Butte doctors rank among world’s best

A quick glance at Mike Gallagher or Nick DiGiovine will tell you that the Butte doctors have clearly been working out.

Just how hard and how impressive, however, might come as a bit of a surprise.

Gallagher and DiGiovine both rank in the top 80 CrossFit performers in the world in their age group, according to the recently completed Masters Qualifiers.

Gallagher, 50, is ranked No. 78 in the men’s 50-54 age group, while DiGiovine, 56, is No. 68 in the men’s 55-59 group.

“They placed pretty darn good in the world,” said Anthony Fields, the owner of Copper City CrossFit in Butte. “They worked their asses off this year, and it was cool to watch.”

The top 20 in each age group qualified for the CrossFit Games.

The doctors advanced to the Masters Qualifier by competing in a worldwide Open starting on Feb. 27. More than 37,000 masters athletes entered the event, and after workouts over five weeks only 2,000 advanced to Masters Qualifier. The top 200 in each age group qualified.

Athletes taped their workouts or competed a sanctioned facility — in the doctors’ case, Copper City CrossFit — and had their workouts sanctioned.

The four Masters Qualifier events each test the competitors abilities in high-skill movements such as muscle-ups, squat snatches, one-rep-max cleans, handstand push-ups, double-unders and high-rep pull-ups.

Copper City CrossFit, which is located in the same building as Planet Beach and Jumperoo at 5050 Harrison Ave., has about 130 members.

Fields said member Joani Kieninger placed 210th in the Open competition, just missing Masters Qualifier. Former member Julie Holt placed 22nd in the women’s 55-59 age group, missing the CrossFit games by two places.

Fields pointed out that Gallagher and DiGiovine made impressive gains over the last year. He said Gallagher did so despite tearing a bicep muscle a little more than a year ago.

“He had to recover from that and then make get that much stronger,” Fields said. “They both came a long way in the last year. It’s a pretty admirable accomplishment.”

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