CROSSFIT: Shaun Havard, Will Havard gear up for 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games |

CROSSFIT: Shaun Havard, Will Havard gear up for 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games

Shaun Havard, right, and her son Will Havard will be competing in teh 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin Aug. 3-6.
Walter.Ford/ |

The path to the Reebok CrossFit Games is a difficult and taxing one. It tests an athletes resolve and commitment to the sport on daily basis. It’s a path local athlete Shaun Havard and her son Will Havard are happy to take together.

“It’s definitely brought us a lot closer over the last seven years,” Will said of CrossFit’s role in his relationship with his mother. “I live in the Bay Area, so I call her at least 3-5 times a week to talk about training, how my team is doing or how she is doing. It’s pretty special to have something like that with your mom. Not a lot of people have that experience, or have the experience of coaching their mom, like I did at the Games. Its pretty special.”

At the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games in Carson, California, Will coached his mother, helping her win the Women’s Masters Division (60 years and older).

“It was incredible,” Will said of watching Shaun win the title in her division. “It’s hard to put into words. It’s one of those things you appreciate more and more over time. It’s special just to qualify. To win — it’s really special.”

Shaun will be heading to the Games to defend her title, but this year she will not have Will as a coach because he will be competing. Will, a 26-year old Nevada Union alumnus, qualified for the games as a member of EndGame Athletics, out of Oakland, and will compete in the Team Division.

The Reebok CrossFit Games, which began in 2007, will be held Aug. 3-6 in Madison, Wisconsin this year. The Games are the world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth, according to

For Shaun, who will be competing in her third CrossFit Games, her mindset is not one of “defending the title,” rather one of following her plan, staying focused and letting the scores fall where they may.

“I don’t look at it like I am defending my title,” Shaun said. “Honestly, I look at it as I’m going there to try and do my best. That’s all I can really do. If I look at it in the terms of, ‘I’m defending my title,’ there’s way more pressure than I want to put on myself. What it’s about this year is being as prepared as I possibly can be and try to do my very best.

“When you’re in that competition, there’s so much going on. There’s so many people, media, music along with all the rules and the judges, you have to be really focused on what you are doing. The little things make a really big difference. I’m going to be focusing on that kind of stuff, not what place I’m in. That’s a waste of energy.”

With Will competing, Shaun will be coached by Alex Haussermann from CrossFit Davis. In addition to training at CrossFit Davis, Shaun also trains at Gold Rush CrossFit in Grass Valley.

As for Shaun’s motivation to continue her CrossFit journey: she simply enjoys it.

“Mostly, I like doing it,” she said after a recent workout at Gold Rush CrossFit. “There are times I don’t like doing it, but in the big picture, I like doing it.

“I think it’s interesting to see what you can do with your body as you age. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been. It’s just interesting. There are a lot of people in there 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s doing more than the norm and I think that’s interesting. There not just getting old.”

For Will, it’s his love for the burgeoning sport and drive to accomplish a goal he set when he first became enamored with Crossfit.

“The first time I did CrossFit in 2009, I fell in love with it,” he said. “For me, the motivation for the last few years has been to qualify for the CrossFit Games.”

Will’s team has been trying to qualify for the CrossFit Games for years, and fell short in the regional competitions in the past three years before getting over the hump this year. And it almost didn’t happen. The CrossFit Games only take the top five teams from each region. During the regional competition, Will’s team went into the final event in sixth place. They would finish strong, though, winning the event and taking third place overall to earn their ticket to the Games.

“Everyone is so close in skill level that winning and losing comes down to being able to have a plan, fully commit to that plan and execute that plan in the face of extreme amounts of discomfort over a long period of time,” he said.

To learn more about the Reebok CrossFit Games visit

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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