CrossFit team set for world games

Fort Vancouver squad looks to add to its 2010 title

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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Nathan Loren doesn’t know what tests he and his teammates will face this week at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

But he has no doubt that CrossFit Fort Vancouver will be up to the challenge during the 2013 CrossFit Games, an international fitness competition among athletes from CrossFit affiliated gyms.

“I think we’re prepared for just about anything,” Loren said. “Wherever we finish, there won’t be any regrets because we are going to do our best.”

The competition runs Friday through Sunday, with 43 teams battling for the championship.

CrossFit Fort Vancouver proved itself in 2010, when it won the team championship at the Games. Three members of that team — CrossFit Fort Vancouver owner Adam Neiffer, Vancouver resident Jessica Core and Loren — are on the team of three men and three women representing the gym in this event. This team includes Portland residents Jerome Perryman, Andrea Roozen and Erin Taylor.

“The level of competition has improved a ton, both for our team and around the world,” Neiffer said.

The road to the CrossFit Games begins with open competition held at each gym, where teams complete a series of specific exercises. In that phase, CrossFit Fort Vancouver qualified two teams for the Northwest regional competition. Neiffer’s team won the regional title, qualifying for a fifth consecutive trip to the world games.

For that record of success, Neiffer credits a competitive culture and the consistency of training by the gym’s 10 coaches, who put an emphasis on technique and mechanics of exercises.

CrossFit competitions usually include a half dozen exercises designed to test strength, speed, flexibility and stamina. The challenges for this year’s championships, and the competition schedule, won’t be announced until teams arrive in Southern California.

This is the fifth consecutive year that CrossFit Fort Vancouver has qualified for the CrossFit Games.

In 2010, barely one year after Neiffer opened the gym, CrossFit Fort Vancouver won the world championship in the team competition. This season, CrossFit Fort Vancouver enters the Games having posted the second highest regional qualifying score among the participants.

Loren, a 40-year-old Camas resident, said the biggest change as CrossFit has gained popularity is that the competition is designed to require six strong team members.

Neiffer said the success is remarkable, not because of the fitness required, but because of the time commitment of the athletes. Neiffer noted that five of the six team members have children, and that each of his five teammates works full time. Yet they are in the gym usually six days a week, often multiple times a day.

“The support I get from my family and from our (CrossFit) community is amazing,” Loren said. “If I didn’t have that support, I wouldn’t be able to do this at this competitive level.”

ESPN2 will show ­Sunday’s finals at 4 p.m. Live online coverage on ESPN3 is scheduled 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.