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Penn State Crossfit Club Wins Second Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Classic Championship

Penn State’s Crossfit Club took home a close but strong victory at the celebrated Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Classic in Delaware this past weekend. The team competed against two other schools, Villanova and the University of Delaware. While the Crossfit club collected a commanding victory over the Wildcats, the Blue Hens posed more of a fight, and Penn State was only able to secure the W by 10 seconds. The title marks the second victory for the club in five tries.

Crossfit is a high-intensity functional movement sport. The club combines all the elements of gymnastics, power-lifting, and olympic lifting. Because all of those elements are already recognized as university clubs, Crossfit Club is desperately trying to become recognized as well. The club worked through the university’s administrative steps in 2011 and became an official Crossfit affiliate in 2013. Though Penn State refused to sanction the team as an official club sport due to liability insurance, the group worked out an agreement with the ROTC and began working out in the armory. The original club was six people working out with a wooden squat rack and some very questionable, large metal weights. Since then, the size of the club has roughly tripled.

The Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Classic (MACC) featured an “RX-type” division, meaning the athletes performed all modalities using prescribed weight and repetitions, and a scaled division that involved more than 60 athletes from the three schools. Each athlete competed in three individual events to determine the top five podium spots for each gender. The top three scoring athletes of each gender for each school combined to make a team of six that competed in an additional workout that determined the overall winning team.

If you know anything about Crossfit, you know that some of the workouts are insane. Below are the workouts that made up the MACC competition, but if you don’t follow some of the fancy terminology (or you want to try some Crossfit out for yourself), check out the official Crossfit website for descriptions and demo videos.

The three individual workouts that made up the MACC are as follows:

Workout One (increasing two repetitions after each set):

  • Two hand-cleans that were 75 pounds and 95 pounds respectively
  • Two wall-balls that were 14 pounds and 20 pounds respectively
  • Four hang-cleans
  • Four wall-balls
  • Six hang-cleans…etc.

This went on for six minutes total.

Workout Two:

  • Three 30-second intervals to get a match-snatch and an overhead squat

Workout Three:

  • 400 meter run
  • 20 toes-to-bar
  • 30 burpees
  • 40 kettle bell swings that were 36 pounds and 54 pounds, respectively
  • 50 box jump-overs

These sets needed to be completed in under 10 minutes.

The Penn State Crossfit Club produced four top-five finishers in the individual male category: Mike Hirthler (first place), Ben Lisowski (second place), Luke Duffy (fourth place), and Glen Hanson (fifth place.) Shannon Greenbaum was the only woman from Penn State to place in the top five, taking fifth place.

After individual workouts were completed and scored, each school sent its best to participate in a team workout entitled “Fantasy Land.” The event consisted of six people from each team, with only one person participating at a time. Each exercise was just as body-busting as the individual workouts. Penn State’s team of six was: Mike Hirthler, Ben Lisowski, Luke Duffy, Shannon Greenbaum, Alexia Hagialas, and Genevieve Boland. Here’s a breakdown of what each team of crossfitters had to complete:

“Fantasy Land” team workout:

  • 400 meter run
  • A 21-to-15-to-9 set of thrusters with 65 and 95 pounds of weight, respectively, with pull-ups
  • 100 double-unders
  • 20 hand-stand push-ups
  • A second set of thrusters with 75 and 115 pounds of weight respectively, with chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 100 double-unders
  • 20 hand-stand push-ups
  • A third set of thrusters with 95 and 135 pounds of weight respectively, with bar muscle-ups
  • 100 double-unders
  • 20 hand-stand push-ups

As you can see, this sport is insanely tough, and the utmost respect goes to all of the Penn State athletes that competed over the weekend. Congratulations to, no doubt, one of the strongest clubs on campus.

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About the Author

Kaitlyn Dividock

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Onward State who is entirely too enthusiastic about Pittsburgh sports, music festivals, and crude humor. She is a senior English major who concentrates in Professional and Media Writing and minors in Sociology. She is really fun and very cool, and her favorite color is red. If for some reason you can't find her, she's probably at Primanti's with an ice cold IC Light in her hand. You can follow her on Twitter (@kaitdivi) if you want quality #content, or contact her via email at [email protected]

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