2 Key Takeaways from Wodapalooza
The 8th Sanctional of the season wrapped up last Sunday in Miami, drawing the largest crowds of the season and one of the largest prize purses available outside of the CrossFit Games.
The big picture: There are just a few competitions on the calendar with the talent roster deep enough to put pressure on the thoroughbreds in this sport. Wodapalooza is definitely one of those, boasting more than 25 former individual Games athletes. Wodapalooza’s mid-season check-up gives us a clearer indication of how already qualified athletes are shaping up through the long season as they head into the CrossFit Games.
1. Tia-Clair Toomey faced her toughest Sanctional opposition yet but proved why she’s still the one to beat.
- Going into Wodapalooza, Toomey’s win differential was 88.6 points on average across three Sanctionals. Translation: Toomey was 88.6 points ahead of second place at the end of the event. You can see all our advanced efficiency metrics on our Wodapalooza leaderboard.
- After last weekend, her win differential dropped to 76 points as Sara Sigmundsdottir closed the gap to only 38 points. In fact, Sigmundsdottir beat Toomey in four of nine workouts which raised Toomey’s average finish to 3.1., that’s up from her average finish of 1.7 across previous events.
- Toomey is still the three-time reigning champion and remains undefeated in Sanctionals play, but this is by far the closest the competition has been. The upcoming Rogue Invitational in May will determine if this is a fluke or other athletes are catching up.
2. This is by far Patrick Vellner’s most impressive win.
- Vellner only briefly led during the competition, finishing each day sitting in either second or third and entered the final three events with a 64 point gap to close against Cole Sager.
- His 19th place finish to round out Saturday was a huge deathblow both on the leaderboard and mentally. With a 64 point gap to make up on the leaderboard and just two events remaining, most athletes would have folded. Vellner showed up Sunday and won back-to-back events while Sager stumbled with his own 19th place finish.
- With a razor-thin margin, Vellner could take it all by winning the final event where he’d tie Sager in points and win the tiebreaker. That’s exactly what he did by only 7 seconds.
- While Vellner adds a second Sanctionals title to his resume, his ability to win when he needed to demonstrated a champions-pedigree he’ll need going up against Mat Fraser at the Rogue Invitational in May.