While some central Ohio residents probably wished they were away from home when poor weather hit last weekend, Ty Bentley and Jack Keith were in a much warmer environment in Miami.

It was far from a vacation, though, for the Gahanna-area residents.

Bentley, who is a Gahanna Lincoln High School freshman, and Keith, a Columbus Academy sophomore, were competing in the Wodapalooza Fitness Festival, a CrossFit event.

The event took place from Jan. 12-14 and featured more than 20 categories, with Bentley and Keith both participating in the youth boys 13-15-year-old age group.

In their 15-member competition, Keith turned in a fifth-place finish (664 points) and Bentley was sixth (652) as Nolan Pedrick from Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, scored 778 to win.

"It's really exciting," Keith said of competing in the event. "We spend a lot of time in the gym and have worked really hard for it. I'm excited it's paid off."

CrossFit is a fitness regimen that incorporates elements of cardio, weightlifting, gymnastics and core training.

Both Bentley and Keith train at CrossFit Future in Blacklick, which is where they met a couple years ago.

To qualify for the competition, athletes submitted videos of themselves competing in five categories and scores then were tabulated.

In the Wodapalooza Festival, the three main categories were titled "Peak360 Pull & Push," "Progenex Bar Complex" and "Barbell for Boobs."

Bentley scored the third most points in the pull & push category, which featured pull-ups, bar muscle-ups, chest-to-bar and three 100-foot heavy sled pushes.

Keith was sixth in the barbell event.

Both consider their strength to be in gymnastics and cardio events.

Bentley originally placed 17th in the online qualifying competition, but after one of the qualifiers was unable to attend and the 16th-place finisher also declined, he received an opportunity to compete.

While Keith knew for several weeks that he had qualified among the top 15, Bentley found out just after Christmas that he could go if he chose.

"The gym has really rallied around Ty and Jack," said Kyle Bentley, who is Ty's father and also serves as an assistant wrestling coach for Gahanna in addition to being a CrossFit participant since 2006. "The entry fee is $300 and the hotels are $200-300 a night, but the gym raised over $1,000 to send them down to the competition. It truly is a community."

Ty was relieved when the chance to compete came his way.

"I was really disappointed (when I didn't initially qualify) because you train for that for so many months and it comes down to five workouts and you push really hard for each workout, but I saw it kind of like God's plan for me to kind of be let down and later I'm preparing for this with two, three weeks left," Ty said. "I was pretty prepared overall. I'd been doing stuff with Jack and (trainer) Tristan (Moore), so I'm at about the same level as I would have been."

While Ty also competes for Gahanna's wrestling program but "just fell in love" with CrossFit shortly after he began participating in it in 2015, Keith followed his father, Jason Keith, into the sport.

"My dad started coming in (to CrossFit Future) and he dragged me in here," Jack said. "I didn't really want to do it at first, but then I started to love it. I've been in a bunch of local competitions, and Ty and I do some partner ones."

Both are hoping for big things in the sport, including someday competing in the Reebok CrossFit Games. This year, the event will be held Aug. 1-5 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Athletes in their age group first must qualify for the Central Regional competition May 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee.

"We have a little bit older of a population (at CrossFit Future), so it's nice to get some teens in here," Moore said. "It makes me go a lot harder and just elevates everybody. I feel like they follow directions and get after it. You tell them something and 100 percent I know it's going to get done. We've been (training together) for six months to a year and it's not even comparable. They're not even the same people. I'm really excited to see what they can do next year. The sky's the limit."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek