Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • Day One Wrap-up Granite Games

    Friday afternoon at the 2014 Granite Games in St. Cloud, Minnesota got off to a great start with an impressive group of Kill Cliff athletes tackling the always popular “Snatch Ladder” event.

    On the Men’s Elite side, Kill Cliff athletes Elijah “EZ” Muhammad and Mat Fraser got things moving as they tore through the event one. After posting an online video last week snatching 315 lb., it was no surprise that Fraser, a former Olympic weightlifter hopeful, took first place in the opening event with a 305lb. lift in a time of 5:16. Although four men hit the same weight as Fraser, he was able to take home the win by completing it in a faster time. Just as impressive was Muhammad who completed the rep of 295 lb. but did so at a blistering pace of 4:06 good enough for fifth place.

    In the evening, both men took on the formidable “Deadly Ropes” event which consisted of five rounds of two rope climbs, four deadlifts at 365 lb. and eight burpees over the bar. Just as he did at Regionals this year, Muhammad flew through the rope climbs but Fraser’s consistent pace throughout allowed him hang on to second place overall at the end of day one as he finished fifth in this event. Slowed slightly by the deadlifts and burpees, Muhammad took a seventh place result on the “Ropes” but moved up to end day one fourth in the standings.

    The Kill Cliff ladies were also in action today with Brooke Ence Sawyers, Stacie Tovar and Grace Dresher throwing around some serious weight in their own “Snatch Ladder” competition. Sawyers flew through the ladder notching a 185 lb. lift while posting a scorching time of 4:05 to take the win in the first event of the Granite Games. Although Dresher and Tovar both were able to hoist 180 lb. (a PR for Tovar) neither could put up as much weight as Sawyers or do it as quickly. After event one, Dresher sat in fourth with a time of 2:31 while Tovar followed in seventh with a time of 6:39.

    After a presentation of the American flag and a singing of the National Anthem, the Women’s Elite athletes set off for event two. Just as the men did, the ladies hustled through the “Deadly Ropes” event which also consisted of five rounds of rope climbs, deadlifts at 240lb. and burpees over the bar. The final heat was loaded with some of the fittest women around in the realm of competitive fitness who turned a ten minute time cap into a five minute workout. Tovar got off to a great start but after some confusion from her judge with a rep count, fell off the lead pace a bit. Sawyers brought home another solid result finishing in sixth place with a time of 6:07. The result kept her in the overall lead for the first day while Tovar headed home sitting comfortably in fourth, closely trailed by Dresher in fifth.

  • Valerie Voboril - Mom, Teacher, Games' Athlete

    The growing trend among athletes who qualify for the CrossFit Games is towards a more professional lifestyle in which they dedicate a bulk of their time to training, diet and prep. Some in the community would argue that the age of the part time CrossFit athlete who can still make an impact on the podium at the Games is over.

    Valorie Voboril might have something to say about that.

    This 36 year old “supermom” has not only qualified for five of the last six CrossFit Games (she missed 2011 when she was pregnant with her daughter) but she has excelled finishing in third in 2013 and fifth in last summer’s Games.

    Now, as she enters her 12th year as a teacher at Richmond Street Elementary in El Segundo, CA, Kill Cliff recently sat down for a quick Q and A session with Voboril to find out how she juggles being a mom, elementary teacher, wife and kick ass CrossFItter.

    What do you love about teaching?
    It's such a joy to watch the enthusiasm of students learning and discovering. I love their curiosity and thirst for knowledge. I also love that I get to learn something new everyday I come to work.

    How did you get into CrossFit (being that you teach elementary school)?
    Being a teacher I would really use my summers to explore different activities looking for my newest fitness fad (mountain biking, aerial fabric, krav maga, sprint triathlons). The summer of 2008 I had the opportunity to try CrossFit. I quickly got hooked. I didn’t expect it to last so long.

    How do you balance teaching, being a mom and CrossFit especially when it comes to the Open, Regional and Games prep?
    I have a tight schedule. I have the support of my family, and I have my coaches which helps me to stay balance and be prepared for the Open, Regionals and Games. I teach from 7:30 am -3:30 pm. I train from 3:45 am - 5:00 pm. Spend time with my family from 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm. I do my work at home from 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm. Finally I get sleep after that.

    With all of the things you have going on, what is your happy place?
    Reading books in bed to my daughter. I love the quiet, peaceful time of sharing a good book, then talking about our favorite activities from the day and looking forward to the adventures that tomorrow brings.

    At the Games, what is your motivation?
    I am motivated by my daughter, my students and my family. I want to be the best me I can be and be a role model for those around me.

    What role does your family play in your career (CrossFit)?
    My family is my biggest support system. They encourage me, motivate me, challenge me and allow me to pursue this amazing sport.

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