Cherry wins CrossFit Games qualifying round
Published 8:45 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Walking lunges with 35 pounds weights was one of many exercises Fred Cherry completed to advance in the CrossFit Games qualifying rounds. (Steve Barnes/Washington Daily News)
Viewers flipping through the channels in early August might catch a glimpse of Chocowinity native Fred Cherry scaling a wall, climbing a rope or flipping a tire as part of the national CrossFit Games.
The 65-year old Cherry won his age group semi-final by completing four 20 minute workouts in the fastest combined time of anybody in the 65+ plus age group.
Cherry is first among the top 30 in his age group and the top 10 from the next round of competition at the end of April advance to the CrossFit Games August 3-6 in Madison, WI.
Cherry, the owner of Beaufort Builders, was a three-time All-Conference center fielder at Washington High School and has stayed fit by working out and playing softball.
“I’ve always tried to stay in shape and I really like the competitive part of CrossFit,” Cherry said. “It’s fun to push myself past what I think I can do and getting this far feels really good. These workouts are tough and I was pretty sore the day after I completed the last one.”
BOCO CrossFit owner Manny Vidal trains Cherry and is in charge of videotaping the workouts and sending them to the national CrossFit Games for verification. The 20 minute workouts can consist of anything and the competitor doesn’t see the specific workout until a couple of days before it’s time to compete.
Cherry finished four workouts of everything from walking lunges with 35-pound weights, muscle-ups over the high bar, toes to bar, shuttle runs, rope climbs, bench presses and other feats of strength to complete his qualifying process.
“I’m really proud of him,” Vidal said. “He’s the first one to get this far from BOCO CrossFit and he’s done everything I’ve asked of him. Fred is old school because he shows up every day ready to go to work. I think he has a great chance to qualify for the national event.”
Cherry did his first workout Friday, but couldn’t complete the second one that day. He finished it Saturday, then knocked out the final two 20 sessions Sunday.
“I couldn’t get the weight above my head with my left arm at the end of the lunge on Friday,” Cherry said. “Thank goodness I did it Saturday, so I could keep going.”
Cherry has lost 13 pounds in the last three months, which puts him at 176 lbs. with a little less than four weeks before the final round.
“It’s easier to get over the bar when you’re not dragging 13 extra pounds,” Cherry said. “The nutrition program has helped me and Manny has been outstanding. Amy Gerard and the staff at Fitness Unlimited have been very encouraging and it’s great to have my family and friends from the gym cheering me one. It’s been a team effort so far and I wouldn’t have made it this far without them. I’m going to keep working on everything so I’m ready for the finals.”