Competition came to a close at the CrossFit Mayhem Classic on Sunday evening, crowning two familiar names as champions and awarding two other athletes invitations to the 2020 CrossFit Games. For three days, all eyes of the CrossFit community were on Cookeville, TN and the first Sanctional of the calendar year did not disappoint.
The reigning, defending and three-time Fittest Woman on Earth dominated the competition from start to finish. Tia-Clair Toomey looked in peak form as she won six of the seven events including the final four, finishing with 695 out of a possible 700 points and marking her third career Sanctional victory. With her Games invitation secured as national champion of Australia, the Mayhem Games berth was up for grabs.
Toomey talks about how she values the experience more than the win in her competition wrap-up interview with reporter Niki Brazier.
- Danielle Brandon receives the Games invite for now with her third-place finish but her invitation will be passed onto fourth-place finisher Feeroozah Saghafi after Open invites are finalized. Brandon, who was the only athlete not named Toomey to win an event, should receive an Open backfill spot after the female athletes competing on teams at the Games decline their bids.
- Saghafi will make her second Games appearance after competing last year. She took a different route to her invite this season after making it to the Games through the Open in 2019.
- Saghafi was unaware that she’d be the eventual invitee after Open backfilling is complete until the Morning Chalk Up broke the news to her. Watch her response.
- Kristi Eramo O’Connell looked ready for individual competition after a year away. She placed second behind Toomey and recorded four top-three finishes. Last season, Eramo O’Connell competed at the Games on a team after three trips as an individual. She earned her Games invite with a 14th place finish in the Open.
- Keep an eye out for Paige Powers. The 16-year-old and latest Mayhem prodigy, placed 18th overall but recorded two fifth-place finishes in a field packed with Games and Regional veterans. She was one of just five women to finish the final event which featured a descending ladder of parallette handstand push-ups and squat cleans at 185 pounds. A two-time teen athlete at the Games, she placed third in the female 16-17 age group in 2019. We caught up with her after that event to find out more about this rising star.
Chandler Smith picked up his first Sanctional victory and goes back to Fort Knox, Kentucky $15,000 richer. Despite holding the lead going into the final day, the field made him work for it. He held a ten-point lead over Luke Schafer going into the final event. Needing to finish one spot ahead to secure the title, he won the last heat of the competition just ahead of Schafer.
Listen to Smith talk about his goals and how the victory changes his plans.
- The invite will pass to Schafer instead.
- You may not have heard of Schafer but he’s a Games team veteran. The 26-year old future medical student has competed at the Games twice on a team. At the 2015 Games, he was a member of CrossFit Kilo and last season he competed with OC3 Black, who finished just off the podium in fourth place. We caught up with Luke Schafer after the competition.
- Canadian national champion Jeffrey Adler finished third, his first career podium finish at a Sanctional.
- Parity was the name of the game at Mayhem in the men’s division. Each event featured a different winner. The eventual champion, Smith did not win a single event, his best finish being third.
The Final Top 10 Leaderboard
- Tia-Clair Toomey (695) | Chandler Smith (538)
- Kristi Eramo-O’Connell (595) | Luke Schafer (524)
- Danielle Brandon (581) | Jeffrey Adler (457)
- Feeroozeh Saghafi (520) | Kyle Bernier (450)
- Rebecca Voigt Miller (453) | Connor Duddy (448)
- Steph Chung (410) | Alexandre Caron (443)
- Caroline Conners (404) | Saxon Panchik (431)
- Amanda Hardeman (399) | Ben Smith (430)
- Hayley Murillo (379) | Josh Miller (417)
- Marie-Pier Bonneau (378) | Drew Wayman(391)
Niki Brazier recaps the final day of competition from Cookeville. Subscribe to the Morning Chalk Up YouTube Channel and get alerts for all the latest news, interviews and stories in the CrossFit community.
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