News Column

CrossFit Rookie Will Powell Places Fourth at Games

Aug. 1, 2103

Will Powell headed to California last week hoping to return as one of the world's five best CrossFit athletes in his age group.

He did it. And he's a little bit disappointed.

Powell, a 53-year-old bodybuilder and personal trainer from Greensboro, placed fourth in the 50-54 age group at the seventh Reebok CrossFit Games in Carson, Calif.

"It was a high-energy, exhilarating experience," Powell said. "Now that I've done it, I really believe I have the potential to win it. The goal next year is No. 1, because I've seen I have the physical ability to win."

Craig Howard of California won the masters competition, compiling the best average finish in a series of six timed CrossFit workouts contested over three days.

"I would've won this year if I'd had just a little more experience," Powell said. "It came down to skills I haven't developed yet. As far as conditioning and strength, I was as good as anybody else there."

Powell was in first place heading into the final workout of the competition.

And it was a bear: 100 double-under jump-ropes, four rope climbs, 30 front-squat lifts of 135 pounds, a 100-meter walk carrying 140 pounds (70 in each hand) and 20 one-arm snatch lifts with 70-pound dumbbells. Competitors also sprinted 100 meters between each station of the workout.

"I've only been doing (CrossFit) for nine months, and I made some rookie mistakes," Powell said. "I've got the strength and stamina. But I'm still learning the techniques. ... I got behind during the jump-ropes and rope-climbing, and I just could not catch up."

In certain skills, Powell would fall back on brute strength. He could do the exercise -- 30 hand-stand pushups, for instance -- but it would take him longer and burn more energy than if his form were better.

"It was a matter of technique and speed," Powell said, "and being able to save yourself for the next event. I'm still learning how to do things like kipping (kicking with the feet) on hand-stand pushups to save my shoulders. But there wasn't enough hours in the day to learn it all this year, and all the guys I was competing against were veterans."

Powell took ice baths at the end of all three days of the competition, but he came home "extremely sore" from the series of quick, intense workouts.

"I can't wait to go back," Powell said. "I wish there were another one next week. I've exposed all my weaknesses. Once I master them, nothing can hold me back."

Basketball champs

The Greensboro-based Carolina Preps team won the AAU Division I Sixth-Grade National Championships basketball tournament Sunday in Hampton, Va.

The 10-player team of 11- and 12-year-olds went 3-0 in pool play, then won five straight in the 32-team championship bracket. The Preps finished with a 55-51 overtime victory over Deron Williams Elite of Dallas.

"Our guys come from all over," coach Keyford Langley said, "but the core group is from Guilford County and has played together since the second grade."

That core is four guards: Nick Brown (Caldwell Academy), Jeremiah Wilson (Kernodle) and twin brothers Keyshaun and Kobe Langley (Southwest Middle).

The Preps also feature a pair of 6-foot-3 forwards: 11-year-old Wendell Moore Jr. of Concord and 12-year-old Max Farthing of Fuquay-Varina.

The rest of the team is Josh Nickelberry, Chaz Gwyn, Mike Green and Isaiah Wilkins. They come from Forsyth County, Fayetteville and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

"The kids are all honor-roll students," said Keyford Langley, who played at UNCG from 1988 to '92. "They get it -- on and off the court. They know there's more to life than basketball. Basketball is just a vehicle to be a part of something that's much bigger than themselves."

This was the Preps' third consecutive AAU national final four. They finished third in last year's tournament.

Colt World Series

Greensboro Green is headed back to the Colt Baseball World Series, which will be held Friday through Wednesday in Lafayette, Ind.

It's the 44th year the double-elimination tournament for players ages 15 and 16 will be played at Columbian Park's Bert Loeb Stadium, and Greensboro opens with a game against host Lafayette at 8 p.m. Friday.

Greensboro advanced by winning the East Zone Tournament at Stoner-White Stadium on Sunday. Green came through the winner's bracket, but lost 2-1 to Youngstown, Ohio, early Sunday to force a winner-take-all second game.

Green won 8-1. Cameron Whitson was the winning pitcher, and Cesar Trejo hit a two-run homer.

Greensboro Green: Corey Brandenburg, Noah Carter, Ryan Caviness, Ben Fischer, John Flowers, Ben Horkey, Reed Jenkins, Troy Lake, Bryce Merika, Niko Orfenedes, Carter Payne, Josh Pike, Matt Schoor, Stanford Shell, Taylor Still, Taylor Sugg, Trejo and Whitson.

Source: (c)2013 the News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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