Chan and Speegle Claim Regional Titles at The Titan Games
CrossFit was well represented on Monday night in episode four of NBC’s The Titan Games. Dani Speegle and Matt Chan each walked away as Regional Champions of the Central Region, albeit each taking different paths to get there.
Speegle, the reigning Central Region Titan, would have to defend her title on Mount Olympus to move onto the finals while Chan would have to battle two other competitors in never-before-seen events to earn another crack at Mount Olympus.
Event 1, “Hammer Down”: Chan faced off against sports medicine physician Kaleb Redden and deputy sheriff Steven Shelby. All three lost in their match-up against NFL Pro Bowler Joe Thomas on Mount Olympus in their previous Regional match-ups. The first two athletes who successfully used a sledgehammer to knock down three pillars and then climb them to pull the lever would move onto the next event. The third athlete would be eliminated from the competition.
- All three athletes had no problem getting to their sledgehammers and then started swinging at the iron pins that released each of the three pillars to fall down. Chan, who is no stranger to swinging hammers and axes with his firefighter and CrossFit background, held an early lead over his other competitors. Redden was able to knock his third pillar down first and scaled it to pull the lever and claim the invite into the next event. Chan held off a late charge by Shelby to secure the final spot. Redden and Chan advance to event 2.
Event 2, “Resistance”: Another new event was awaiting Chan and Redden and the winner would move unto Mount Olympus. Both athletes were tethered together and required to push or throw five 50 lb barrels over a barrier while being yanked back from the tether connected to their opponent. The first athlete with five barrels over the barrier wins.
- Chan used his quickness right from the start, stopping Redden in his tracks, and quickly got his first barrel over the barrier. After that it was a game of strategy, Chan stayed low to the ground and gathered two barrels at a time and threw them over the barrier while Redden stuck with getting one barrel at a time while fighting off the resistance from the tether that Chan applied. Chan’s strategy paid off as he won and earned his way back to Mount Olympus. Chan defeats Redden to advance to Regional Finals.
Mount Olympus (Men): Awaiting Chan on Mount Olympus was Thomas who defeated Chan on the turn of the key for the most exciting Mount Olympus finish in The Titan Games history. Thomas was the favorite, having won all three times he competed on Mount Olympus including a win over Chan in the season premiere. Chan looked to atone for small mistakes that he made in that first match-up that he felt cost him the win.
- Just like their previous match-up, both were even through the first two obstacles, this time however Chan had a clean run on “Iron Ascent.” They stayed deadlocked until Chan grabbed a slight lead on “Crank Down” and used his smaller frame compared to the 6’6”, 270 lb Thomas to open a larger lead in the tight confines of the next obstacle, the “Cage Crawl.” From there, Chan picked up speed and got to “Ball and Chain” first. With Thomas catching up to him on that event, Chan once again used his experience swinging a hammer that he showed in “Hammer Down” and tore through the “Titan Tomb” to retrieve the artifact and revenge over Thomas, winning the event and punching his ticket to the Titan Games Final.
Mount Olympus (Women): After her dominating performance last week, resulting in her standing atop Mount Olympus, Speegle would have to defend her title of Central Region Titan against OBGYN doctor Jaime Seeman. The winner on Mount Olympus would move onto the Titan Games Final.
- Speegle and Seeman were neck-and-neck at the start but Seeman struggled with the “Iron Ascent” as she did her previous trip to Mount Olympus. Meanwhile, Speegle had no hiccups as she once again made easy work of every obstacle she faced while host Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson marveled at her athletic ability. She once again made the “Ball and Chain” look easy and retrieved her Titan artifact from the tomb and won in a blowout.
What’s next: Both athletes will next appear in The Titan Games finals in a month to take on other Regional champions.
- The West Regionals start next week and feature Super Bowl champion and former All-Pro wide receiver Victor Cruz and American Ninja Warrior and stuntwoman Jessie Graff as the Rock’s hand-picked Titans.
- The West Region features five athletes with CrossFit ties including Games athletes Margaux Alvarez and Kelly Stone.
- Natalie Talbert and Kelly Valdez have each made Regional appearances on teams and along with Alvarez and Stone make four of the six women competing in the West Region with high levels of CrossFit experience.
- Registered nurse Robbie Rodriguez has also competed at Regionals with CrossFit Soul in 2018 and is also a veteran of the Florida Grid League. Rodriguez has competed at Wodapalooza as both an individual and on a team.
- The Titan Games broadcasts every Monday at 8:00 PM EST on NBC.