Colten Mertens Catapults Himself Into Granite Games Lead
The first two days of the Granite Games are complete, and the athletes are putting on a show while battling for the all-important points. Colten Mertens, in particular, has jumped to the top of the leaderboard on the strength of an event win and straight-up consistency.
Phil Toon ended the first day with the points lead, and then he kicked off the second with a strong performance. He finished the grueling Minnesota Mash-Up with a time of 17:07.00. Toon dealt with one minor issue in the workout in that he had to put down the 70-pound dumbbell on the final clean and jerk, but he was a couple of reps ahead of runner-up Brent Fikowski, so it did not derail his event win.
- “Historically, longer events have been weaknesses of mine,” Toon told the Morning Chalk Up. “I’ve been better at power output workouts. But I’ve been focusing a lot on volume, longer and longer endurance workouts. So, I felt with the movements I could do well, and it just came down to execution overall.”
Mertens, who finished third in both events on the opening day, made the biggest move when it counted. He finished fifth in the Minnesota Mash-Up, and then he decimated the Speed Chipper with a time of 7:26.92, nearly 20 seconds ahead of Travis Mayer.
- This event win, paired with Toon finishing seventh in the Speed Chipper, moved Mertens into the top spot on the leaderboard. He now has 368 points, four more than Toon, entering the final day.
- There are three CrossFit Games veterans sitting in the final spots above the cutline. Brent Fikowski is third with 336 points, Mayer is fourth with 324, and Timothy Paulson is fifth with 304.
“Go fast, go unbroken, and then try to hang on to the snatches,” Mertens said about his approach to the Speed Chipper. “I’ve been working a lot on strength, barbell cycling. Working a lot on wall balls, and that event No. 3 gave me a ton of confidence, especially coming into this one.”
What’s next: There is one day remaining in the Granite Games. The athletes will have two final events to wrap up the weekend and fight for the coveted trip to the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.
- Endure the Sled features a 50-yard sled push, 30 lane-facing burpees, a 50-yard sled push, a 1,000-meter run, Echo Bike (100, 70 calories), a 1,000-meter run, a 50-yard sled drag, 30 lane-facing burpees, and a 50-yard sled drag.
- The final event is one that all Semifinals athletes have faced. 2014 Regional Event 5 is a 10-round monster featuring one legless rope climb and a 170-foot run.