2022 Zelos Games Recap: Tudor Magda and Andrea Nisler Take Las Vegas Event

November 11, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Zelos Games (@zelosgames)
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The 2022 Zelos Games live showcase has come to an end, but the fun is only just beginning for this CrossFit licensed event with a hybrid twist.

Remind me: The main event takes place online around the world 11/11 through 11/21. There are several divisions available, four workouts in total, a new approach to no-reps and movement standard-setting, and cash payouts totaling over $35,000 (plus over $32,000 in prizes) up for grabs. 

The live event portion took place at Camp Rhino in Las Vegas this past weekend where 12 women and 11 men (after a last minute withdrawal from Mike McDonald) were invited to do the same four workouts for a live audience and a separate cash pool. In a similar style to an Open workout announcement format, athletes globally had the opportunity to see a few of their favorite elite athletes throw down, and then get in on the action themselves. 

The workouts were programmed by Underdog Athletics Assistant Head Coach Kiefer Lammi, all with names inspired by the city that never sleeps. Bleachers were set up in close proximity to the field of play, giving spectators an intimate view into the pain cave the athletes endured. Surrounded by industry-leading vendors, a Hibachi-grill food truck, a rockin’ DJ, family, friends and fans, it was an elevated local competition to set the bar for the rest of the community. 

Event 1

We were told it’s not supposed to get so cold in the desert, but day one opened to a frigid morning in the low 30s workout 1, “Snake Eyes.” However, with a sprint, interval style workout on tap, athletes warmed up in a hurry: 

3:00 AMRAP

26/18 Cal Echo Bike 
14 DB Box Step-Overs (50/35lb)
Max Ring Muscle-Ups in Remaining Time

Athletes then rested a minute, repeated that section, rested one more minute, and then did one more interval with an extended 4-minute time cap. The score was total muscle-up reps and the women were first up. 

The second heat witnessed a couple of fun dynamics: Brittany Weiss and Devyn Kim, teammates on Team Invictus, who took home third place at the 2022 CrossFit Games went head-to-head, while Alex Gazan and Kyra Milligan duked it out–the pair are usually training partners on their home turf as Underdogs athletes.

Andrea Nisler finished 36 total muscle-ups for the event win, followed by 35 and 34 for Alex Gazan and Christine Kolenbrander, respectively.

Once the men took the floor, Tola Morakinyo set the tone in heat one with 37 muscle-ups, although Logan Ewing squeaked out 38 in the heat immediately following. Lastly, keeping on theme with winning by one rep, James Sprague scored an impressive 39 muscle-ups for the heat and event win. 

Top five women in Snake Eyes:

  1. Andrea Nisler 
  2. Alex Gazan
  3. Christine Kolenbrander
  4. Solveig Sigurdardottir
  5. Alexis Johnson

Top five men: 

  1. James Sprague
  2. Logan Ewing
  3. Tola Morakinyo
  4. Tudor Magda
  5. Leonel Franco

Event 2

To round out day one, athletes took on “Royal Flush” in the afternoon. Things got speedy and spicy under a barbell between burpees with a 7-minute time cap. 

For time: 

5-7-9 Power Clean 165/115 lbs
Bar Facing Burpees
Bar Facing Burpees

Once again, the women took the floor first, and they tackled these moderately heavy thrusters with ease. Holding her lead from event one, Nisler kicked off heat one with a win, setting the time to beat at 4:01. However, Roran Scott, in 12th place coming into the event, found an extra gear and put the pedal to the metal — finishing in 3:58 during the second heat, the only woman to get a sub-four minute time. 

For the men, Peter Mason came out swinging and won heat one with a time of 4:07, followed by a close race in heat two between friends; former Underdogs athlete Morakinyo, and current Underdogs athletes Mitch McClune and Matt Dlugos. There must be something Lammi and Underdogs Head Coach, Justin Cotler, are doing right, because Mason, who just joined the training camp earlier this month, held the lead and ended day two in third overall. 

Top five women in Royal Flush:

  1. Roran Scott
  2. Andrea Nisler
  3. Devyn Kim
  4. Alex Gazan
  5. Elena Budz

Top five men: 

  1. Peter Mason
  2. Tudor Magda
  3. Jack Rozema
  4. Ethan Helbig
  5. Leonel Franco

Event 3

The temperature warmed up a little as day two dawned, but the heat inside the arena was palpable as athletes got after the key strength event of the weekend.

“Ace of Spades” involved seven, 90-second rounds, all with a buy-in of 30 double-unders, followed by a descending rep and increasing weight snatch ladder: 185lb/84kg through 265lb/120kg for men, and 125lb/56kg to 170lb/77kg for women.

