CrossFit Games Day One Recap, Line-By-Line

October 23, 2020 by
Photo credit: CrossFit LLC

Day one of the 2020 CrossFit Games opened on a cool, overcast morning in Aromas, CA. It was 59 degrees as event one began and several athletes donned long sleeves, pants and hoodies. Facing one of the most brutal days in the history of the CrossFit Games, the final five men and women took on five events with a total of 500 points on the line, capping the day off with a classic and diabolical, Dave Castro twist. Here’s how the action went down.

See the workouts and schedule for day two at the Morning Chalk Up CrossFit Games portal.

Leaderboard, End of Day One

  1. Mathew Fraser – 475 | Tia-Clair Toomey – 370
  2. Justin Medeiros – 255 | Haley Adams – 295
  3. Noah Ohlsen – 235 | Katrin Davidsdottir – 260
  4. Jeffrey Adler – 220 | Kari Pearce – 255
  5. Samuel Kwant – 215 | Brooke Wells – 220

Event 1: 2007 Reload — Men’s Division

Event details:

  • 1,500m row
  • Then 5 rounds of:
  • 10 bar muscle-ups
  • 7 shoulder to overhead (235/145 lbs or 106/65kg)
  • The first to take on “Event 1: 2007 Reload” were the men with all eyes on Mat Fraser who is known to start off strong.
  • Jeffrey Adler was first off the rower with Noah Ohlsen and Mat Fraser only seconds behind.
  • Ohlsen hit the rig first for round one of the bar muscle-ups, but Fraser opened a lead in the first set of push jerks, completing 4 reps before anyone else made it to their barbells.
  • Fraser opened up a sizable lead after the first round and extended it to 30.5 seconds by the beginning of the fifth round.
  • Rookie Justin Medeiros was the only athlete to apply any pressure to Fraser, who appeared calm and collected, taking measured breaks in his muscle-ups in the fourth and fifth rounds.
  • A notable misstep: Fraser kept all of his rounds of push jerks unbroken until the fifth when he failed his seventh and final rep, and although Medeiros was not able to capitalize, he closed Frasers lead to only 8 seconds.
  • Fraser finished the event in 13:07.02, tying the winning time from 2007 and beating Aja Barto’s time from 2013.
  • Ohlsen, who appeared to come out of the gates a bit too hot, struggled with the barbell, ultimately finishing in fifth place, nearly 3 minutes behind Adler who took fourth.

Event 1: 2007 Reload — Women’s Division

  • Nineteen-year-old Haley Adams was first off the rower at 5:42.6 with Tia-Clair Toomey right behind her.
  • Toomey moved smoothly on the pull-up bar and was the first to her barbell, after the first round, she had opened a seven rep lead over Adams.
  • Toomey went through all five rounds unbroken until, like her training partner, Fraser, received a no rep on her final push jerk. She crossed the finish line at 12:47.98, taking her 16th career event win. Adams finished in 13:17.79 taking second, her highest event finish to date.
  • Davidsdottir, who was in last through most of the event, was able pass Brooke Wells during the final round of push jerks.

Event 2: Corn Sack Sprint, Men’s Division

Event details:

  • For time:
  • 320m hill sprint with a corn sack (50/30 lbs or 22.6/13.6kg)
  • Time Cap: 8 Minute
  • Following the first climb and flat stretch, Fraser made a move and secured the lead into the second incline.
  • Fraser took a direct line as the pace slowed to a shuffle. When they crossed the marker for the 2009 Hill Sprint finish line, Kwant applied pressure to the leader.
  • Fraser crossed the finish line at 2:51.54, Kwant took second at 3:07.9, 16 seconds back.
  • Notably, Adler slipped past Justin Medeiros at the finish line costing the rookie 20 points. Ohlsen finished third at 3:18.24.

Event 2: Corn Sack Sprint, Women’s Division

  • Toomey made a similar move to take the lead into the second incline and struck a direct line like Fraser. Brooke Wells swung wide, adding distance and strain, unnecessarily.
  • Haley Adams struggled to find a comfortable position to carry the corn sack, shifting it around on her shoulder and upper back. This became significant in the final climb before the finish when she dropped the bag, creating a logjam, preventing either Pearce or Wells from passing her. She carried the bag at her waist across the line.
  • Toomey finished in 3:05.55, Katrin Davidsdottir finished second, 3:13.18, 8 seconds after the leader. This was Toomey’s 17th career event win, moving her into second place on the all-time event win list past Rich Froning.
  • Adams, Pearce, and Wells all finished 4 seconds apart, in that order. Thirty seconds separated first and fifth place.

