Sydney Michalyshen Makes a Move at MACC
The second of three days at the 2022 Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge is done, and one of the three women who was tied for first after the first day has pulled into the outright lead. CrossFit New England’s Sydney Michalyshen sits atop the leaderboard despite a tenth place finish in the second workout today in an event that she needed to mitigate damage; it certainly helped that she won Regional Event 5 earlier in the day.
Hot on her heels is the winner of event 4, the MACC mile, Danielle Brandon. Brandon did not have a stellar Day 1 by most people’s standards, but her last three event finishes are now 2nd, 5th, and 1st, and she only trails Michalyshen by 8 points.
The big mover today was Baylee Rayl. She came into the day in seventh, and now finds herself sitting third overall. She was 2nd and 7th respectively on the events today and has to be feeling good about the move on the leaderboard she was able to make with two events left.
Two huge stories occupy the fourth and fifth place spots currently for the women. Kelly Clark, who has been competing in this sport for a decade, is attempting to make it to the Games for the first time at 35 years old. She has looked pretty steady in every event, and if she can do it two more times this would be a hell of a capstone on her career.
Brooke Wells had an eventful day to say the least. After a pretty brutal 24th place finish in event three she looked amazing early on in event 4. She ended up second in her heat and third overall in the event, but unfortunately towards the end of it she looked rather disoriented and wobbly on her feet. Hopefully she’s able to recover because there are two women just behind her in Rebecca Fuselier and Shelby Neal who will be ready to pounce if she stumbles again. Neal is especially dangerous with three event finishes in the top 5, and a dead last on the rope climb event. Assuming the top five are the norms, she’s a dangerous woman to be lurking just outside the bubble.
As we learned last week at both the Syndicate Crown and the Lowlands Throwdown, anything can happen in the finale. However, overall leader Saxon Panchik (380 points) and second place occupier Dallin Pepper (360 points) have put quite a gap between themselves and the rest of the field. They have done this on the back of consistent and brilliantly executed workouts across four very different tests thus far and are the clear frontrunners in the men’s field at this point.
Cole Sager was able to climb from sixth up to third today, but even so he’s really the leader of a tightly packed group of men who are vying for the last three spots to the Games. Only 36 points separates Sager in 3rd from Spencer Panchik in 7th; in between them are Tyler Christophel, Logan Collins, and Noah Ohlsen. Those are the seven men we identified prior to things getting started that would be contending for five spots, and with two events to go, that’s exactly what we have.
If you’re looking for the potential home run hitter and big comeback story on the final day, Mitchel Stevenson sits in 9th place at the moment and is only 27 points behind Collins in fifth. Stevenson was second on the MACC mile to end day two and has some experience out dueling a competitive men’s field to draw upon- he took 5th place in the West Regional in 2018, and we wouldn’t quite count him out yet.
It’s looking extremely good for the Mayhem Empire to send a third team to the Games this season. CrossFit Mayhem Independence has been nearly flawless with three firsts and second place finish thus far.
Not too much has changed overall on the team side of things from yesterday. Shoofly and Kamo continue to impress and sit second and third overall. After that there’s a 25 point gap down to Koda CrossFit United who is trying to fend off Crossfit Kilo II and Koda CrossFit Iron Valley Allegiance who are 5 and 25 points back of them.
The tough thing in this team’s field is the room for error is very small, the worst event finish any of those six teams has had is 10th. One more event finish like that from any of those teams on the bubble is likely all it will take to end their season. The team events tomorrow are demanding, particularly event 5, Off the Grid.
The bottom line: As we’ve been saying all along, the battles in each division are real and the margins for error are small. The field is narrowing as it always does, but there are men, women, and teams currently on the outside looking in who will show up to the Knoxville Civic Auditorium tomorrow looking to take care of business; it’s setting up for a tremendous and exciting final day in this second of four North American semifinal competitions.
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