When the 2020 CrossFit Games Open came to an end, one of the top fifteen athletes on the worldwide leaderboard was not like the others: Twenty-six-year-old Kendall Vincelette.
Vincelette was the only top fifteen finisher who was not already a CrossFit Games athlete.
The differences don’t end there. Vincelette managed to qualify for her first CrossFit Games without a personal coach, let alone a mental coach, a handler, an agent, a dietitian, or even a regular registered massage therapist, like many of her competitors.
- She follows CompTrain and sprinkles in Mayhem’s aerobic capacity pieces “a couple days a week,” said Vincelette, who trains at The Power House in St Louis Park, MN. “And if I want to add something else, I’ll pull from other stuff I see here and there.”
- She added: “At some point, I should think about finding a coach maybe.”
Vincelette’s rise: Vincelette’s single regional competition as an individual was in 2015 at the West regional when she placed 31st. Her only other regional appearance was with a team at the Central Regional in 2017. However, she has steadily improved each year since 2015, when she placed 703rd in the Open. In 2019, Vincelette finished an impressive 29th in the Open, only to improve upon that again this year, finishing 15th in the world. Her top individual Open workout finish was 18th overall in 20.1.
One big thing: Also unlike many Games athletes, who train and compete full-time, Vincelette is a nursing grad student at the Minneapolis School of Anesthesia, a commitment that often prevents her from training as much as she would like.
- “The summer was such a busy semester. It was really hard to train enough, to be honest. Luckily, recently we had a break between semesters, so it has been a bit calmer for the past couple weeks, but it’s kind of coming down to the wire now, so I’m trying not to overtrain. So yeah, it will be interesting to see if my training was enough for me to keep up, but either way it’ll be a fun experience,” she said of next week’s online CrossFit Games competition.
Vincelette on the season: The hardest part about preparing for this year’s uncharacteristic online Games has been the uncertainty.
- “It kind of doesn’t feel real...Not knowing if the Games were going to be postponed or cancelled was hard, and then all the changes that happened. ‘They’re going to be in August. They’re going to be at the ranch. Oh, no turns out they’re going to be online.’ So it has been all over the place, but at some point I was like, ‘Well, I’ll just keep training until the end,’” she said.
As a result of the frequent changes, Vincelette admits she feels like she peaked long ago.
- “When quarantine hit, I couldn’t go to the gym but I was doing double days in my garage because school was slow. I kind of feel like I peaked back in June,” she said, laughing.
Vincelette on the online format: Vincelette expects that competing at her home gym with her regular equipment will be a lot less nerve wracking than it would be to compete in Madison.
- “It’s definitely going to feel more like the Open,” she said. “I’ll still be in my own gym with people who know me and support me…I’m not sure who will all be there, but I have some close friends who are going to help out with video and logistics, but I don’t really want a huge crowd..but maybe 10 to 20 people,” she said.
Vincelette on her expectations: Though the season has been unprecedented, unpredictable and frustrating at times, Vincelette said she’s excited to finally have the chance to throw down against the best in the world, and has maintained some lofty goals.
- “I would like to be in the top 20. I finished 15th in the Open, so being in the top 15 or 20 would be amazing,” she said.
More than anything, though, Vincelette is looking forward to savoring the experience.
- “It has been such a weird year, so I’m just wanting to have fun, be bold, and see what happens,” she said.
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