Prince Albert CrossFit athlete Whitney Darchuk broke provincial records in her 69kg weight class, setting records in both the clean/jerk and snatch lifts at the Synergy Saskatoon Open on Feb. 8. Submitted photo
Dipping her feet in Olympic weightlifting for the first time, dedicated CrossFit athlete Whitney Darchuk has already found herself in the sport's record books.
Competing in her first Olympic event at the Synergy Saskatoon Open on Feb. 8., Darchuk not only finished first in her 69kg weight class, but broke provincial records as well, setting records in both the clean/jerk and snatch lifts.
Entering the competition on a recommendation from a fellow CrossFit athlete, Darchuk by no means expected to etch herself into weightlifting history books.
"I was like 'let's just go in for fun and see what happens'," Darchuk said at the Saskpro CrossFit gym in Prince Albert. "It was to try something different and get out of my comfort zone a little bit. I knew I would do well, I just didn’t know it would go 'that' well."
CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program where athletes train using constantly varied, high intensity functional movements during short workouts that include metabolic conditioning, gymnastic movements and Olympic weightlifting.
Although weightlifting has added to her schedule, Darchuk's primary goal remains to qualify for the CrossFit Games Regionals.
At the Feb. 8 event, Darchuk put up weightlifting numbers that qualified her for the National Championship that she plans to compete in over the May 24 weekend in Saskatoon.
Darchuk has also accepted an invitation to represent Saskatchewan at the Western Championships on March 29 in Winnipeg.
Still, Darchuk's focus remains squarely on CrossFit.
"It's what I've been training and prepping for all year," Darchuk said, adding that she isn’t overwhelmed by the addition of a new sport to the docket. "I'm trying to stay as relaxed as I can."
In order to get to Regionals, Darchuk must first get through the CrossFit open, which begins on Feb. 27.
To get through the open stage and to regionals, Darchuk must compete in five workouts over five weeks and have her scores validated by a certified judge at an affiliate such as Saskpro.
According to the CrossFit Games website, "the fittest 48 men, 48 women from each region will earn invitations to one of 17 regionals."
If invited, Darchuk will attend the Canada West Regionals in Vancouver on May 9. At last year's regionals, Darchuk finished 10th overall.
"This year my ultimate goal is to get to regionals again," she said adding that her ultimate goal is to make it to the CrossFit Games on July 26 in Carson, Calif.
Darchuk explained that her newfound success in weightlifting has not shifted her focus.
"I will continue to do it," she said of weightlifting. "I've had lots of fun in it, but definitely my No. 1 focus is CrossFit training."