Article by CrossFit Games on March 12th, 2013 by Britteny Saline


Before the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games season began, Mikki Nuccio impressed the CrossFit community with her green resume and veteran CrossFitter stats. A 2:58 first-attempt Fran at five months of CrossFitting, and a 405-lb. deadlift at seven months aren’t soon forgotten.

Yet training isn’t competing, as many athletes learn the hard way. Would Nuccio deliver when it really counts?

“I wanted to prove myself,” she says. “And this was a good confidence boost.”

With just seven months of CrossFit in the bank, the 23-year-old completed 202 reps during 13.1 trailing Kristan Clever by nine repsCurrently, Nuccio sits in second place on the Central East Leaderboard. Her coach, Bradley Berlin, never had any doubts.

“When I saw what (13.1) was, I was like, ‘I don’t know how it will go for me, but it will be awesome for her,”’ he says. “She’s crazy good at burpees, and I knew she could power snatch every weight.”

As for Nuccio, she was excited after the classic Castro grin gave way to 17 minutes of snatches and burpees. She says it didn’t sound awful, more like any other day at CrossFit Maven. And that’s how she approached her first-ever Open workout. During her regular class time, with her regular CrossFit classmates and a judge, of course.

Nuccio practiced her burpees with a metronome. In 13.1, she maintained an even pace until the final three burpees of each set, which she slowed in order to rest without actually stopping before the snatches.

“I had a count in my head I was trying to stay with,” she says. “I wanted to be doing the set of 20 burpees at eight minutes.”

She finished them at seven.

Her only worry was the final round of snatches at 120 lb., which she broke into singles. But after the first one went up without struggle, her calm confidence resumed.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen her smile so big,” Berlin says.

She’s grateful, she says, for all the overhead squats and snatch complexes Berlin programs for her.

“I used to dread (overhead) more than anything, but everything Brad’s had me do has really paid off,” she says.

The Games Season is still in its infancy, much like Nuccio’s CrossFit career. She’s well aware of this, and takes nothing for granted. In fact, once she finished 13.1, she went straight back to her training.

“(Afterward), I was like, ‘Hey, awesome, I’m really proud of you, but we still have to train,’” Berlin says. “‘You’re gonna make it to Regionals, now we gotta focus on that.’”

Nuccio isn’t watching the Leaderboard stressing over who’s the best today or tomorrow. Instead, she’s focused on what she need to do right now to be the best she can be.

“Everyday I wake up and it’s overwhelming to me,” she says. “I’m really excited that I’m finally seeing what I’m able to do in comparison to everyone else. I think I’m beginning to accept that I can do more than what I thought.”

-Britteny Saline

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