CrossFit Games

2022 Syndicate Crown Semifinal: Day 1 Takeaways

May 20, 2022 by and
Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
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The first of four North American Semifinals kicked off today with heavy barbells as the teams took on a snatch ladder and the individuals tackled the CrossFit standardized “Barbell Complex.” And while it wasn’t quite “raining 300 pound snatches like last at the Granite Games,” heavy barbells were hoisted.

Here are five takeaways from the inaugural Syndicate Crown:

1. CrossFit Mayhem Freedom Flawless in the Snatch Ladder and Run the Table on Day One

Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi

Is there anyone who questions Mayhem Freedom’s path to the CrossFit Games? Probably not.

The snatch ladder event set everyone up for an exciting start to day one at the Syndicate Crown. And as the barbells settled, it was CrossFit Mayhem Freedom who sat firmly in first place. No one on the team missed as all four cleared the ladder and hit the following:

  • Sam Cournoyer: 290 pounds
  • Rich Froning 275 pounds
  • Taylor Williamson: 190 pounds
  • Andrea Nisler: 180 pounds

With a win in event two, Mayhem Freedom heads into day two 25 points on TT CrossFit and poised for a Games ticket.

2. Teenagers Paulina Haro and Tudor Magda Smash Heavy Lifts

Both tied for first in Event 1, 18-year-old Paulina Haro and 19-year-old Tudor Magda proved their place outside the teen division with impressive clean and jerk complex lifts. Interestingly, both young athletes are training under the watchful eye of very knowledgeable teams–Haro, who recently moved from Mexico to CrossFit East Nashville to train with the reigning Fittest Woman on Earth Tia Clair Toomey and the PRVN team, and Magda as the latest mentee of James Townsend. Both athletes kept calm and collected in heated battles with notorious heavyweights Christine Kolenbrander and Griffin Roelle, respectively. 

3. McClelland in First

Consistent across the board on day one, Semifinals rookie Gabby McClelland placed third in both events ending in 1st atop of a stacked field. McClelland, 24-years-old, graduated from the US Air Force Academy and placed second in the 2021 Occupational Games. 

No one had their eyes on the Semifinals rookie heading into this weekend, but McClelland has caught a tiger by the tail, can she hang onto it on moving day?

4. Medeiros Doing What He Needs to Do

As many predicted, the reigning Fittest Man on Earth sailed smoothly through Day 1, with fourth-place finishes in both events. It was only 10 pounds on the clean and jerk complex and about a minute in event two that separated him from a perfect day, Medeiros’ consistency once again landed him on top going into day two.

Medeiros’ strengths lie in classic CrossFit events and his ability to remain consistent despite  compounding strain. Look for him to stay in the top-five all weekend and walk away with a podium finish, if not an overall win.

5. Eramo O’Connell and Smith Need to use ‘Moving Day’ to their Advantage

Perennial Games veterans Kristi Eramo O’Connell and Ben Smith lay uncharacteristically low on the leaderboard after two events, in 19th and 26th respectively. Smith’s downfall was event two, in which he got second to last place and only beat the time cap by two seconds. Eramo O’Connell came in a nine way tie for 17th in event two, as well as a 12th place finish in event one with a 215 pound complex.

Bonus takeaway: Scott Panchik, “retired” Games veteran and the “fittest man never to podium” is currently in fourth place and only 4 points out of a qualifying spot. 

Oh yeah, the person he’s chasing in third is 22-year-old Cole Greashaber who we’ve had our eyes on for a while now.

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