3 Storylines To Watch In Week 3

October 23, 2019 by
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Week two of the Open has wrapped and after spinning our wheels for 20 minutes in 20.2 the leaderboard is just now starting to take some shape. For the second week in a row, the top scores worldwide came from the women’s side as Kristin Holte and Jamie Greene – the 2nd and 3rd place finishers at the Games in 2019 – both flirted with 31 rounds on the scorecard and beat out Frederik Aegidius’ top score for the men. 

On the men’s side a full 29 rounds was the threshold for a top performance this week – 23 athletes in total accomplished the feat to give themselves a nice boost on the leaderboard – while the dividing line for a top 20 score for the women was getting through the toes-to-bar in the 29th round. 

  • In total 13 athletes broke the 1,000 rep barrier, so congratulations if you were one of the select few or their judge because let’s face it counting 700 double unders is an accomplishment in itself. 

With the Open barreling towards the median point, and now that we’ve got a couple scores under our belts, here are some storylines worth paying attention to as we hold our collective breaths for the 20.3 announcement

Emma Cary in the Top 10

In 2019, Emma Cary was the CrossFit Games champion for the Teenage Girls 14-15 division, taking home a Gold medal in her first year of CrossFit competition. Two months later, Cary is still 15-years-old, but she’s aged up into the 16-17-year-old division meaning the prescribed workouts for the Open are the same as the individual women’s division, and her name is now included in the women’s division on the worldwide leaderboard. 

It’s almost shocking then that, after two weeks of competition in the Open, Cary sits in 8th place overall worldwide. Think about that, a young woman not yet old enough to obtain a driver’s license in her home state of Missouri has outperformed the likes of Katrin Davidsdottir, Annie Thorisdottir, Brooke Wells, and nearly every other woman on the planet through two extremely painful workouts. The safe bet is that heavier weights and gymnastics could trip her up a bit relative to the top women, but even still, the fact that she finished 20.1 in 15th overall, and 20.2 in 9th speaks to an insane level of capacity for an athlete her age.

Russia Men’s Race

Roman Khrennikov is probably one of the most intriguing athletes in the sport. Since showing up at the 2018 Europe Regional (and winning), he’s qualified for back-to-back CrossFit Games but has yet to step on the competition floor in Madison. Visa issues that have prevented him from getting into the United States have relegated him to the Open and Sanctional competitions. The looming visa issues are what makes this Russia men’s race particularly interesting. 

One big thing: Khrennikov could be holding up a national champion spot. Right now Khrennikov is in the lead, having won both events in Russia so far, and chances are he holds onto the top spot the rest of the way given that both of Russia’s top two males from the 2019 Open – Aleksander Ilin (56th at the Games) and Sergey Koltovskoy – are out of the running this year. 

  • The issue here is that if Khrennikov goes on to win the Russia national championship, and can’t make it to the Games once again, there wouldn’t be a male athlete from Russia representing. 
  • Per the rulebook section 4.02: “CrossFit, Inc. will only backfill a national champion spot if the national champion decides to compete as a member of a team that will be competing at the Games.” 

How this situation plays out is certainly worth watching. Khrennikov could finally get his visa approved and this all goes away or he pulls a Joe Scali to ensure representation at the Games. CrossFit Inc. could also make an amendment to the rules to allow the next in line to participate, otherwise one of the men chasing Khrennikov will have to start catching him on the leaderboard to ensure a national champion makes the trip to Madison.

Games Finish Male Open Position
After Week 2
Spots from Top 30 Female Open Position
After Week 2
Spots from Top 30
1 Mat Fraser 12 18 Tia-Clair Toomey 5 25
2 Noah Ohlsen 13 17 Kristin Holte 2 28
3 BK Gudmundsson 2 28 Jamie Greene 3 27
4 Scott Panchik 96 -66 Katrin Davidsdottir 14 16
5 James Newbury 118 -88 Kari Pearce 12 18
6 Jacob Heppner 29 1 Haley Adams 103 -73
7 Matt McLeod 25 5 Amanda Barnhart 95 -65
8 Adrian Mundwiler 383 -353 Bethany Shadburne 34 -4
9 Saxon Panchik 185 -155 Thuri Helgadottir 167 -137
10 Will Moorad 92 -62 Danielle Brandon 143 -113

Top 10 Games Athletes: How they’re doing so far.

At this point, nobody should be surprised that athletes like Mat Fraser, Tia-Clair Toomey, Kristin Holte, and BKG have found their way back above the qualifying line in the Open after such stellar performances at the Games just a couple months ago. On the contrary, there are some athletes to watch that made the final cut at the Games and have found themselves well below the qualifying line after two weeks despite finishing in the top 10 at the Games, and after strong performances in the Open last season. 

  • On the men’s side, Will Moorad (92nd), James Newbury (118th), Saxon Panchik (185th), and Adrian Mundwiler (382nd) are the athlete facing an uphill climb the rest of the way through the Open. For Moorad and Newbury there is still an outside chance of making a comeback to earn one of the top 20 spots once things settle down, but for Saxon Panchik and Mundwilder, a return trip to the Games will need to happen through a Sanctioned event. 
  • For the women, Amanda Barnhart (95th), Haley Adams (103rd), and Thuri Helgadottir (166th) are all south of the qualifying line after all three women were able to earn a qualifying spot through the Open last season. Helgadottir’s attention will likely turn to Sanctionals if she wants to return to the Games in 2020, while both Adams and Barnhart will need three consecutive top finishes if they want to climb back up into contention in a crowded women’s field at the top of the leaderboard. 

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