Colten Mertens Proves Himself During the First Days of the Granite Games

June 5, 2021 by
Credit: John Newby
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Watch out, Justin Medeiros — there’s another mullet on the field. 23-year-old Colten Mertens, rocking the Tennessee top hat, has proven himself to be a dominant force in the first two days of the Granite Games with two first-place finishes putting him in second place on the leaderboard. 

Remind me: The Iowa-based athlete has made one previous CrossFit Games appearance as part of the CrossFit Kilo team in 2018. 

  • Mertens qualified for the Rogue Invitational in 2019 and 2020, placing ninth at the inaugural competition and winning the last event. 
  • He ranked 18th on the global Open leaderboard and finished 21st in North America during Quarterfinals. 

At the Granite Games: Knowing he just needed to get through event one, the one-rep max snatch event — he finished 20th with a 270-pound lift — Mertens assured host Tommy Marquez that he would “really light a fire the rest of the way.” He was right:

  • In event two, Thruster Run 3.0, Mertens finished first with an impressive time of 6:21, beating second-place finisher Tim Paulson by over 20 seconds.
  • During the third event, an interval workout featuring the newest Rogue implement, the torque tank, Mertens smashed the field, finishing in 7:19, telling host Derek Forrest the tank was “easier than I thought it would be.”
  • A third-place finish in event four where Mertens completed 30 deficit handstand pushups unbroken — bumped him into second place overall. 

The bottom line: Though there’s still time for things to shake up on Sunday, Mertens will enter day three of the Granite Games in a comfortable position with 323 points, 13 behind leader Saxon Panchik and 23 ahead of Chandler Smith, currently in third place. Just like Jayson Hopper at the Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, Mertens is proving he will be one to watch this season.

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