If the competitor made it through the ladder, they earned an extra three minutes to find a max snatch. On day two, the men take the floor first and this spectator-favorite event saw several PRs, celebrations and bold moves. Here are a few highlights:

  • Tudor Magda set the score to beat with 322lb/146kg lift after clearing the bars in the first heat of the day. We believe this is one of the top five heaviest snatches we’ve ever seen in a live CrossFit competition.
  • Ethan Helbig tied his lifetime PR at 282lb/128kg, however it’s a 22lb PR since he hurt both of his wrists in an ATV accident last fall.
  • Morakinyo took 325lb/147kg for a ride and then gave 332lb/151kg a go, but narrowly missed before time ran out.
  • Samantha Petrich missed 165lb/75kg, but took a minute to reset, and came back and hit it at the buzzer for the opportunity to give the last round a shot.
  • Ellia Miller, a new FitAid athlete, hit 215lb/97kg a 15lb PR. 
  • Christine Kolenbrander crushed 225lb/102kg for a 10lb PR and the event win.

Top five men in Ace of Spades:

  1. Tola Morakinyo
  2. Tudor Magda
  3. Denis Samsonov
  4. Leonel Franco
  5. Jack Rozema

Top five women:

  1. Christine Kolenbrander
  2. Ellia Miller
  3. Ro Scott
  4. Andrea Nisler
  5. Solveig Sigurdardottir 

Event 4

The longest workout of the weekend had a 22-minute cap and a whole lot of reps. “Full House” was a chipper with a race on the athlete’s hands to finish and close out the competition.

For time:
150ft Handstand walk (25’ lengths, 5ft minimum sections
50/40 cal row
35 Wall balls (20/14 lbs to 10’)
50 Chest to bar pull-ups
10 Devils press (2×70/50lbs) *may be performed as a clean and jerk
50 Toes to bar
35 Wall balls (20/14 lbs to 10’)
50/40 cal row
150ft Handstand walk

In the first heat, Helbig set the time to chase down, finishing the workout in 17:33. McClune, or Kari Pearce’s boyfriend as he is often referred to, did all of his 50 toes-to-bar with his eyes closed, “because it hurt real bad, and I didn’t want it to hurt real bad…but it didn’t help at all,” he said after the event, while laughing.

Unfortunately, just over halfway through the workout in that same heat, Logan Ewing withdrew after noticeably struggling. The Mayhem Athlete competitor said afterward that he hurt his knee on the snatch ladder and was in tremendous pain going into the final event.

To finish things off with a bang, everyone in heat two beat Helbig’s score, and Tudor Magda moved faster on his hands than a lot of people run. James Sprague, from the second heat, secured the event win before the women give the final workout a go. 

Brittany Weiss took the heat one win, and then things got interesting in the final showdown. Alex Gazan was on track to dominate the event, followed closely by Andrea Nisler, although Gazan’s judge called a no-rep after what they considered a questionable cross over the finish line, and she was forced to complete the final handstand walk again. She utilized her challenge rule (after her manager, Benji Hall captured the situation on video and consulted with her coach, Cotler), and ultimately won the race and the event overall after head judge, Andrew Hiller, reviewed the footage.

Top five men in Full House:

  1. James Sprague
  2. Tola Morakinyo
  3. Peter Mason
  4. Denis Samsonov
  5. Jack Rozema

Top five women: 

  1. Alex Gazan
  2. Brittany Weiss
  3. Andrea Nisler
  4. Christine Kolenbrander
  5. Elena Budz

There are two interesting things to note specific to the live showcase:

  • Z Score was used for the in-person competition (more about that here), however a typical point structure will be applied for the online event.
  • Heats were rotated each event (everyone got a chance to go first, second and third), although not reseeded until the final event (last heat being the top athletes overall).

Final results:


1. Tudor Magda 
2. Tola Morakinyo
3. James Sprague 
4. Denis Samsonov 
5. Peter Mason
6. Leonel Franco
7. Jack Rozema
8. Matt Dlugos 
9. Ethan Helbig
10. Logan Ewing
11. Mitch McClune 

Photo Credit: Zelos Games (@zelosgames)


1. Andrea Nisler
2. Christine Kolenbrander 
3. Alex Gazan
4. Solveig Sigurdardottir
5. Devyn Kim
6. Roran Scott
7. Ellia Miller
8. Elena Budz
9. Brittany Weiss
10. Alexis Johnson
11. Kyra Milligan
12. Samantha Petrich 

Ready to give these folks a run for their money? Or, just feel the pain, get a good workout in and maybe win some prizes? It’s your turn to shine! Get in on the fun today and use code CHALKUP20 for 20% off your competition registration

From event organizer, Jerad Graybeal, “I mean, hopefully you get to tune in and are inspired by this…watch and learn a little bit about approach and strategy.” He continued, “You have until November 15th at noon Pacific Standard Time to sign up. There are ten divisions, one elite and nine are actually age groups, so hopefully they’re feeling fired up enough to give it a try. It’s only four workouts over ten days, so why not see how you stack up against others in the field and have some fun doing it?”

And for a full breakdown of the weekend in Vegas, accompanied by athlete interviews and behind-the-scenes action, checkout our Zelos Games recap show on YouTube with Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil. Zelos Games is a partner event of Morning Chalk Up; for more information on partner events, send us a note.

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