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SURVIVAL OF CROSSFITTEST

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SURVIVAL OF CROSSFITTEST

Garret Fisher performs the overhead squat as part of his third-place effort in the Northern California CrossFit Regional that took place at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in May.

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POSTED July 21, 2013 10:57 p.m.



Garret Fisher didn’t follow his older brother Ryan’s footsteps to professional baseball.
And little sis Lauren opted not to continue a basketball career that went through one of the most touted high school girls programs in the nation.
They instead are embarking down a path less travelled by aspiring next-level athletes, but one that is widening by the day. This week they are competing in the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games — the final stage of a three-part series of competitions to be held at Carson’s StubHub Center for a fourth straight year and aired online on ESPN3.The event begins today, but the Fishers won’t compete until the final three days — Friday through Sunday — in the individual and team competitions.
The Manteca siblings are a rarity in the growing sport having both qualified for the finale. To get there, participants must get past the preliminary Open Workouts and advance out of one of the 17 worldwide Regionals: Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada East, Canada West, Europe, Latin America, Northern California, Southern California, Central East, Mid-Atlantic, Central East, North Central, North East, North West, South Central, South East and South West.
Athletes are tested in a variety of workouts that are measured in different ways, such as the amount of reps, time or distance that each task is performed.
“This is a big deal for two siblings to make it that far,” said 22-year-old Garret, who now resides in San Jose while pursuing a business and entrepreneurship degree at San Jose State. “I love my sister. I’m her biggest fan and I want her to do the best. I’m super excited for us to get to experience it at the same time.”
Garret was a baseball standout at East Union much like his brother, Ryan, who was drafted out of UC Irvine by the Miami Marlins in the 15th round of the 2010 draft. Ryan currently plays for the Double-A Jacksonville Suns.
“CrossFit kind of found me,” Garret said. “When I was about 15 or 16 years old, I met Vince Carter at In-Shape City and he was telling me about this new workout. I went to a private studio to give it a try and I got my butt handed to me. I’ve been hooked ever since.”
He hung up the baseball cleats after a stint on the Delta College baseball team and began to train competitively at NorCal CrossFit, where he is now a coach. Just two years in, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Fisher is one of the top CrossFit athletes in the world. Based on his results in the Northern California Regional qualifier (May 24-26, Sonoma County Fairgrounds), he recorded the 12th best across-the-board numbers worldwide. The top Northern California representative, who is also one of the favorites to win the CrossFit Games title, is Jason Khalipa, the owner of the NorCal CrossFit gym. Fisher placed third.
“It’s very rare to see two athletes at the CrossFit Games come from the same gym,” Fisher said. “That normally doesn’t happen. Most gyms have just one athlete if that. There are only three qualifiers from each regional. It’s challenging to get there — less than one percent of the people who start (at the Open Workouts) get to say they’re going.”
Lauren is entering her sophomore year at San Diego State and competes for Team Invictus out of San Diego. The 19-year-old was a key contributor on the St. Mary’s (Stockton) girls basketball team that made it to California Interscholastic Federation state championship games in each of her three varsity seasons. She helped the Rams capture state titles as a sophomore and junior and was a teammate of fellow Mantecan Chelsea Gray, who now stars at Duke University.
Lauren’s passion for basketball was replaced by weightlifting and CrossFit. On Feb. 16-17, she placed second in the 63-kilogram class of the USA Weightlifting Junior National Championships held in Foster City.
“I was just burned out from basketball after high school, but I was really into CrossFit,” said Lauren, who began CrossFit training as a high school freshman to help improve her strength, speed and agility. “I felt like there are more opportunities for me through CrossFit than in girls basketball. During my senior year in high school at competed in the NorCal Regional, placed 12th in front of a sold-out crowd and everybody seemed to know each other.”
CrossFit helped Lauren get acclimated to new surroundings during her freshman year in college, saying she has forged a family-like relationship with her teammates and workout partners.
To get the CrossFit Games experience at a younger age, she decided to compete as part of a team (three men, three women). Invictus topped the field at the Southern California Regional on May 17-19 at the Del Mar Arena.
“A lot of the SoCal women are in the late 20s and early 30s and they have been training a lot longer than I have,” Lauren said. “I just wanted to get the experience. I think it will be fun performing in front of 25,000 people, and I’ll be learning a lot from my older teammates. I’m only 19, so I have time to grow and get better.”
Larger cash rewards are now at stake for the competitors vying for the title of “Fittest on Earth.” The top male and female individuals earn $275,000 with the top 10 finishers earning cash. Money will also be dished out to the top three teams and top placers in the 40-and-older Masters divisions.
“Obviously the money would be awesome, but for me it’s more of a personal goal of mine to be the best in the sport,” Garret said.

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