Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Day Two Recap

May 29, 2021 by
PhotoCredit: Athlete’s Eye Photography
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It was moving day in Thompson-Boling Arena on the campus of the University of Tennessee on Saturday. What it left in its wake was a Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge leaderboard that didn’t change at the top in the men’s and women’s division but saw an expected name reclaim its spot at the top of the teams division. The rest of the leaderboards saw significant changes as athletes jockeyed for their qualifying spot for the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

The women’s division:

PhotoCredit: Athlete’s Eye Photography

Tia-Clair Toomey was half a second away from sweeping the two events of the day. Instead she opened up a 48-point lead and established her dominance over the field. Both events tested two very different levels of fitness. Event 3, the new CrossFit “Girl” workout “Grettel” was a “blink and miss it” type of workout that featured 10 rounds of 3 clean and jerks and 3 bar-facing burpees and Event 4, “Inception”, was a grueling three-round chipper that featured running on the Trueform, ring muscle-ups and heavy wall-balls with a 27-minute time cap.

  • Amanda Barnhart picked up her first event win of the competition as she won “Grettel”, finishing in 2:47.51, just ahead of Toomey who clocked in at 2:47.94.
  • Brooke Wells wasn’t too far behind, taking third with a time of 2:49.66.
  • Feeroozeh Saghafi finished fourth, winning the second heat with a time of 2:56.84, matching her best finish of the competition.
  • 17-year old Olivia Sulek showed she was ready to compete with the top women in the world as she won the first heat with a time of 3:03.45, placing fifth overall.
  • Toomey had to chase down a determined Haley Adams in “Inception”, overtaking the 20-year old midway through and held on for her second win of the competition, finishing the workout in 23:59.86.
  • Adams recorded her second runner-up finish of the competition finishing in 25:40.44.
  • Toomey and Adams were the only two female athletes to finish the workout under the time cap.
  • Nicole Gibson-Burke placed third in “Inception” moving her into a position to challenge for a top-five overall finish.
  • Danielle Dunlap and Jessica Griffith placed fourth and fifth respectively.
  • Overall Adams and Wells are second and third respectively behind Toomey on the leaderboard.
  • Barnhart moved up a spot on the overall leaderboard from fifth to fourth at the conclusion of the day. She recorded a respectable sixth in “Inception” in a workout that featured ring muscle-ups and running, two movements that she struggled in past years.
  • Holding the coveted fifth spot on the leaderboard was Griffith as she seeks out her second individual Games invitation.
  • Christine Kolenbrander fell from second place on day one to sixth at the conclusion of day two as she struggled. Both of her finishes on the day were 10th or worse but is just ten points behind Griffith.
  • Saghafi (7th), Gibson-Burke (8th), and Dunlap (9th) sit in the other three Last-Chance Qualifier invitation spots after a strong second day.
  • Four-time Regional qualifier Kelly Clark is in tenth, just 14-points out of the Last-Chance spots.

The men’s division:

PhotoCredit: Athlete’s Eye Photography

Day 1 sensation Jayson Hopper showed the advantages and disadvantages of being young and a newcomer on the big stage on Saturday. But also showed that he is a star on the verge of being born in the sport. The 23-year old maintained his overall lead as the leaderboard underneath him shuffled as other new names in the sport made their move up the leaderboard at the expense of Games veterans.

  • Just like the women’s race in “Grettel”, the first event of the day for the men was quick and exciting with North American Quarterfinals champion Travis Mayer winning his first event of the competition, finishing with a time of 2:41.40.
  • Newcomer Hunter Holifield won his heat with a time of 2:42.87, placing him second in the event.
  • Hal Fisher was third with a time of 2:43.46 followed by Justin Medeiros (2:49.90) and Scott Panchik (2:51.60).
  • Hopper started off strong but his inexperience eventually led to costly no-reps and some trip-ups over the bar but still finished eighth.
  • The former Clemson football player made up for it in “Inception” as he attacked the grueling workout from the start, showing impressive gymnastics and running ability for a large athlete.
  • He maintained the fierce pace and took home his second event win of the competition with a time of 23:38.35.
  • Mayer placed second, his second of the competition, finishing in 24:05.79.
  • Former two-time teen division champion Angelo Dicicco had his best performance of the competition, winning the second heat and placing third overall with a time of 24:50.00.
  • Cam Crockett and Panchik rounded out the top-five in “Inception”.
  • Barring a complete collapse on Sunday, the 23-year old Hopper looks to have secured himself a trip to the Games.
  • Mayer’s three top-two finishes put him second overall, just 12 points behind Hopper for the lead.
  • Panchik sits in third overall and is the only athlete in the men’s field that has record top-five finishes in all four events.
  • Medeiros sits in fourth with a comfortable lead over Zach Watts.
  • Watts, a two-time Regional athlete, is seeking his first Games invite.
  • Mark Hutchinson is 26 points behind Watts for the fifth and final Games invite after Day 2.
  • Dicicco and Holifield join Hutchinson as athletes currently in the Last Chance Qualifier spots.
  • Last year’s “Second Fittest Man on Earth” Samuel Kwant is in danger of missing the Games as he sits in 13th.
  • 2015 “Fittest man on Earth” Ben Smith is also in trouble, he is currently in 14th.
  • Games veteran and one of the favorites heading into the MACC to earn a Games invite Travis Williams had to drop out of the competition due to being called in to work. Williams is a cadet in the Houston Fire Department Academy.

