Alvarez and Valdez Rematch in The Titan Games West Region Finals
The West Regional finals of NBC’s The Titan Games on Monday evening saw a rematch on Mount Olympus with a spot into the Finals on the line. Reigning women’s regional Titan Margaux Alvarez would have to defend her title from one of three women competing in the elimination rounds, two of which she had already defeated on Mount Olympus.
Among the three women was Kelly Valdez, who held the title of West Region Titan before losing to Alvarez two weeks ago. The CrossFit Games Regional athlete was the favorite to return to Mount Olympus but would have to survive two elimination qualifiers for that chance.
Event 1, “Hammer Down:” Valdez had her hands full in host Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s handpicked champion, American Ninja Warrior Jessie Graff and last week’s Regional Titan challenger and mountain guide Lindsey Hamm. In the first eliminator, all three athletes must retrieve sledgehammers to use to knock down three pillars, the third and final pillar they would have to climb to pull the “Victory Chain.” The first two athletes to pull the chain would advance to the next eliminator event. The third athlete’s Titan Games experience would come to a conclusion.
- Graff was one of the first athletes to retrieve her sledgehammer followed closely by Valdez. Graff’s strategy of switching her hands to avoid tiring out her arms and grip paid off as she was the first athlete to knock down all three pillars. Using her gymnastics background and her athleticism, she had no problem scaling her pillar and becoming the first athlete to move on. Meanwhile, Valdez looked to have the lead over Hamm as she was the second athlete to knock down all three of her pillars. Hamm was able to catch her and both athletes were climbing their respective pillars at the same time. Valdez though beat her to the “Victory Chain” and was able to pull the lever to move on in teh competition. Graff and Valdez advance to event 2.
Event 2, “Resistance”: Valdez and Graff were familiar with each other as they faced off on Mount Olympus three weeks ago with Valdez dominating that match-up with her power and pulling off the upset over the Rock’s champion. Valdez looked to once again have the advantage in this event as both athletes had two minutes to throw, push, or roll five 50 lb barrels over a barrier while tethered together. The first athlete with five barrels or the most barrels over the barrier in the two minute time cap would advance to Mount Olympus for the second time.
- The smaller Graff looked to have the advantage early on as she gained leverage by staying low and had a strategy of collecting all the barrels in one spot. But every time she stood up to attempt to grab a barrel the power of Valdez pulled her away. Valdez meanwhile failed in her multiple attempts to get a barrel over the barrier and appeared tired. With the time counting down, she was able to find enough energy and heart to flip a barrel over the barrier with a second to spare for the win. Valdez defeats Graff to advance to the West Regional Final.
Mount Olympus: In a much-anticipated rematch, Valdez faced the athlete who defeated her on Mount Olympus but with much bigger stakes on the line this time around. Alvarez has looked dominant during her two turns on Mount Olympus and the seven-time CrossFit Games veteran was once again the favorite.
- Alvarez once again held a slight lead as the two athletes made it to the “Log Lift” at the same time. Once again, Alvarez made quick work of the obstacle that has caused so many athletes problems during the competition. A slip by Alvarez while locking in her log gave Valdez a shot. The wildlife firefighter was able to once again pull even with Alvarez on “Crank Down” and both made it to “Cage Crawl” neck-and-neck. Alvarez then showed off her quickness in the tight confines of the obstacle and regained her lead. She was the first athlete to the “Ball and Chain” and once again displayed her strength as she pulled the 250 lb wrecking ball to the final obstacle, the “Titan Tomb.” Valdez wasn’t about to quit as she showed off her power as well, pulling the wrecking ball by one arm and pulled even with Alvarez as both hammered away at the “Titan Tomb” with their sledgehammers. It was Alvarez though who struck the hardest and was able to retrieve the artifact and become the West Regions representative in The Titan Games finals.
Worth noting: With her victory, Alvarez joins fellow Games veterans Matt Chan and Dani Speegle in The Titan Games finals.
- Three of the four Titan Games Regional Champions have competed at the CrossFit Games. Chan and Speegle are the Central Region Titans.
- Alvarez remains undefeated in Titan Games competition with a perfect 5-0 record, including 3-0 on Mount Olympus. She joins Speegle as the only Titans who have yet to suffer a loss. Speegle is 4-0 including 2-0 on Mount Olympus.
- Chan is 5-2 in competition with his only two losses occurring in the season premiere of The Titan Games.
What’s next: Alvarez along with Speegle and Chan will next appear in The Titan Games finals in a month.
- On the men’s side of the West Region, Air Force captain Noah Palicia remained a perfect 4-0 on Mount Olympus defeating Wayne Skivington to claim the Regional title.
- The East Region takes over primetime television next week as the final two Titans to compete in the finals will be determined.
- CrossFit coach and former collegiate woman’s basketball player Courtney Roselle will compete on the women’s side while fellow CrossFit coach Kareem Brinson will compete for the men’s East Region title.
- The Titan Games broadcasts every Monday at 8:00 EST on NBC.