Athlete Spotlight: Zack Griffith and Kate del Solar

Apr 02, 2015 Jamie Tebaldi
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In this week's SAGL Athlete Spotlight, we caught up with Zack Griffith of the South Carolina Titans, and Kate del Solar of the Charleston Marauders.
What's your day job?
GRIFFITH: I'm a full-time student at the University of South Carolina, but I also coach part-time at CrossFit Soda City.
DEL SOLAR: Certified Athletic Trainer for the United States Marine Corps.
How did you hear about grid and what interested you most about it?
GRIFFITH: I heard about the sport through social media. But it really caught my eye once my girlfriend Hannah got contacted by the Bluffton Bruisers and I learned there was a league starting up here in South Carolina. What I like most is all the different gymnastics movements the sport is implementing into the races. It's like being a kid swinging around all over again, but now I'm doing it competitively!
DEL SOLAR: The SAGL posted about their online combine via Instagram. I was intrigued by the chance to be a part of something bigger than myself, and the opportunity to support the growth of a new sport.
What's your training schedule like?
GRIFFITH: I pretty much just work out once a day, five days a week and take two active recovery days. My volume isn't very high. For me personally, I feel if I just go all out during my one session, then there's no need to come back later in the day for another.
DEL SOLAR: I train Monday - Wednesday and Friday with my training partners/Marauders teammates, Josh Duplessis and Nick Shappee, led by our Head Coach, Barry Pepper. Two-a-days do happen, often. Every Saturday I will WOD at the box with the class for fun. Saturday will also include some skill work post-WOD.
What is your past experience with sports?
GRIFFITH: I'm from Maryland originally, and I grew up playing lacrosse. After graduating high school I kept myself busy by competing in triathlons, but sitting on a bike for 90 minutes a day got boring fast, which is when I found CrossFit.
DEL SOLAR: My prior sports experience includes playing soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse. I played collegiate soccer for two seasons. Following college, I continued to be very active and included more weight training into my workout regimen. Currently, I play racquetball recreationally, and intramural co-ed soccer.
Who is your favorite athlete and/or inspiration?
GRIFFITH: My favorite athlete would have to be my dad. He's 51 years old, and in the past year he has done one half Ironman and one full Ironman triathlon, and plans to race in another one this coming June.
DEL SOLAR: My adolescent self would tell you Mia Hamm because she was the dominant force for the USA Women's Soccer team in the 90s. Currently, my inspiration in the functional fitness world is Julie Foucher. Julie is a poised athlete. She is also an all-around badass.
Favorite fitness brand?
GRIFFITH: I'd probably have to say Average Broz! I have a few things from almost every popular name brand but one thing I can't live without is Average Broz tape. I wish I could give you guys a discount code with my name, but I'm not one of their athletes; maybe they'll see this and pick me up, ha ha. Please, Average Broz!?
DEL SOLAR: Lululemon. Hands down. That needs no explanation.
Do you have any pre-match rituals?
GRIFFITH: The night before every competition I eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's chocolate therapy ice cream and half a jar of peanut butter. I dip the spoon in the peanut butter and then into the ice cream and it creates the most amazing Reese's-like concoction. It's the fat kid in me reaching out! Also, everyone that knows me knows that I'm very OCD about how I tape my thumbs, how I put on my wrist wraps, and all those other little "ticks".
DEL SOLAR: My pre-match "ritual" consists of neurotically checking to see if my snap back of choice is on perfectly in an attempt to control my crazy, long curly hair.
What's one of your non-athletic hobbies?
GRIFFITH: Outside the gym I like to be active in any way I can. I have a 9-month-old German Shepherd/Lab mix puppy, and she and I are always running around Columbia finding things to get into, whether its paddle boarding down the river or shooting guns on my Uncle Steve's property.
DEL SOLAR: I enjoy cooking. A lot.
Any advice for people who are new to grid?
GRIFFITH: Don't be afraid to try it out! They're constantly putting a new twist on movements, and it's a whole different type of sport. Just because you may not be the best at one thing doesn't mean you cant be a standout stud the next week in a different race!
DEL SOLAR: Grid is exactly what they say . . . FAST. But, it must be controlled. Fast and hurried are not equivalents. If you rush the movement, you will kill any chance of moving the way you intend to and more importantly, the way you need to . . . FAST!
How can people follow you?
GRIFFITH: If you want to follow me on Instagram look me up at @CFteddygraham (all of my friends used to say I looked like a little vanilla teddy graham working out and the name just stuck!). You can also find me on Facebook if you search Zack Griffith.
DEL SOLAR: Instagram is the best way to find out about me, my training, and my team. Stalk me; I mean, follow me @katedelsolar.