Six Key Moments From the First Semifinal Weekend of Team Competition

May 31, 2021 by
Credit: Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, Torian Pro, and CrossFit LLC
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This weekend, the 50 teams across two continents took the floor to compete for the first eight spots at the CrossFit Games. Today, we break down six of our favorite moments in the team competition from the Torian Pro and the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge.

1. Plus64 Fitness’s Leaderboard Takeover: If you were seeing double on the Torian Pro leaderboard, it’s not because you need to get your eyes checked. It’s because this year, Plus64 Fitness qualified four teams to the Torian Pro to compete in the Semifinals for one of the three coveted CrossFit Games spots.

  • The army runs strong: Not only did Plus64 Fitness have four teams on the leaderboard, at the close of day two, two of those teams, 64 Army Gold and 64 Army Steel sat in the top four. 
  • The New Zealand-based team initially submitted 31 teams to compete in the CrossFit Open.
  • Of those teams, four of them qualified for Quarterfinals and all four teams competing at Quarterfinals made it to Semifinals.
  • At the end of the weekend, 64 Army Gold broke the tie with Team Urban to take first overall while 64 Army Steel finished in 8th, 64 Army Smoke finished in 12th, and 64 Army Indigo finished in 16th.

2. Kate Gordon Rocking The Land Down Under With Her Clean and Jerk Ladder Domination: This weekend, only one woman in the team division finished the clean ladder at the Torian and she did it with ease.

  • Kate Gordon of Reebok CrossFit Frankston power clean and jerked her way through 15 bars starting at 70kg/154 pounds and finishing with an easy looking power clean and jerk at 111kg/244.2 pounds.
  • As she set up for her final lift, she stomped her feet and clapped her hands pulling the crowd in to the beat of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” to create an electric energy in the stadium before throwing the final bar over her head.

3. Andrea Nisler’s goggles: Don’t bet against Andrea Nisler in strength, fitness, or really anything else was a key takeaway from this weekend.

  • Her fellow teammates bet her $500 that she wouldn’t wear a pair of swimming goggles during the Midatlantic CrossFit Challenge this past weekend.
  • To that, Nisler said sure thing and strapped on a pair of goggles to take home $500 extra dollars in her pocket, which she then donated to the Mayhem Missions, a non-profit organization working to stop human trafficking.
  • And yes, the team still took first place despite Nisler’s goggles.

4. Aron Hanna’s fight against Froning in the first event of the weekend: It was like we were back in 2015 this weekend, when 2015 CrossFit Games clean and jerk event winner Aron Hanna of CrossFit Westchase stepped out onto the floor for the 1-rep max clean and jerk this weekend at the Midatlantic CrossFit Challenge.

  • Hanna would go toe-to-toe with Froning in the clean and jerk going back and forth until Hanna finally outlifted Froning at 370 pounds, tying with Mike McGoldrick of Training Think Tank to bring his team to an event win.
  • “We were both just loading the bar and seeing what happens,” said Hanna when asked how he felt going head to head with one of the greatest CrossFitter’s of all time.

5. The tight race in Australia: It was no surprise to anyone that the final day at the Torian Pro for teams shaped up to be a tight race. After the Oceania Quarterfinals finished with the top three teams separated by 10 points, spectators were prepared to watch them fight for a podium spot and one of the coveted tickets to the 2021 Games. However, it’s safe to say that no one thought that three teams would be tied up for third going into the final day, only to be followed by a tie for first place between two absolutely dominant teams.

The first teams to punch their tickets:

64 Army Gold:

  • While the team briefly lost their lead to Urban going into the final workout, they managed a first place finish that brought them into a tie against Urban.
  • While fans held their breath, 64 Army Gold pulled through for a first place win after tiebreakers against Urban Fitness.
  • This will be Plus64 Fitness’ first trip to the CrossFit Games as well as the first trip for all the team members.

Team Urban: 

  • This will also be Urban’s first trip to the Games, and they were the highest placing Australian team this weekend at the Torian Pro.
  • Both teams sat 35 points above the third place team at the end of competition, a significant gap amongst these elite teams.

Awaside: After a long battle with the other two teams tied for third going into day three, Awaside pulled through with a first place finish in the second to last event to secure the third and final ticket to the Games.

  • Awaside had an impressive weekend, showcasing their strengths with three first place finishes in Amanda ‘21, Hann, and the Worm Burpee.
  • This will be the first trip to the games for all four team members of Awaside. 
  • Despite starting the day with a tie, Awaside pulled themselves 20 points ahead of the fourth place team, Reebok CrossFit Frankston, securing themselves firmly in third overall.

6. Mayhem’s absolute leaderboard domination this weekend: There are only three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and CrossFit Mayhem Freedom sitting atop the podium.

  • After a rocky start to the weekend that left them sitting in sixth place overall going into day two, Mayhem came back with a fierce fire that sent them blazing to the top of the leaderboard.
  • After day one, Mayhem would finish every other workout in first place, except one, giving them a final score 71 points higher than the second place team.

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