Masters Fitness Collective Championship Crowns 14 Division Champions
Masters athletes looking for a proper ending to their 2020 season got their wish on Sunday as the Masters Fitness Collective Championship came to a close at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fourteen athletes were recognized as champions in their respective divisions after four days of grueling competition that featured ten events.
The final day featured two events starting with “The Wraith of Fran,” five rounds of 15 thrusters and 15 pull-ups. The final event, “Fournier”, renamed in honor of masters athlete Michael Fournier who passed away tragically in a helicopter crash, was a triplet of heavy D-Ball cleans, legless rope climbs and ending with a 100-ft overhead walking lunge with an axle bar.
Highlights and interviews from the final day of competition are available on the Morning Chalk Up’s YouTube Channel.
- Men: Kyle Ruth refused to pump the breaks despite owning a 50-point lead heading into the day. Instead he continued his streak of top-two finishes, placing second in “The Wraith of Fran” before ending the day with his fifth event win in “Fournier”. Ruth never had a finish worse than second throughout the four days. Anderson won “The Wraith of Fran” in an exciting battle with Ruth that was decided at the finish line for his third event win of the competition, helping him secure second place. Kevin Jones rounded out the podium finishers.
- Women: April Payne came into the final day of competition on the outside looking in as she sat in third place, 15 points behind co-leaders Rachel Green and Briana Gaipa. She took matters into her own hands and swept the two events on Sunday, to win by 15 points. In the final event she was the only athlete to finish in her division. Gaipa’s third and fifth place finishes gave her the edge over Green for second place.
- Men: Heath Moody’s second place finish in “The Wraith of Fran” all but wrapped up the title in the division as Tony Kurz placed third and couldn’t get the help he needed from the field to make up the point deficit. Danny Hale snuck up on the leaders and won the event with a time of 7:17. The final event, Jeromey Whitaker won his first event of the competition, coming up 25-meters short of finishing the event. Luke Wotruba was able to fend off Hale for third place overall.
- Women: Jenn Ryan continued to dominate on Sunday as she was the only athlete in her division to cross the finish line in either of the events. She ended her competition with four-straight event wins and finished with seven victories and three second place finishes which led to her 45-point final margin of victory. Sara Blunck followed Ryan on the leaderboard in second place and Michelle Benedict finished third.
- Men: Jeff Dodson remained hot in one of the more tightly contested battles of the day. He started the day with a victory in “The Wraith of Fran”, his third-straight event win and followed that with a third place in “Fournier” to secure a 12-point victory over runner-up Bill Thompson who won the final event. Third-place finisher Richard Stevenson actually tied Dodson in the opening event for the win, the second time he had done so over the weekend. Stevenson also placed second in “Fournier” to secure his spot on the podium.
- Women: Julie Rappaport’s dominating Saturday was quickly replaced by a disappointing Sunday as she had to withdraw due to an injury. Carol Mezan continued her climb up the leaderboard and won both events on Sunday to clinch a 12-point margin of victory in the division. Kelly Edelmann climbed back into contention and placed second overall after tying Mezan in “Fournier”. Jenn Donaldson’s back-to-back bronze medal finishes on the final day secured her third place overall.
- Men: Ron Ortiz was able to maintain his 25-point lead over Lon Allen to win the title as the two traded event wins and runner-up finishes on Sunday. Ortiz closed out his day with a win in “Fournier”, finishing in 5:53, almost a minute ahead of Allen. Ortiz finished with four event victories overall. Kevin Becker placed third.
- Women: Sunday was just a continuation of Deanna Hoffman’s Saturday as she closed out the competition the same way she ended the previous day, with two victories. Her four-straight event wins gave her a 25-point victory over Tia Vesser and Rose Wall. Vesser placed second overall due to a tie-breaker, her two event wins.
- Men: Over his final six events, Jody Clements recorded four event wins and two runner-up finishes to win the division by 30 points. On Sunday he closed his day with a win in “Fournier”. Chris Podesto won “The Wraith of Fran” and placed second in “Fournier” to secure the silver medal. Patrick Sprague had two third place finishes to cement himself as the final athlete on the podium.
- Women: Linda Elstun won her division by 25-points after a second place finish on “The Wraith of Fran” before ending her competition the same way she started it on Thursday, with an event win. Betsy Vanderburgh picked up her third event win of the weekend by finishing “The Wraith of Fran” in 7:18. Stephanie Johnston rounded out the top-three.
- Men: The largest margin of victory in the competition came courtesy of David Hippensteel’s performance as he won by 104 points. He ended Sunday with a sweep of the events, ending the competition with four victories including doing the final two rounds of “The Wraith of Fran” shirtless and shoeless. Dave Hardie placed second on the overall leaderboard followed by Steve Marino in third.
- Women: Donna Bruce’s 62-point margin of victory was the largest amongst the female divisions. She recorded two second place finishes on Sunday to round out a solid performance. Theresa Demich however gave her a push as she finished ahead of Bruce each time. Demich won four of the final six events but it wasn’t enough to overtake a consistent Bruce. Patricia Claro made her journey to the US from Chile worth it, finishing third overall.
- Men: George Koch won the final four events of the competition to distance himself from runner-up Ken Ogden. Koch won seven of the ten events for a 15-point victory.
- Women: Betty Hardin completed her clean sweep of all ten events on Sunday. The only athlete to win every event within her division, she finished 45 points ahead of runner-up Debi White.
Final leaderboards for all 14 divisions are powered by Competition Corner.
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