GVSU strength club wins first meet

Lakers dominate in season-opening competition over break

By Brady McAtamney | 1/10/16 11:24pm

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For many students at Grand Valley State, the three-week winter break is a time of relaxation – a period where lounging around in sweats and binge-watching "Parks and Recreation" is more common than anything else.

The GVSU strength club had a different view of winter break. Both the men’s and women’s squads went head-to-head with Ferris State on Dec. 20 in the CrossFit Lake Effect Winter Break Throwdown – the Lakers' first event of the year - in Holland, Michigan.

GVSU surpassed its own expectations in the season-opening competition.

Both of GVSU's teams won handily in every event, taking three of the top four spots in each area as well as the three podium spots for the men and the top two for the women. In doing so, the Lakers also secured the most points overall, taking first place. Most events were centered around strength, so those with high engines were unable to show off their assets.

“I am proud of my team and our athletes. Everyone pushed themselves hard. The rookies rose to the occasion and the veterans all did their job,” said Adam Marthaler, president of the strength club.

The workout regime during the event was rigorous. In the first event, competitors were required to perform overhead squats (115 pounds) and over-the-bar burpees with an increasing amount of reps in a 10-minute time cap.

For the second event, there were five rounds for time of 30 rows, 20 kettlebell swings with a 70 pound weight and 10 handstand pushups.

With the third, the CrossFitters were to perform an increasing number of rope climbs and a decreasing number of cleans (with an increasing weight), where the best time would win. According to senior Erin Hocker, this event is where the Lakers excelled as it played into their strengths.

“There are people who can throw down a lot of weight and the rope climbs really tested your gymnastics abilities, which is a strong point for us," Hocker said.

The final event was composed of 60 chest-to-bar pull ups, 80 wall-ball throws, 100 box jumps and 100 double-unders.

“We took over the whole podium and our team won the competition overall. Everyone has been working hard overall and it’s been really cool to see,” said Tyler Dundore, vice president of the club.

“We did awesome. There were a lot of people who were new to CrossFit and they did really well. It was a good learning experience for everyone,” Hocker said. “Everyone did a really great job. They tried their hardest. At GV, you’re not going to find anybody who’s a poor sport and I love that. We always have the motivation to get stronger.”

The club will now turn their focus to nationals, which will take place in Cincinnati on April 16.

To prepare for the event, members of the club said that they will simply continue to work on the weaknesses that they possess as individuals.

“Expect the unexpected, work on your weaknesses," Hocker said. "You always work on running or getting stronger. There’s nothing specific you do to prepare for an event other than get better."

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