CrossFit Games

Dani Speegle Struggles in the Vegas Heat; Rebounds, Heads into Final Day in Games Qualifying Spot at West Coast Classic

June 19, 2021 by
Credit: Athlete’s Eye Photography
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After an impressive Day One that had Dani Speegle in second place at the West Coast Classic Semifinal, things took a turn for the worst during Saturday’s opening event — a 6K Ruck Run in the blazing Las Vegas heat.

  • Speegle completed the first three 1500m laps with 10, 20 and 30 pounds on her back before the medical team pulled her out of the event due to heat exhaustion. As a result, she didn’t even start the final lap of the event. 

Down but not out: A few short hours later, Speegle rebounded, placing fifth on Event 4 — the Triple-G Chipper — and went on to win the final event of the day in a photo finish with Danielle Brandon. As a result, Speegle heads into the final day of competition in fifth, the final CrossFit Games qualification position. Although, Alexis Raptis is right on her heels, two points back in sixth.

What Speegle is Saying: After winning Event 5 on Saturday, Speegle admitted her memory of the Ruck Run that morning is shady at best.

  • “Honestly I don’t really remember a lot of this morning, so that’s a bummer. I always think when I don’t do well, at least I learned something. And I have no idea what I learned this morning…I guess, run more in the heat?,” she told interviewer Niki Brazier. 

One big thing: Speegle wasn’t the only athlete to experience heat exhaustion during the Ruck Run. Kristine Best, a 2020 CrossFit Games competitor, withdrew from the competition after the workout because of the heat. 

The bottom line: Although it wasn’t Speegle’s personal choice to avoid the final lap of the Ruck Run, it might just have been the best decision that could have been made for her in terms of her Games qualification chances. 

  • Speegle admitted prior to the competition that the Ruck Run would be a damage control event for her, so whether she was, let’s say 23rd, or 27th (where she ended up finishing), it wouldn’t have made all that much of a difference on the overall leaderboard.
  • However, what Speegle appeared to have gained in terms of her body’s ability to recover for two more events — possibly from skipping the taxing final lap in the heat — might have been just the thing she needed to rebound with a 5th place finish and an event win to end the day. 
  • Asked about her feelings at the end of the day: “I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t have asked for more,” Speegle said. 

Except, of course, a ticket to Madison.

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