Dani Speegle Crushes Day One of Granite Games With Heavy Lifts
Three-time CrossFit Games athlete Dani Speegle opened the Granite Games Semifinals in Eagan, MN on Friday with a second place finish followed by an event win, taking an early eight-point lead over Amanda Barnhart in second, and a 12-point lead over Open and Quarterfinals winner Mal O’Brien in third.
The details: Speegle and O’Brien were neck-and neck on the final handstand walk during Event 1—a reverse Fran-style workout with increasing reps of thrusters and handstand walking—and when O’Brien was no repped as she kicked up to her final handstand walk, it looked as though Speegle would take the event.
- But Speegle decided to break her handstand walk into two efforts, giving just enough time for O’Brien, who looked like she was sprinting on her hands, to pass Speegle in the final meters, crossing the line a second-and-a-half before Speegle.
- Speegle, though, came back on Event 2—a lifting complex of three cleans, two front squats and one jerk—making 245 pounds (111kg) look easy, good enough for an event win.
- Although to those watching, Speegle’s lifting looked easy, she insisted she was taxed physically. “It’s a strength event obviously, but it’s (also) an endurance event…Like your heart rate spikes. I hit 225 and my heart rate was so high, I was like, ‘You gotta sit down. You gotta get ready for your other lifts,’” she said.
One big thing: Speegle might be sitting pretty after Day 1, but the weekend is long and she admits the first two events, on paper at least, were the best ones for her.
- “So this was a good day for me, so the rest of it is just (about) staying in my own lane. Play my game,” Speegle said in a post-event interview.
- She told the Morning Chalk Up shortly after that: “I’m looking at these events and I’m like, ‘How can you execute to your ability and stay in that top range of athletes?’ So I’m excited to see where I have progressed.”
The Big Picture: The weekend is long and moving day is coming, so although Speegle has built herself a decent buffer on Day 1, the leaderboard in Eagan, MN could quite possibly look a whole lot different after Saturday’s longer, more endurance-based events.
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