Rogue Reactions from the Athletes: “Shit happens. I will come back stronger.”

November 1, 2022 by and
Photo Credit: Enrique Villaseñor (@enriquevmedia)
Enjoying Morning Chalk Up? Access additional exclusive interviews, analyses, and stories with an Rx membership.

The 2022 Rogue Invitational is over and done, but there are a lot of lingering emotions from the highly competitive off-season event. Enter Instagram, where competing athletes shared their personal highs and lows, and thoughts on how it all went down. 

We’ve compiled a list of athlete reactions below, including one that officially confirmed 2023 will be his final CrossFit Games season as an individual. 

Patrick Vellner

“I’m not gonna lie, it stings right now, but I’ll get over it. I made the decision to go for it, and I’m proud of the decision I made.”

  • “The men’s division is tighter and more competitive than ever, and Im still here knocking on the door. It was far from a perfect weekend, but there are a ton of positives to take away. It’s going to be an exciting year.”
  • Vellner added a telling signature: “Sincerely not retired, PV”

Vellner finished 4th overall with five top-five finishes, including an event win in Event 9: The Goblet, after which he told Lauren Kalil he was “just hanging together with sticks and glue and tape right now.”

Annie Thorisdottir

“Thank you Rogue, Caity and Bill for an incredible weekend! ups and downs but maaan is it fun to take the floor 👊”

  • “Competing through 3 different decades and still loving every second of it – the nerves the adrenaline of the competition floor and the grind of what leads me there.”
  • “Of course I’m always gunning for 1st but I am proud of my effort 🙌”
  • “Great weekend made even better with my family on the sideline. I love taking the floor, but it honestly would not be worth it if you couldn’t share it with them.”

Thorisdottir finished second overall for the second consecutive year, with only one finish outside of the top ten all weekend (and it was 11th). She has yet to confirm whether she will compete in the individual or team division in the upcoming 2023 CrossFit Games season.

Justin Medeiros turned the attention right to his first-class support system:

  • “Can’t beat this team💯. Don’t know what I would do without y’all❤️”

Medeiros finished on top of the podium for the second consecutive year with six top-five finishes, including event wins in Events 2 and 6. A few costly no-reps landed Medeiros in a tough position Sunday morning, but the champ found a way to climb back to the top, telling the Morning Chalk Up, “it’s not over til it’s over”.

Laura Horvath

“Thank you, Austin #Kaduzs”

  • After finishing on top of the podium, Horvath told the Morning Chalk Up, “I came here to win, and I did just that.”

Horvath took the crown in 2022 with her record-breaking four consecutive event wins and six top-three finishes. 

Chandler Smith

“Picked a good weekend to have a good weekend.” 

  • “Awesome time here at the Rogue Invitational, and an especially big thanks to my wife for being the best partner I could’ve ever imagined. Not done yet.”
  • “Thankful for all the folks out in the stands this weekend – our families, our friends, our coaches, our sponsors, our judges, our volunteers and YOU!”

Smith hit the competition floor for the first time since the Granite Games in June, where he suffered from illness that cut his season short. 

Kara Saunders

“Thank you for having me, Rogue Invitational. A very well run and enjoyable event. Also a massive congrats to all of the athletes for each individual achievement.”

  • “It wasn’t an easy task holding on for another big competition that close after the CrossFit Games, but I’m so glad I did my best to show up with whatever I had left.”
  • “Now it’s time to chill, recover, and spend time with my fam ❤️”

Saunders finished 7th overall with five top-five finishes, including a win in the final event: Heavy Grace.

Jeffrey Adler

“Made it again! A big last day of competition to climb back on the podium!”

  • “Big thanks to Rogue Invitational for hosting an incredible event and making it so special once again.”
  • “Congratulations to all the competitors! We definitely earned a bit of rest.”

Adler finished 3rd overall with five top-five finishes including an event win in Heavy Grace. He took second in the opening event, “Texas Trail”, just 13 seconds behind Jayson Hopper.

