CrossFit Games Day One Individual Recap
Morning one at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games opened with high humidity and the threat of severe weather, but guarantee for an action-packed day with four events on tap for the individuals and 500 points available.
Event One “Bike to Work”
The first event of the competition included 75 toes-to-bar to start, followed by a five-mile road/off-road bike ride, then 75 chest-to-bar pull-ups and another five-mile ride. The women were up first and it was a back-and-forth battle with multiple lead changes and a final foot race within the 45-minute time cap.
Tia-Clair Toomey, the reigning and defending Fittest Woman on Earth finished her set of 75 toes-to-bar first, just over two minutes into the event, but reigning second fittest woman, Laura Horvath opened up a :15 second lead on the first five-mile circuit and got into her set of 75 chest-to-bar pull-ups first. Horvath finished her first bike circuit in just under 16 minutes and headed to the rig for 75 chest-to-bar pull-ups, almost :45 seconds ahead of Toomey, who made up that time by busting out huge sets with minimal rest.
On the last five-mile bike circuit, Haley Adams stole the lead from Toomey on the first lap and opened up a :10-:15 second lead over the reigning champ and rookie Emma Lawson. On the final lap Toomey and Lawson closed the gap and it came down to a foot race at the end. When the dust settled, Adams took the event win in 38:23–the first of her career–and Toomey edged out Lawson for second place in 38:26.
Of note: Danielle Brandon made up a huge time deficit in the final lap after being lapped by Adams. Brandon took 8th overall, but there were questions about whether or not she completed all five laps on the second bike circuit.
On the men’s side, all eyes were on Ricky Garard in his first Games event back after completing his four-year suspension for PEDs and it lined up well for him with 10 miles of biking. Noah Ohlsen was the first off the rig, finishing his 75 toes-to-bar in just over two minutes, but once on the bikes, Roman Khrennikov took the with a large pack following him, including Justin Medeiros, Lazar Djukic and Pat Vellner.
Jonne Koski was the first off the C2B as the rain started, Djukic was not far behind. Koski opened up a big lead over Djukic and Spencer Panchik and lapped athletes like Travis Mayer. But, as it came down to the final lap, things went sideways.
Djukic and Panchik crossed the finish line without completing their final lap, while the leader, Koski was still on the course. Sean Woodland and Chase Ingraham, the commentators noted that they had not beat Koski, but shortly after, Koski and Garard came into the stadium at the same time and Garard outlegged Koski for the event win.
Event Three “Speed Skill Medley”
Severe weather disrupted the day’s events and caused event two to be postponed until Friday. Event three, a two-parter with running and shoulder-to-overheads was postponed until tomorrow due to the weather. Instead, athletes would take on a three-round race that included peg board climbs, jump ropes, pistols and handstand walks. Each round the field was pared down and the skills increased in difficulty.
The women were up first again and once the dust settled on the qualifying rounds, it was Brandon, Mal O’Brien, Lawson, Elisa Fuliano, and Rebecca Fuselier in the final heat. After the strict pegboard climb, the women took to their jump ropes for 25 double-under crossovers. None of them were able to move on to the handstand walking portion of the event, but Fuliano finished right at the end of the three-minute cap to take the event win, with Brandon just behind her. Three rookies–Fuliano, Fuselier and Lawson finished in the top-five.
On the men’s side the final heat included rookie Nick Mathew, Medeiros, Vellner, Garard, and Gui Malheiros.
The crossover double-unders proved to be difficult for the field, but it was Mathew and then Medeiros, who fumbled his strict pegboard ascent and dropped his peg, who figured them out first. On the press to handstand, Mathew again figured it out first, followed by Malheiros and then Medeiros. Garard, who looked good in earlier heats, struggled. Mathew finished the handstand walk portion and sprinted to the finish with Malheiros following behind about :30 seconds later. The rookie earned his first event win and 100 points with the Brazilian taking second and Medeiros almost finishing to earn a score of Cap+1.
Event Four: “Elizabeth Elevated”
The last event of the weather-disrupted day was “Elizabeth Elevated”, a modification on the original benchmark workout. In this version it includes 21-15-9-9-9 of squat cleans at 135 and 95 pounds plus a Parallel-bar traverse and bar dips.
On the women’s side, in the final heat, Emma Lawson had the leader’s jersey, but struggled in the event, finishing at 14th. Mom strength took this one with Loewen taking the event win, the first of her career and Kara Saunders taking second. O’Brien took third in the event, but ends day one in first place with 267 points. Just behind her is Emma Lawson with 249. Toomey heads into the rest day in 8th place, unfamiliar territory for the five-time Games winner.
On the men’s side, Garard and Medeiros came into the event in a dead heat at 188 points each. Roman Khrennikov got out to a quick lead in the final heat, taking to the parallel bars before anyone else finished their first set of cleans. Vellner and Medeiros stayed close into the round of 15. In the middle round Vellner took the lead.
Krennikov and Garard were on the chase, but Vellner held tight and built a sizable lead. At the end of the workout, Vellner buckled down and took the win. His technique on the parallel bars was the determiner and he ended the day saying that “he’s pretty much a CrossFitter now.”