The sixth Sanctional of the 2019 CrossFit Games season is in the books, as the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge (MACC) has wrapped up three days of competition at the historic D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C.
When the dust settled, Meg Reardon, John-Paul Hethcock and Invictus X stood atop the podium and earned themselves invites to the 2019 CrossFit Games in August.
In what was probably the most predictable competition of the weekend, the two heavy favorites on the team side, Invictus X and MisFit were the frontrunners for most of the weekend.
The Invictus X roster of Sam Dancer, Holden Rethwill, Maddy Myers and Chantelle Loehner outdueled a MisFit team comprised of four individual Games athletes, beating them in five of the eight events over the weekend.
The win for Invictus X included a nice mix of individual efforts and solid teamwork to earn their way back to the Games. In the opening event named “Pucino” and in event five titled “Bridge 4,” they showcased familiarity with a worm implement that gave other teams fits all weekend.
In the women’s “OG” event, Myers hit a 255 pound clean and jerk to secure the event win before the entire team notched another win in the individual relay style “Lazer Tag” event.
Invictus X now returns to Madison after finishing second at the Games in 2018 and is the second team from the CrossFit Invictus affiliate to earn a Games invite in 2019.
Five wins over the course of the weekend weren’t enough for Dani Speegle to walk away with the victory as a resurgent Meg Reardon overtook the top spot in the final event and bested Speegle by just four points.
Three was the magic number for Reardon, a 2016 Games qualifier, as she finished six of the ten scored workouts in third place. She never finished lower than 5th in any workout, and her consistency paid off.
When Speegle finished back to back events in 8th and 9th place, her only “blemishes” of the weekend, Reardon made up a whopping 50 points by finishing in second and third respectively. Going into the final event she trailed Speegle by just six points, and even though Speegle has already locked up a spot to the Games through the Open, Reardon wasn’t content with second.
A second place finish in the “Amanda 2.0” finale was enough to move her past Speegle, who faltered on the muscle-ups, for the overall win and even though Reardon stated earlier in the weekend her intentions to try and earn a spot to the Games on a team later this season, she now has a solid backup plan after earning her second trip to the CrossFit Games as an individual.
The MACC men’s competition may have just provided the underdog story of the year. Less than a week ago, John-Paul Hethcock was planning on being at the MACC, but as a spectator and coach supporting his girlfriend Tammy Wildgoose who was also competing.
A few days before the competition, Taylor Self withdrew from the competition due to injury and Hethcock was extended an invite to compete due to being the next athlete in line from the online qualifier.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and Hethcock is sitting in first overall going into the final event flanked on either side of him in the center lane by Games veterans Samuel Kwant and Will Moorad, both trying to chase him down for the top spot.
He got there by notching five top-five finishes in the first nine scored events, and as an athlete who technically wasn’t supposed to be competing a few days earlier, he now was on the cusp of winning the whole competition and earning an unlikely invite to the CrossFit Games.
With the pressure on, Hethcock responded with his first and only workout win of the weekend, shutting the door on Kwant and Moorad, and completing a “worst to first” scenario similar to Pablo Chalfun’s performance in Latin America last year, earning him his very first trip to the CrossFit Games as champion of the MACC.