, was heaps of fun, to compete against a lot of boys we wouldn’t usually get a chance to compete against. Time for a rest now, then getting ready to gear up for the 2023 season”
Last but not least, Underway Full Senders made a splash at the DUC, despite making a slightly late entrance to the very first event – what happened there Ben?
"We nearly missed our start for Event 1. We honestly just thought we were in the next heat and realised with about 30 seconds to go before the heat start - so that definitely got the heart going. But after that, we double checked the heat lists and made sure we had a watch with us in the warm up area!"
Gorilla Health athlete Ben Newland joined fellow Underway teammates Jack Clark and Lucas O’Brien including five top event finishes in an stacked field of international and Games athletes. Ben Newland also had a stand out performance in the Event 5 snatch ladder, clearing all bars and later joining Ricky Gerard and Chandler Smith on the added 140kg bar for an encore lift.
"Looking back on the weekend the boys and I were stoked. We approached each event, one at a time, focused on having fun and enjoying being out there as much as possible and I think we definitely did that. We knew we could make the podium but also knew it would also be really tough. So we just took the pressure off and focused on our effort each event and having a good time doing it.
"Going into next year the plan is we're all going individual in the Season but the goal is definitely to have us all qualify and have as much fun doing it as possible"