Saxon Panchik

“Truthfully I haven’t been more excited for a competition then I was for the Rogue Invitational. Leading up to the competion I have never felt more healthy or prepared. But sometimes life throws you a curve ball.”

  • “A positive C*vid test isn’t how I planned to leave the weekend. As an athlete you tend to think getting sick won’t affect you, but this is still a tough pill to swallow.”
  • “Thank you Rogue Invitational for an incredible event and thank you to the entire PRVN Fitness team for always being in my corner.”

Panchik finished 16th overall; his best finish was 8th in Event 1: Texas Trail with a time of 33:21.

Roman Khrennikov

“Shit happens. I will come back stronger. Thanks guys for being there this weekend 🙏”

Despite a fifth place finish in his Rogue Invitational debut, Khrennikov seemed unsatisfied at the end of the weekend. His lowest finish, 17th place, was in Event 9, The Goblet. In contrast, Khrennikov had five top-five finishes throughout the weekend, including an event win in Event 4, DT With a Spin. “My goal was to go unbroken. I was thinking maybe my body won’t be able to take it, but it did,” said Khrennikov.

Gabriela Migala

“Like Roman Khrennikov said: ‘Shit happens. I’ll come back stronger.’”

  • “Thank you everyone for cheering me on. You guys are the best ❤️”

Migała finished 5th overall with five top-five finishes, one of those being third place finish in Event 1: Texas Trail. “It was everything I really like,” said Migala.

Jayson Hopper

“What a time! So much fun out there this weekend.”

  • “Thanks to all those who came out and made it such a great competition. Many lessons learned and a TON to look forward to 🫡😬”

Hopper finished 7th overall, with six top-ten finishes, including two event wins in Texas Trail and Snatch and Press.

Ellie Turner

“Overall it was an amazing week/end and just cemented the fact that I’m on the right path and have the best people in my corner to help get me to where I want to go!”

  • “Not going to lie, it stings a lot to get so close to standing on the podium and miss out on a tie break!”
  • “Massive thanks to Rogue Invitational staff, volunteers and judges for putting on such an amazing event and to the amazing CrossFit community for the support all weekend long!”

Turner finished the weekend in 4th place overall.

Danielle Brandon

“Some things that you as a fan, spectator, acquaintance or even friend probably didn’t see or notice…”

  • “Back squatting 275 x 2 – I haven’t had a bar even as heavy as 250 on my back in over a year due to injuries… Aka HUGE win and PR”
  • “crushing an echo bike workout”
  • “80 GHD’s in a row w/ no back pain”
  • “Skiing at a decent pace without dying”
  • “Learning how to bounce a hang clean 😂”
  • “I may not have stood where I wanted to at the end of the weekend. BUT I do know I had more wins than you think. AND learned a lot more because of it.”

Brandon finished 9th overall, including an Event 1 win and three top-five finishes.

Ricky Garard

“You are not defeated when you lose. You are defeated when you quit. I will be back! 🦍”

  • “Thank you Rogue Invitational for the experiences & challenges I will now use to make myself better.”

Garard finished 10th overall with four top-five finishes. 

Olivia Kerstetter’s coach and CrossFit Games veteran, Jacob Heppner, shared this after the 16-year-old’s first competition in the individual division: 

  • “Not a whole lot to say. Just proud of this girl.”
  • “Ending the whole Rogue Invitational with a heat win and 2nd overall. Couldn’t ask for a better ending to a start of a career.”

Kerstetter finished 16th overall with four top-ten finishes, including second place in Event 10: Heavy Grace. Lauren Kalil caught up with Kerstetter on Wednesday night prior to the first (surprise) day of competition.

Tim Paulson

“An incredible benchmark and learning experience to take into my last indy season against the best the sport has right now!”

