West Coast Classic Day Two: Ruck and Recover

June 19, 2021 by
Credit: Athlete's Eye Photography
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All three divisions got an early start on day two in an effort to finish the grueling 6k Ruck Run before the 115-degree heat settled on the city of Las Vegas. Regardless of weather, a test like that will inevitably affect performance in subsequent workouts. Although there were three workouts listed for Saturday, the unwritten test for everyone was their ability to recover and still perform after the Ruck. 

Men: Fifth, first, first, fifth, second — these are Cole Sager’s finishes so far. His 464 points are over 70 points clear of second and if there were any doubts about whether the challenges life has thrown him this past year have affected his fitness, those seem to have been answered. Nevada native Sean Sweeney and former second fittest man on earth Noah Ohlsen sit second and third, both men moved up one spot from yesterday and will be confident in their abilities to stay in the top five tomorrow.

Where it gets tight is spots four through six: 

  • Brandon Luckett made a big push today taking fifth on the Ruck and winning event five.
  • He’s tied for fourth with day one points leader Dallin Pepper at 357 points.
  • Five points behind those two is veteran Will Moorad. Moorad knows what it’s like to fight for a Games spot in an ultra-competitive Regional. He qualified out of the stacked Central East in 2014 and will be looking to draw on that experience for the last two events to earn his third trip to the CrossFit Games.

Moorad has a 35-point cushion over seventh place Matt Poulin, and considering the experience and points gap of the top six, it seems unlikely for any of the Games spots to come from anywhere lower. 

When it comes to the last chance qualifier, however, there are several men who will be clamoring to extend their seasons. Matt Dlugos is in eighth at the moment, three points ahead of Spencer Panchik. Kyle Bernier (10th), Cedric Lapointe (11th), and Jacob Pfaff (12th) will have to go for it tomorrow and hope it pays off if they want to move into one of those positions.

Women: There are several battles brewing in the women’s division as we head into the final day. 

  • The race for first is between Bethany Shadburne and Kari Pearce. Shadburne leads Pearce by eight points, and both women will be hungry to outduel their training partner on the last day. They are seventy-five points clear of third, so it’s basically match play for them on Sunday.
  • The third member of Underdog Athletics, Danielle Brandon, is in third, but she’s only five points ahead of Regan Huckaby, fifteen points ahead of Dani Speegle, and seventeen points ahead of Alexis Raptis —  only three of these four women can earn a Games invite tomorrow.
  • Although Speegle is currently fifth, besides a twenty-seventh place finish on the Ruck Run, she’s had finishes of second, sixth, fifth, and first. It seems likely that she’ll be confident in her ability to perform well enough on just about anything else to stay in the top five.
  • With five Games vets ahead of her, Alexis Raptis will have to do some work to displace one of them tomorrow. She’s 31 points ahead of seventh, and over a hundred points clear of ninth, which means she can afford to take some risks on the last two events in an attempt to do just that though.
  • Two more would-be rookies, Kloie Wilson and Kelly Stone, occupy the other two Last Chance Qualifier spots but will have to hold off hard-charging Sydney Wells, Jessica Androsik, and Jordan Adcock if they want to hold on to them.

Teams: Day two was all about Blues City Athletics. Although they were sitting third after day one, no one was really talking about them. After day two however, everyone is. Beginning the day with a second place finish on the ruck run was a great start to the day. Their men doubled down tying for second on the one rep max clean and jerk event. It was all about execution for their women, who despite knowing they wouldn’t win that event, both hit lifts they were targeting and finished in a respectable eleventh place. The final event of the day wasn’t bad either, they finished fifth and despite still being in third, are now only five points out of first place.

Besides Blues City, it was mostly business as usual for the teams people have been focused on:

  • Invictus — three top five finishes have propelled them into first overall.
  • Invictus Unconquerable — four top five finishes and an event win on event five move them into second only three points behind Invictus.
  • Team Man Made — the last event today was their best one. Finishing third there keeps them in fourth, the exact same position they occupied after day one.
  • Backcountry Black — the top ranked team from yesterday stumbled a bit today with nothing better than a fifth place finish and fifteenth on the Ruck Run. They’ll look to bounce back tomorrow as they try to hang on to the final qualifying position.
  • Ohio Brutes — despite a difficult finish on the Ruck Run for one of their female athletes, they are only eleven points out of fifth and will be excited to have something significant to keep fighting for on the final day. 

Leaderboard after Day Two:

  1. Cole Sager (464) / Bethany Shadburne (468) /Invictus (413)
  2. Sean Sweeney (393) / Kari Pearce (460) / Invictus Unconquerable (410)
  3. Noah Ohlsen (372) / Danielle Brandon (385) / Blues City Athletics (408)
  4. Brandon Luckett (357) / Regan Huckaby (380) / Team Man Made (370)
  5. Dallin Pepper (357) / Dani Speegle (370) / Backcountry Black (365)
  6. Will Moorad (352) / Alexis Raptis (368) / Ohio Brutes (354)
  7. Matt Poulin (317) / Kloie Wilson (337) / Fitness Like A Pro (313)
  8. Matt Dlugos (301) / Kelly Stone (309) / Venture CrossFit (295)
  9. Spencer Panchik (298) / Sydney Wells (265) / CrossFit HYPE (286)
  10. Kyle Bernier (283) / Jessica Androsik (248) / CrossFit Grandview (271)

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