Tommy’s Takeaways: The Race For 5th
We’re officially in the sprint to the finish line for the race to Aromas.
Six of the seven scored tests are in, and all eyes are focused on the bubble race for the final spots in the top five. Outside of Mat Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey at the top, the leaderboard has been shuffling like a deck of cards with every event which only adds to the drama.
One big thing: The volatility of finishes amongst athletes has been insane. Excluding Fraser, Toomey, and Brooke Wells, every other athlete in the field has a finish in the bottom half of at least one workout. Besides Gabi Migala, every female athlete also has a finish 20th or lower, which speaks to just how competitive the margins are in any given event.
Who’s In For The Men: Samuel Kwant (4th), Jonne Koski (5th).
- Kwant has been on fire in the back half of the competition, finishing the last three events in 3rd, 8th, and 3rd to catapult up into the top five, making our dark horse picks look good in the process.
- Koski has had a seesaw weekend, in half of the events he’s had an average finish of 6th, in the other half his average finish of 18th. Thankfully the wider point spread at the top favors top 5 finishes, and Koski has taken full advantage.
Who’s Out: Chander Smith (6th), Jeffrey Adler (7th), Bjorgivn Karl Gudmundsson (8th), Bayden Brown (9th), Patrick Vellner (10th).
- It’s a win and you’re in scenario for Chandler Smith who is tied for points with Koski but misses out via triple tiebreaker (highest overall event finish is the tiebreaker), but only six points back is Jeffrey Adler who could easily move ahead of both of them with a strong performance in Awful Annie.
- Projected cut line: 418 points, which means to have a shot at moving on to Aromas BKG needs at least a top 5 finish, Brown would need a top 3 finish, and Vellner basically needs to win the event.
Who’s In For The Women: Katrin Davidsdottir (3rd), Haley Adams (4th), Kristin Holte (5th).
- Worth noting: None of these three women were in the top 5 overall at the end of day 1, but have shown tremendous resiliency in climbing their way back into contention and have put themselves into the driver seat going into the final event.
- Katrin Davidsdottir gave the women’s field both barrels this morning, winning both events and absolutely destroying the Max Handstand Hold. Her top hold of 2:54 beat Noah Ohlsen’s top score for the men by over a minute.
- Haley Adams and Kristin Holte control their own destiny going into the final event and the crux of the workout for them centers around how well they move the 185-lb cleans under fatigue.
Who’s Out: Amanda Barnhart (6th), Kari Pearce (7th), Kara Saunders (8th).
- Projected cut line: 454 points, which based on average finish so far, assumes that Kristin Holte would take 10th place in Awful Annie.
- Amanda Barnhart would then need an 8th place finish or better to move up into the top 5 overall, and if Holte slips and somehow they end up tied, Barnhart holds the tiebreaker thanks to her 2nd place finish in the row.
- Kari Pearce would need a 7th place finish to overtake Holte, and would need to beat out Barnhart by at least one placement to complete her comeback.
- Kara Saunders needs the most help of the bunch and based on the averages would need to win the event, and hope that both Pearce finishes 9th and Barnhart 10th to make up the points across the board.
The bottom line: While some of these comebacks seem far fetched, it’s been done before. Cole Sager overcame a 31 point deficit in the final event of the 2016 West Regional, and 35 points at the 2015 West Regional.