  • “Very humbling but exciting experience this past weekend! Events we thought would be tough proved brutal, and stronger events have a little ways to go.”
  • “The crowd and atmosphere in Austin were truly something special, and it was a real pleasure all weekend long. Thank you to @roguefitness and @rogueinvitational for an incredible comp!”
  • @cmpaulson101 continuing to deserve the wife of the century award holding down the home front with our little guy ❤️ the crew, volunteers and judges this weekend were all stellar, so great to see all the familiar faces.”

Paulson, who qualified through the Online Qualifier, placed 18th at the end of the weekend. The post officially announced his retirement following the 2023 season, which the 6-time Games athlete says will be his last go at the individual division. 

Amanda Barnhart

“You NEVER want to miss the Rogue Invitational”

  • “There were mistakes, there were highs and lows, but I learned a ton and had a blast. Can’t wait to get back to work (after a week off 😬) and be my best for 2023.”
  • “Thank you Rogue, thank you fans, thanks to my fellow competitors (you ladies rock), thank you to my sponsors, thank you to my team (. . . ) and thank you to my family.”

Barnhart finished the weekend in 6th place, her first official competition with HWPO Training. 

Alexis Raptis

“Thank you Rogue Invitational ❤️‍🔥”

Raptis finished 8th overall with an exciting weekend, including an approved scoring appeal in “The Duel II” sprint event.

Jorge Fernandez

“Huge thank you to Rogue, Caity Henniger, and Bill Henniger for putting on such a great event! 🤘🏽”

  • “Had the opportunity to go against the best in the sport. Learned a lot about the individual side of things. Ready to get back to the drawing board!”

Fernandez finished 13th overall with a nail-biter second place finish to Medeiros in Event 6: The Duel II.

Arielle Loewen

“Such a tough, but fun weekend. THANK YOU to everyone who cheered me on in person & from home. Y’all are awesome! 🤠”

  • ​​”The goal was top 10 so I’m one happy girl.”
  • On Monday she added, “I’ve never been so sore 😅”

Loewen achieved her goal as she finished the weekend in 10th place with the help of her second-place finish in Event 2: Ski Bar.

Henrik Haapalainen

“This made me more hungry for the future. 🔥”

  • “Really happy with my effort coming in with 2 week short notice from the off season. 🤠”
  • “Thank you for the great competition Rogue. Always pleasure to compete next to the best.”

Haapalainen placed 15th after receiving a last-minute backfill spot two weeks ago. Haapalainen says that he’d still been in an offseason since his 24th place finish at the Games in August. 

Anikha Greer

“Not the weekend I wanted… but definitely the weekend I needed. Lots to go back to the drawing board on. 🧠”

  • “THANK YOU to the fans and volunteers at Rogue Invitational – never felt so loved 💓”

Greer finished 19th overall, including a third place finish in Event 3: Back Attack. Lauren Kalil caught up with the 19-year-old prior to the start of competition in Round Rock, TX.

Carolyne Prevost

“Thank you Rogue, Bill Henniger, and Caity Henniger for putting on an amazing event! Your entire team of staff/volunteers/medical are top notch! Thank you to the fans for all the love and support!”

  • “To the athletes, thank you for making this special. I loved catching up or meeting new faces ❤️. Best of luck to everyone in the upcoming season!”
  • “The human body is capable of so much when you have an adrenaline rush🔥. I remember going into this workout and dreading running up/down a hill and certainly goblet squatting for many reps because my legs were soo sore. 3-2-1 Go and all of a sudden I am able to forget all my soreness and do the workout 🤪.”

Prevost finished 15th overall with three top-ten finishes. The three-time CrossFit Games veteran told the Morning Chalk Up the 4-inch wooden bar introduced in Event 2 was a little unnerving, “I just looked down at my hands, how little they are, and I was like, ‘oh no. This is going to be really hard.’”

Relive the excitement with our daily recaps and stories from the weekend:

Get the Newsletter

For a daily digest of all things CrossFit. Community, Competitions, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Deals and more.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.