CrossFit Games Veterans Face-Off in West Regional of The Titan Games
It was bound to happen, on Monday night, two CrossFit Games athletes competing against each other during The Titan Games. In front of a primetime audience of over 3 million viewers, former CrossFit Games athletes Margaux Alvarez and Kelly Stone went head-to-head for the chance to take on fellow CrossFitter and West Region Titan Kelly Valdez on Mount Olympus.
The match-up: Stone made back-to-back appearances at the Games as a team member of CrossFit Omnia in 2017 and 2018. At the 2017 Games, her team placed 13th. The Denver, CO native, and physical therapist finished 60th in the 2020 Open, the best finish in her career. Alvarez had made seven-straight Games appearances before stepping away from the sport this year to concentrate on her wine business, G.O.A.T. wine. The 2018 South Regional champion had her best Games finish in 2015, placing ninth. In 2019 she competed at the Games on Team Invictus X, placing seventh.
Event 1, “Nuts and Bolts:” The women started off the competition with a test of strength and strategy. Featuring a wall with 1,200 lbs of weight, the contest came down to both of those attributes.
- The athletes were neck-and-neck as each deployed different methods to remove their weights to lighten the load. Stone elected to attempt to pull down the wall with 250 lbs still on, forcing Alvarez to abandon her strategy and do the same. Stone struggled to get her wall locked in and was forced to head back to the wall to lighten her load. Alvarez remained committed to pulling down her wall and used leverage to lock in her wall releasing the lever. She pulled it down to win the opening event. Alvarez – 1, Stone – 0.
Event 2, “Lunar Impact:” Facing a 1-0 deficit, Stone needed to win the second event to keep her chances of reaching Mount Olympus alive. Alvarez just needed to force her opponent off the crescent-shaped platform to move on to face Valdez in the last event of the evening.
- In what would end up being a nine-minute test of strength and willpower the two athletes looked evenly matched. Stone was on the offensive early as Alvarez put up enough resistance to tire out her opponent. Stone changed her offensive position and it would cost her as Alvarez took control. She then methodically inched her way forward, forcing Stone to the brink of the platform. A final push by Alvarez sealed Stone’s face, knocking her off the platform for the shutout victory. Alvarez – 2, Stone – 0.
Mount Olympus: Valdez held the advantage as the reigning West Region Titan having run and won the course already. She was dominant in her run last week as she easily defeated host Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s hand-picked Titan, Jessie Graff. For Alvarez, it would be the first time she would take on the ten-obstacle structure.
- Alvarez held a slight lead thanks to her quickness through the first three obstacles. Last week Valdez was in the same position but took advantage of Graff’s struggles with the “Log Lift” to build a comfortable lead and gain the victory. This week it was Valdez who would struggle on the obstacle as Alvarez made the awkward 100 lb object look light, gaining a huge lead. She took her time and paced herself through the next obstacles as Valdez was unable to recover from her earlier struggles. Alvarez made it to the “Ball and Chain” and kicked into another gear as Valdez fell further behind. She smashed open the “Titan Tomb” to retrieve the artifact and take the title of West Region Titan from Valdez.
What’s next: A win next week for Alvarez on Mount Olympus will secure her a spot in the Regional finals and move her one step closer to joining fellow CrossFit athlete Dani Speegle in The Titan Games finals and to the $100,000 grand prize.
- Valdez gets a chance to regain her Regional title in two weeks. She will compete against Graff and next week’s Mount Olympus loser for that shot.
- On the men’s side, Noah Palicia defended his Titan title against Exodus Rogers.
- In next week’s episode, CrossFit Regional athlete Robbie Rodriguez will be competing for a chance to topple Palicia on Mount Olympus.
- The Titan Games broadcasts every Monday at 8:00 EST on NBC.