After 13 weeks of competition, U-Town CrossFit gym owners Jason and Amy Tungate announced the winners of the 2018 Get Fit Competition.

Jason Tungate said from the beginning that he had no interest in making the competition a weight-loss competition, but instead, a competition of who would improve in overall fitness.

Before the challenge began, all of the contestants were put through a series of exercises to evaluate exactly what they were capable of doing and a few days before the “Murph Challenge,” the contestants were put through the exact same series of exercises to see how much they’ve improved.

Jason Tungate said they did as many squats as they could in one minute, followed by as many push-ups as they could in one minute and as many push presses as they could do in one minute.

If the individual was not able to do a traditional push-up at the beginning and needed to use a box against the wall, that’s the way they completed the end test as well. For the push presses, men used 45-pounds of weight and women used 35-pounds of weight.

In between each of these exercises, the contestants got a five-minute rest, and they followed them up with a one rep max bench press. All of this was to be done within 15 minutes and then followed up by a five minute rest and a 10-minute CrossFit medley of exercises that included 10 Russian kettle bell swings, 10 box step ups and five burpees. Another five-minute rest before four minutes of pushing a sled 30-feet back and fourth as many times as they could.

“We measured the percentage that each contestant got better in each category,” Jason Tungate said. “ Then each winner in each category got assigned points based on those percentages. Those points from all of the categories were added up and that’s how the winners were chosen.”

On the guys’ side, in the squats evaluation, Zach Hixson received an improvement percentage of 132.5 percent, good enough for five points, followed by Ray Newhouse Jr. with 61.76 percent, garnering him four points and Doug Crouse with 23.81 percent, which got him three points.

In the push-up challenge, Newhouse and Hixson tied with an improved percentage of 61.54 percent, bringing both five points, followed by Crouse with an improvement percentage of 20.3 percent, that gave him three points.

In the push press evaluation, Hixson took the five points with an improved percentage of 88.89, followed by Newhouse with four points for his improved percentage of 82.76 and then Crouse with an improved percentage of 27.27, which garnered him three points.

In the bench press, Newhouse got the five points with an improved percentage of 23.26, Crouse got four points with improved percentage of 11.54, narrowly edging out Hixson who had an improved percentage of 11.11 percent, who took the three points.

Finally, in the AMRAP, Newhouse took the five points with an improved percentage of 42.28, Crouse took the four points with an improved percentage of 30.43 and Hixson took three points with an improved percentage of 16.35.

Adding up all the points, Newhouse was declared the winner with 23 points, followed by Hixson with 21 and Crouse with 17.

Randy Cantrell and his wife Shellie Cantrell both dropped out of the competition just a week before evaluations.

“It was a very close race,” Jason Tungate said. “If we did the numbers without Doug (Crouse), Zach (Hixson) and Ray (Newhouse) would’ve actually tied.”

On the girls’ side, in the squats evaluation, Donna Galderisi received an improvement percentage of 76 percent, good enough for five points, followed by Kathy Reed with 66.67 percent garnering her four points, Alexandra Griffith with 64.52 percent, which got her three points, rounded out by Angela Vernet with 33.33 percent, gaining her two points.

In the push-up challenge, Reed took the five points with an improved percentage of 73.08 percent, followed by Griffith with an improvement percentage of 66.67 percent that gave her four points, and then Galderisi with three points for 55 percent improvement, rounded out by Vernet with 40.91 improvement percentage giving her two points.

In the push press evaluation, Vernet surpassed the rest for the five points with an improved percentage of 188.89, followed by Reed with four points with a percentage of 94.44 and then Griffith with 80.95 percent for three points and Galderisi with 47.32 percent for two points.

In the bench press, Reed got the five points with an improved percentage of 41.67, Griffith got four points with improved percentage of 29.41, followed by Vernet with 26.67 percent for three points and Galderisi with 18.75 for two points.

Finally, in the AMRAP, Vernet took the five points with an improved percentage of 30.4, Reed took the four points with an improved percentage of 20.51, Griffith took three points with an improved percentage of 19.15 and Galderisi got two points for a percentage of 15.07.

Adding up all the points, Reed was declared the winner with 22 points, followed by Griffith and Vernet who tied with 17 points and rounded out by Galderisi with 14 points.

Newhouse said he was nervous coming into the reveal, and when the numbers started going up on the board, he was surprised by the tight race.

“But it didn’t matter if I won or lost, I would still continue with CrossFit,” he said. “This is definitely what has been missing from my fitness journey.

“All the glory gots to God for the strength he gave to sustain me,” Newhouse added. “This made me stronger as a person and as an athlete.”

He added that his wife’s (Amanda Newhouse) support was vital to his success.

“It was a lot of hard work and sacrifice as the other parent at home, but I knew when my husband signed up for this that he doesn’t do anything at 50 percent or 80 percent - he’s 100 percent in the whole time,” said Amanda Newhouse.

She added that the challenge made a change in her husband physically, but also emotionally as well.

“All in all, it helped us get stronger as a family,” Amanda Newhouse said.

Reed said she was excited to win the challenge and just to be overall healthy.

“I’m 44 years old, so to beat out some of the competition that was much younger than me, I’m just amazed and grateful,” she said. “I have a motto: ‘she believed she could, so she did.’ I started my health journey five years ago and this CrossFit challenge helped me with my overall health and fitness. I would’ve continued on this path even if I hadn’t won.”

Reed has long range goals for her fitness journey, including participating in her first tough mudder next year.

“I want to help other women struggling with obesity,” she said. “I want to be an example for them.”

Herald Standard Publisher Bob Pinarski congratulated all of the participants and said he enjoyed watching the weekly videos and reading the articles.

From the Herald Standard, each participant received a $35 gift certificate to Company O Hair Salon. The winners received a Fit Bit, a mint set of 2018 coins, a $50 gift certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods, a $25 gift certificate to Subway and a six-month subscription to the Herald Standard.

The Tungates awarded the winners with a six-month membership to U-Town CrossFit.

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