Cherry qualifies for national CrossFit Games; official invitation coming soon

Published 5:58 pm Monday, May 1, 2023

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In the not too distant past, Fred Cherry would have waited for his official invitation to the national CrossFit Games to arrive in the mail.

Now he will check his email more frequently starting next week.

The 65-year old Chocowinity native and owner of Beaufort Builders, pulled off enough various feats of strength over the weekend to finish third in the unofficial standings in the Master’s category for the international competition coming up August 1-6 in Madison, WS.

The top 10 qualify, so Cherry’s chances of competing with the best in the world in his age group are pretty solid.

“It’s not official yet, but since he’s in third place several crazy things would have to happen for him to fall out of the top 10,” BOCO CrossFit owner Manny Vidal, who trains Cherry said. “He did very well with all his workouts over the weekend and it’s really cool that’s he’s moving on to nationals. All of us at BOCO CrossFit and Fitness Unlimited are super proud of him.”

Cherry and Vidal didn’t know what workouts Cherry would have to do until early last week. All qualifying rounds were done virtually, with video tapes from around the world submitted to the national office for verification.

Cherry had to complete four workouts plus two bonus sections to earn points based on his finish in each. There were 28 competitors in his age group.

One workout consisted of a 1,000 meter row, 100 jump rope double unders, 20 shuttle runs, a 750 meter row, 75 double unders, 15 shuttle runs, a 500-meter row, 50 double unders, 10 shuttle runs, a 250-meter row, 25 double unders and five shuttle runs in 25 minutes or less.

Others involved as many 225 lb. snatches as possible in three minutes, as many muscle ups on the elevated rings and 135 lb. thrusters as possible in five minutes, five rounds of seven deadlifts, five cleans and three shoulder to overhead press with 185 lbs., a freestanding handstand hold, kettlebell goblet squats, burpee box jump overs and legless rope climbs.

Demanding, no doubt, but Cherry was up to the task.

“I had never done a muscle up and managed to do two,” he said. “I had never tried to stand on my hands in the middle of the floor and that didn’t go well. I did manage to climb the rope four times without using my arms, which I had also never done. I did well enough on the other stuff to still finish third, so I’m pleased with that.”

Cherry will join nine others from around the world in his age group on a special designed workout area on the University of Wisconsin campus in early August. After a few days off to let his body recover, Cherry will resume training.

“We won’t know those workouts until we get there, so we’ll continue to work on my weaknesses to turn them into strengths,” Cherry said. “It was great having my family and friends cheering for me at the gym and I really appreciate everyone’s support. I’m excited to go up there and see what it’s all about in person and I’ll give it my best shot.”