2019 DUC – Day 1 Wrap-Up!

It was a case of déjà vu for many athletes and fans at the 2019 Down Under CrossFit Championship, with Australia’s top CrossFit event returning to Wollongong, Australia.

With only a few Sectional events remaining before the 2019 CrossFit Games, the DUC is one of the last chances individuals and teams have to earn an invite to compete at Madison, Wisconsin later in the year.

More than 300 athletes from over a dozen countries across the world have made the journey to the Australian coastal town for this year’s event, including Games veterans Jacob Heppner, Dean Linder-Leighton, Jamie Greene, Amanda Barnhart, Rob Forte and Brandon Swan.

For many, it will most likely be the end of their season as they turn their attention to next year’s CrossFit Games. While for the likes of Heppner, James Newbury and Maddie Sturt, it’s set to be a more relaxed weekend with all of them already invited to compete at the Games.

TEAMS

The teams were the first to take to the WIN Entertainment Centre to kick off competitions with the opening Event a max snatch clean and jerk. In total eight men managed to complete 335lbs lifts with Project X’s Brandon Swan narrowly missing a 345lbs attempt, much to the disappointment of teammate Khan Porter. The pair, however, did finish the Event in first place, tied with Raw Strength and Conditioning.

Kate Gordon managed the heaviest lift for the females with 245lbs, to see her team, X-Terminators, finish the female’s Event on top, while 64 Army Black and CrossFit Central West rounded out the podium.

Gordon’s teammate Maddie Sturt admits it took a while to get used to not competing as an individual as part of the X-Terminators with Rob Forte and James Newbury.

“Yeah that was a lot of fun, first team competition for me, so it’s a bit different, she said.

“We had our first team training session together yesterday, in the warm up area after we checked in (laughs).”

Heading into the weekend, many predicted Project-X and the X-Terminators to battle it our for top spot. And both teams lived up to expectation in Event 2 with Project X narrowly finishing ahead of their rivals to claim first place in their first workout together. However it was the X-Terminators who ended the day on top of the leaderdoard, setting up a mouth-watering Day 2 of competition in Wollongong.

Day 1 Standings

1. X-Terminators (282)
2. Project X (258)
3. 64 Army Black (250)
4. Raw Strength and Conditioning (216)
5. Renegade Z (210)

INDIVIDUAL MEN

Jake Douglas’ performance in the opening Individual Event was clearly the highlight of Day 1. The weightlifter from Tamworth completed a 387lbs lift, to register an unofficial record for the heaviest C&J lift in CrossFit Games Season History! As a result he finished the Event on top of the leaderboard finishing ahead of British lifter Joshua Al-Chamaa.

Jacob Heppner finished outside the top 10, while former Games qualifier Dean Linder-Leighton surprised many by withdrawing just moments before his heat was due to start.

“I’ve got a little bit of a back issue, lower back issue, and I go over to the states in 4 weeks exactly, and obvious I qualified through the open luckily enough, so I didn’t want to go out and not preform at 100% for myself and everyone that’s shown up and, the other competitors,” he said.

“I’m always type of guy that thinks ‘ya gotta own your performance, good or bad’ and as everyone knows, I’ve had some horrible finishes here in the past (laughs) so I’m not afraid of it, it’s more that I want to do better at the Games this year, it’s my second time back, and it’s eye on the prize, so if I push to hard here, get silly and push too hard here, then can’t train for two or three weeks, then, I’ll kick myself.”

19 year-old local boy Luke De-Jonge took out Event 2, and was one of only a handful of athletes to complete the triplet of muscle-ups, single arm thrusters and muscle ups inside the 11 minute time cap.

However, it was Luke Fiso who finished the day on top of the leaderboard with his 3rd place finish in the second Event.

Jacob Heppner, who ended Day 1 in 3rd spot overall, admits the local talent is better than he initially thought:

“I am, super surprised, they are super strong,” he said. “Now let’s see if they can do stuff upside down!”

Day 1 Standings

1. Luke Fiso (168)
2. Matt Mcleod (156)
3. Jacob Heppner (155)
4. Luke De Jonge (153)
5. Drew Wayman (150)

INDIVIDUAL WOMEN

American Amanda Barnhart was the standout performer in the opening clean and jerk lift for the individual women, lifting 257 lbs. It was just 2lbs more than Australian Tamara Dinsmore with Kiwi Megan Gifford rounding out the top three.

But the leaderboard was flipped on its head after Event 2 with Jamie Greene the only female to complete the workload in side the time-cap. He effort saw her jump from outside the top three to lead the competition at the end of Day 1.

Games veteran Alethea Boon also put herself back into contention with a second place finish in the Event to sit second on the leaderboard, while Amanda Barnhart is in second place heading into Day 3.

American Lindsay Vaughan ended the day in 15th place, while local favourite Courtney Haley is 6th.

Day 1 Standings

1. Jamie Greene (185)
2. Amanda Barnhart (182)
3. Tia Wright (166)
4. Alethea Boon (155)
5. Sam Drescher (152)

Written by Hayley Jensen, Kate McCosker, John Michael Bric and Stephanie McNamara