The team division:

Going into day two, Mayhem knew they had to make up some ground if they wanted to move from fourth place overall to the top of the podium while Westchase knew they had to continue their push to hold off the other teams who trailed them by just a few points. Teams got gymnasty together in the first event of day 2 with male-female pairs performing synchronized kipping handstand push-ups, chest to bar pull-ups, and clean and jerks. Teams then came together to perform 50 worm thrusters, followed by the same sequence of gymnastics from the other male-female pair.

  • During this workout, absolutely nothing could stop Mayhem who became one of two teams to finish the workout, beating Team On Track by almost three minutes in what was perhaps one of the most impressive displays of teamwork this weekend and what announcer Tommy Marquez described as “a clinic”.
  • While On Track led through most of the gymnastics and was the first team to get to the worm, Mayhem quickly followed and if you’ve ever seen Rich Froning lead a team in a worm workout, you know that you don’t want to be going head to head.
  • Mayhem blazed through sets of ten, choosing to rest in the rack rather than setting the worm down, moving through more than half of the fifty worm thrusters before setting it down.
  • After Mayhem’s incredible performance on the worm, On Track was unable to catch them on the gymnastics and Mayhem took the lead to finish nearly three minutes out front of them, while the remaining teams in the event were time capped.
  • In second event on the day, teams got a chance to show their aerobic base with the C2 bike, burpee box jump overs, and dumbbell snatches.
  • Going into this event, the battle sat between Westchase and Mayhem who were separated into first and second place respectively by just one point.
  • Looking at previous performances, all eyes were trained on Mayhem who absolutely dominated the burpee box jump over and dumbbell snatch workout during the Open as well as Training Think Tank who came in 10th.
  • Once again, Mayhem dominated the field, taking another first place finish in this event, beating the other teams by multiple minutes.
  • Only seven teams finished the workout completely, while the remainder were capped.
  • Currently, Mayhem sits 11 points above Lone Star CrossFit and 14 points above Westchase. 
  • The battle within the top three tomorrow will be tight, as all three teams will need to bring their A game to see who will ultimately sit atop the podium.
  • More importantly, however, the five Games spots are not fully locked and loaded.
  • 3 Bridges CrossFit sits in fifth place by only 24 points ahead of Spicy Lil Mamas.
  • While 3 Bridges CrossFit is more than 50 points behind Training Think Tank in 4th place, it seems that there might be a battle for the fifth and final ticket for the 2021 CrossFit Games going down in the team division tomorrow.
  • CrossFit Gambit vaulted into the final heat and into ninth place overall after recording the fourth-best time in the Event 4.

On tap for the final day: Sunday’s action starts at 9 AM ET as both the teams and individual divisions each set to take on the final two events of the competition.

The Top Overall Top 10 After Day 2

  1. Tia-Clair Toomey (388) | Jayson Hopper (368) | CrossFit Mayhem Freedom (368)
  2. Haley Adams (340) | Travis Mayer (356) | Lone Star CrossFit (357)
  3. Brooke Wells (340) | Scott Panchik (356) | On Track (354)
  4. Amanda Barnhart (320) | Justin Medeiros (332) | CrossFit Westchase (320)
  5. Jessica Griffith (296) | Zach Watts (281) | Training Think Tank (309)
  6. Christine Kolenbrander (286) | Mark Hutchinson (255) | 3 Bridges CrossFit (252)
  7. Feeroozeh Saghafi (280) | Angelo Dicicco (255) | Spicy Lil Mamas (228)
  8. Nicole Gibson-Burke (267) | Hunter Holifield (245) | CrossFit Reignited Wilmington (212)
  9. Danielle Dunlap (254) | Hal Fisher (241) | CrossFit Gambit (210)
  10. Kelly Clark (240) | Marquan Jones (238) | CrossFit Nashville (206)

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