Event 3: The CrossFit Total, Men’s Division

Event details:

  • For total load:
  • 1-rep-max back squat
  • 1-rep-max shoulder press
  • 1-rep-max deadlift
  • Athletes worked in order from fifth to first,  giving Fraser the advantage of his placement coming in. He was able to watch everyone lift and then adjust his weights accordingly.
  • Each athlete had 2 lifting platforms, one with a rack for the back squat and press and a separate one for the deadlift.
  • Starting with the back squat, Fraser positioned himself well by recording a lift of 492, 12 pounds more than Justin Medeiros who lifted 480 and 22 pounds more than Adler who hit 470. Kwant finished with a squat of 460, Ohlsen hit 455.
  • It was a similar result in the press, Fraser used his advantage of lifting last to card the highest weight at 210 pounds, 3 more than Kwant and Adler who tied for second at 207. Ohlsen finished at 205, while Medeiros lifted 175.
  • Fraser was in the lead going into the deadlift with a total of 702, his nearest competitor was Adler with 677. Adler PR’d his deadlift twice though, ending with a lift of 567 giving him the event win and a total of 1244. Ohlsen hit 540, Medeiros hit 437 in his second lift and missed his last, Fraser carded 535 and Kwant who also missed his final attempt, ended at 529. Fraser took second in the event with a total of 1237, 7 pounds behind Adler.
  • With 45 total lifts in the event, the men only missed 4 total.

Event 3: The CrossFit Total, Women’s Division

  • The women hit the lifting platforms for the back squat and Tia-Clair Toomey enjoyed the same advantage as Fraser on the men’s side. Brooke Wells and Toomey appeared ready for another battle, similar to the one they had in 2018.
  • Toomey struck first, recording the heaviest back squat at 335 pounds, followed by Wells at 315, Pearce at 272, Davidsdottir at 269 and Adams at 260.
  • Kari Pearce took the press with an impressive lift of 157 pounds, 2 pounds more than her press in 2018. She was followed by Toomey at 140 and Wells, who missed her second attempt at 137. Davidsdottir lifted 137 and Adams 127.
  • Toomey entered the deadlift in the lead with a total of 475, Wells was 23 pounds back at 452. The best deadlifter in the field, Wells carded a lift of 432, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Toomey who lifted 415. In the end, Toomey’s total of 890 edged out Wells by 6 pounds. It was Toomey’s fourth consecutive event win in the 2020 Games (between stage one and two).

Event 4: The Handstand Sprint, Men’s Division

Event details:

  • For time:
  • 100-yard handstand walk
  • The second event at the Morgan Hill Soccer Complex on day one featured a 100-yard handstand walk. As a point of comparison, the 2016 Games tested handstand walking speed with a 280-foot sprint. This year’s event was 20 feet longer.
  • First up were the men and Justin Medeiros surprised everyone with the unorthodox strategy of coming down and kicking back up into his handstand at almost every 5-yard mark.
  • Mat Fraser won the event with a time of 1:20.85. Medeiros took second, only 6 seconds back at 1:26.19. Ohlsen grabbed third place at 1:39.45, Kwant took fourth in 1:43.77. Adler rounded out the heat at 1:54.39.
  • This was Fraser’s 22 career event win at the CrossFit Games.

Event 4: The Handstand Sprint, Women’s Division

  • The women’s field features very talented athletes on their hands. Brooke Wells took the event win with a time of 1:21.22 after coming down twice during the event. Kari Pearce took second place at 1:23.32 and Haley Adams finished in third at 1:24.25. Both of them went unbroken.
  • Toomey took fifth in her worst event finish of the day. Katrin Davidsdottir, the winner of the handstand walking event in 2016 and the handstand hold in stage one of the 2020 Games took fourth with a time of 1:40.00.

Event 5: The Ranch Loop, Both Divisions

Event details:

  • For time:
  • Run along 3-mile +/- course through varying terrain
  • All ten athletes took on the final event of the day in one heat. Billed as a “3 mile +/- run,” commentators on the live stream teased a “twist” that the athletes would learn at the same time as the viewers.
  • Mat Fraser and Justin Medeiros took off at a blistering pace, challenging one another and flip-flopping the lead.
  • In the women’s race, Tia-Clair Toomey and Haley Adams got out to an early lead, with the teenager challenging the three-time Games champ.
  • After 25 minutes of hard running on rugged terrain, Fraser and Madeiros legged it out to the finish line, only to learn from Director of Sport, Dave Castro, that they were actually only at the half-way point and would have to turn around and complete the entire course in reverse.
  • At just under the 29-minute mark, Toomey and Adams made the turn in the lead. Davidsdottir, in third at the midway point, was unperturbed by the twist, took advantage, and moved into first in the back half of the event.
  • Fraser opened a big lead in the final few hundred meters, while Medeiros dropped back. The pair finished the event in first (Fraser, 57:47.45) and second (Medeiros, 58:17.48). Ohlsen finished third, followed by Adler and Kwant.
  • On the women’s side, Davidsdottir took the event win with a time of 1:00:53.98. Adams finished second at 1:02:16.23, followed by Toomey and Pearce. Wells finished at the back of the pack having gotten lost in the first half of the race.

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