CrossFit Games

Wodapalooza Day 1 Recap

February 20, 2020 by
Credit @wodapalooza
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If the opening day of Wodapalooza is a gauge of what the next three days of competition will be like then we are in for some excitement. The day featured the next chapter of a much-anticipated match-up in the women’s division, not one but two Mayhem teams putting on a show and a men’s leaderboard that is volatile as the South Florida weather.

The men’s division:

You can’t help but wonder what Travis William’s intentions were when he decided to compete as an individual at Wodapalooza. His team Misfit Pro10 Performance accepted their invitation to the 2020 CrossFit Games after winning at the Dubai CrossFit Championship but now he finds himself atop the leaderboard after a wild evening at Miami’s Bayfront Park.

Event two promised excitement and it delivered, the appropriately named event, “Miami Heat,” was a version of the elimination-style event that was first seen at the Brazil CrossFit Championship last season. Featuring a 2:00 minute time cap, each athlete would complete 30 calories on an Assault Bike then complete a 30-foot overhead barbell lunge to the finish line. The weight on the barbell would increase each round as the field was cut down to 20 athletes in round two to 10 in the final round.

However the Miami weather would have something to say about that. The evening rain picked up right before the final round, causing a small delay, as event organizers and the athletes decided how to proceed. For safety reasons, the overhead lunges were changed to front rack lunges.

In true William’s fashion, he went “full-send” in each round in a workout that fit his aggressive style. Williams finished second in the event behind Josh Gervais, and coupled with his fourth-place finish in event one, gave him a six-point lead over Cole Sager at the end of day one.

  • Defending Wodapalooza champion Patrick Vellner sits in third place, fourteen points behind Williams. He opened the competition with an event win before faltering in the final round of event two, finishing ninth.
  • Saxon Panchik, who finished ninth at last year’s Games, sits in fourth. After day one, Panchik appears to be the front-runner for the Games invitation, if you factor William’s team invitation.
  • Gervais (sixth), Adrian Mundwiler and Saxon’s twin brother Spencer Panchik (tied for seventh with Mundwiler) are all in the hunt for the Games invitation.
  • Hometown favorite Noah Ohlsen sits in fifth place after seventh and 13th place finishes in event one and two respectively.
  • 2015 Games champion Ben Smith and a trio of national champions in Fabian Beneito Selles (Spain), Willy Georges (France) and Zack George (United Kingdom) all withdrew from competition prior to the first event. Reasons are unknown but all four athletes have a Games invitation.
Credit @travisfwilliams

The women’s division:

Much has been said and discussed of the match-up between Tia-Clair Toomey and Sara Sigmundsdottir in a stacked women’s division. It has been compared to a heavyweight fight and day one did not disappoint.

Toomey dominated the opening event “Luce” finishing nearly a minute ahead of second-place  Kari Pearce with a time of 21:49. Sigmundsdottir was third in the event not far behind Pearce.

Sigmundsdottir had the look of determination on her face and fire in her eyes as she awaited for event two to start. She won all three rounds including a dominating final round where she beat her closest competitor Amanda Barnhart off the bike by ten seconds. She wasted no movement in getting the 150 lb barbell overhead and lunged all the way to finish without breaking or misstepping.

Barnhart finished second followed by Toomey in third. The finishes put Toomey and Sigmundsdottir in a tie with 188 points apiece heading into day two.

  • Sigmundsdottir’s event two win snapped Toomey’s five-event win streak. Toomey won the final four events at the Mayhem Classic before winning event one at Wodapalooza.
  • Pearce sits in third place with 162 points. Last year she placed second at Wodapalooza behind Toomey and ahead of Sigmundsdottir.
  • Jessica Griffith currently sits in the Games invitation spot, in fourth place. She placed tenth in event one before finishing sixth in event two.
  • Griffith is being chased by a number of athletes, all within 24 points. Lauren Suever is just six points behind Griffith in sixth place. She is followed by Thuri Helgadottir (eighth), Emily Rolfe (ninth) and Paige Semenza (tied for tenth). All are seeking their Games invitation.
  • Podium favorites Brooke Wells and Haley Adams struggled on the opening day. Wells failed to complete event one under the time cap but bounced back with a fourth place in event two to put her in 15th place. Adams came out strong in event one but struggled in the final round and finished 11th. In event two she placed 16th putting her in 14th overall.
  • Dani Speegle, Danielle Brandon and Meg Reardon all withdrew prior to the competition. Speegle and Reardon have injuries they are recovering from.
  • 2019 Games rookie Erin Vandendriessche was a late entry into the Wodapalooza field. Vandendriessche placed 50th at the Games last season but has yet earned her invite this season. She currently sits in 18th place.
Credit @wodapalooza

The team division:

Mayhem Freedom sits in a familiar position atop the leaderboard but have a number of teams looking to unseat them. The “other” Mayhem team is the early favorite. Mayhem Independence sits in second just 18 points behind the four-time Fittest Team on Earth.

Independence was Freedom’s equal in event two as they tied Rich Froning’s team for the event win. Independence, looking for the Games invitation, placed sixth in event one.

  • Team GOWOD and Team Wit are tied for third place just four points behind Independence and 22 points behind Freedom. GOWOD won the opening event finishing just ahead of Freedom.
  • Team Victory Grips is in fifth place, eight points behind Independence.  
  • In their first Sanctional appearance, the US Army Warrior Fitness Team sits in sixth place with 148 points after finishing eighth in event one and fifth in event two.

On tap for day two: Three events are scheduled for both individuals and teams in the first day of full competition.

The Overall Top 10 After Day 1

  1. Sara Sigmundsdottir (188) | Travis Williams (178) | Mayhem Freedom (194)
  2. Tia-Clair Toomey (188) | Cole Sager (172) | Mayhem Independence (176)
  3. Kari Pearce (162) | Patrick Vellner (164) | Team GOWOD (172)
  4. Jessica Griffith (136) | Saxon Panchik (136) | Team Wit (172)
  5. Amanda Barnhart (128) | Noah Ohlsen (126) | Team Victory Grips (168)
  6. Lauren Suever (122) | Josh Gervais (122) | US Army Warrior Fitness Team (148)
  7. Kendall Vincelette (118) | Adrian Mundwiler (120) | Blacklisted HQ (136)
  8. Thuri Helgadottir (114) | Spencer Panchik (120) | Team Soul/Luther (136)
  9. Emily Rolfe (114) | Jean-Simon Roy-Lemaire (114) | Team SugarWOD (134)
  10. Paige Semenza (112) | Bryan Wong (114) | Training Think Tank (116)

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