Whitehorse Daily Star

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GRINDING IT OUT – Crossfit athlete Alex Schultz performs a squat at the CanWest Games. Photo by Erin Schultz

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Rope climbing – several repetitions of going up and down in a row – was one of the many requirements during the western Canadian championships. Photo by Erin Schultz

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MUSCLING IT UP – Crossfit athlete Cliff Schultz performs repetitions of the bar muscle up during the CanWest Games earlier this summer.Photo by Erin Schultz

Four Yukoners competed at CanWest championships for crossfit athletes

Alex Schultz is continuing his pursuit to qualify for the world crossfit championships in Madison, Wis.

By Chuck Tobin on September 6, 2018

Alex Schultz is continuing his pursuit to qualify for the world crossfit championships in Madison, Wis.

The 14-year-old Whitehorse resident was among the four Yukoners who represented the territory earlier this summer at the CanWest Games in Coquitlam, B.C., for the top crossfit athletes in Western Canada.

Also attending were Cliff Schultz, Alex’s dad and inspiration, Melissa Laluk and Mark Dainton.

Alex was the youngest in the field of the 10 athletes who qualified in the 14- to 17-year-old class, and he finished in seventh.

“I felt good,” he said in a brief interview this morning. “It was a lot of fun.

“My end goal is to make it to the crossfit world games.”

Erin Schultz, Alex’s mom who is co-owner of Avalanche Athletics with her husband Cliff, pointed out the CanWest Games provided her son with a rare opportunity to compete against athletes his own age. There are no other teens in Whitehorse who participate in the sport.

She said Alex did achieve personal bests down in Coquitlam.

Crossfit is a game of endurance in a number of different events, whether its lifting weights, running an agility course, climbing ropes, jumping over walls, doing muscle ups or handstand push ups.

There are requirements to do as many reps or rounds as possible over three, five or 10 minutes.

The 10-minute Fire Up event, for instance, included doing 20 burpee box jump overs, running 400 metres, and completing 30 chest to bar pull ups and 30 dumbbell ground to overhead lifts. After completing the requirements, athletes had to use whatever time remained of the 10 minutes to handstand walk as far as they could.

Erin said that it is said that whoever finishes first in the world championships is the fittest athlete on the planet.

The worlds are intense, she said.

“For the CanWest Games it is a little different, it is a little more relaxed but it is still individuals on the West Coast pushing hard, driving hard to do as much as they possibly can,” Erin said. “If they are running, they want to run as fast as they can. If they are doing thrusters, they want to make sure they get everything they can out of that workout. They are pushing themselves to their limits.”

For Alex, Laluk and Dainton, the CanWest Games was their first competition while it was Cliff’s second individual competition and fourth overall.

Alex and Cliff were the only two to advance to the finals.

Cliff finished 12th overall in a field of 24 in the 40-to-44 class. Laluk was 30th in a field of 34 women in the elite 18-to-34 class and Dainton finished 34th in the elite field of men.

“She did really well,” Erin said of Laluk’s achievements. “It was her first competition. That in itself, you have a lot of nerves going in.

“But she did really well. She exceeded a lot of her goals.”

Each of the four athletes from the Yukon competed in eight different events over three days, and both Alex and Cliff competed in one more event for finalists.

Cliff said the Games were well organized and the equipment was topnotch.

“I did a little better than I thought I was going to because I went in place 16 and ended up placing 12th overall,” he said. “In the final I ended up placing 11th so that was pretty neat.”

The open qualifying round for the world championships is scheduled for next February, to be followed in the spring by the regional qualifiers in Tacoma, Wash. The world championships will be held next summer.

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