The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

July 13, 2014

Central Cambria grad prepping for national CrossFit competition

JOHNSTOWN — A Mundys Corner native will participate in a nationly recognized athletic event when he takes his talents to the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games on July 26 in Carson, California.

Luke Espe, 27, will be part of a three-man, three-woman team to take on various fitness challenges. 

In the sport of CrossFit, there are competitions of weightlifting, gymnastics, and interval training. Teams are rated on either how fast they can complete a task or how many reps they can perform within a certain time frame.  

His team, CrossFit Syndicate, qualified for this year’s games after finishing in second at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Qualifier in Washington D.C. This is the first time ever that Espe was a part of a team that qualified for the CrossFit Games in California.

Espe never worked with half of the people on his team until the beginning of this year. The team worked well together throughout the year and Espe was very optimistic about his team going into the regional qualifier.   

“We knew we would do well in the regional,” said Espe. “Making it to the games in California is a great achievement whenever your life is dedicated to CrossFit.”  

The high-intensity exercises of CrossFit have become a competitive fitness sport and a household name in the past five years. CrossFit is a very diverse type of athletic competition. Athletes from all over the world are involved in the CrossFit Games. 

“It is hard to explain,” said Espe. “It is pretty much the sport of fitness. CrossFit’s claim is to find the fittest human beings on the planet.”

“They test every aspect of fitness.” Espe added.

One of the most complex aspects of the CrossFit Games is that athletes never know what they will encounter. 

“It is not like any other sport.” said Espe. “You have to be ready to do anything.”

The Games will be featured on ESPN3 online July 26-28 and for the first time, the event’s last hour of competition will be on broadcast nationally on ESPN2 from 4-5 p.m. on July 28.

The Games are getting bigger and bigger every year. 

“When the CrossFit Games started, there were 20,000 participants,” said Espe. “Now there are 230,000 athletes in the Games, it has become the Olympics of all-around fitness.”

He attended Washington and Jefferson College and played on its football team for four years. After graduating with an Information Technology degree and moving to Baltimore, Espe wanted to find some activity to fill the void of football. After watching a YouTube video about CrossFit in 2009, he went to a CrossFit gym and immediately fell in love. 

“After I was done playing college football, there was no competitive atmosphere in the weight room,” said Espe.  “Going to the gym was just going to the gym. When I heard about CrossFit and participated in it, my competitive edge was resparked and it gave me something to work for.”

Espe took fascination in the sport, he got all the education and credentials needed to become a CrossFit trainer.  In 2009, Espe met Ryan Thompson and opened a facility in Columbia, Maryland where he is a trainer in CrossFit and forms teams for the competition.

CrossFit is now Espe’s life. While he did not get a job linked to his IT degree, he moved on to co-own three gyms in the Baltimore area by 2012. Even before opening these gyms, Espe always had a training background working with his father, Dr. Scott Espe, owner of Espe Chiropractic.  Thompson is also the coach of the CrossFit Syndicate team. 

“I really like interacting with people,” said Espe. “I love watching people achieve their goals and that is what keeps me coming back to work at the gyms everyday.” 

Espe is a 2005 graduate of Central Cambria High School, where he was a letterman in football, basketball as well as track and field.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014

  • aaaba_martellas 0723 Martella’s, Laurel Auto set to clash for AAABA League title

    Martella’s Pharmacy will be in familiar baseball territory entering Game 1 of the AAABA League championship series on Thursday night at Point Stadium.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Harris takes second in Fargo

    July 23, 2014

  • Murin advances in national tournament

    July 23, 2014

  • Boilers win 12th straight title

    July 23, 2014

  • Dodgers Pirates Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
    Polanco, hitting just .133 in his previous 11 games, smacked a bases-loaded single with two outs in the sixth to put Pittsburgh in front for good.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • ACC Kickoff Football ACC schools get optimism from stability

    Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference.
    It’s where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too – sort of – and nobody else is leaving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • aaaba 0721 Martella’s sweeps past Delweld

    A six-run rally in the first helped guide Martella’s Pharmacy to an 8-1 win over Delweld in Game 3 of their best-of-5 AAABA League semifinal series at Point Stadium, sweeping the series in the process.
    That rally also continued season-long trends for the clubs, according to their respective managers.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide