Emily Rolfe Leads the Pack After First Day of TYR Wodapalooza

January 12, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
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Emma Cary and Emily Rolfe both had disappointing 2022 seasons that ended with an injury, but both Cary and Rolfe showed up at TYR Wodapalooza in Miami, FL on Thursday and performed as though last year never happened.

Rolfe leads the way after Day 1 with Cary right behind her.

Remind me: Cary’s 2022 season ended during Quarterfinals when she withdrew due to a back injury, while Rolfe qualified to Madison, but withdrew after the first event due to a blood clot that led to her to undergo emergency surgery.

Event 1: Rings and Squats – The first event in Miami was a descending rep scheme of muscle-ups and squats, where athletes did a total of 36 muscle-ups (15-12-9) and 45 squats (21-15-9 back squats, front squats, overhead squats at 165 pounds).

  • The two fastest times of the day belonged to Heat 2, with Cary coming out guns blazing, taking the early lead in the heat. During the second round muscle-ups, however, Cary ran into trouble, as she struggled to control her rings that were blowing wildly in the wind, costing her the lead temporarily. But the 18-year-old kept her composure, and managed to regain the lead in the final round before completing her final nine overhead squats unbroken. She crossed the finish line in 9:10, just one second ahead of Elisa Fuliano.
  • The third and fourth best times of the event were Heat 3’s Paige Semenza and Sydney Michalyshen. Meanwhile, Rolfe had what would be her lowest finish of the day (9th).

Event 2: Back to the Future – Once again, Heat 2 was the fastest of the three heats in a chipper-style style event with a smorgasbord of movements, including rope climbs, double kettlebell hang clean and jerks, kettlebell thrusters, kettlebell front rack and overhead walking lunges, GHD sit-ups, complete with one mile Assault run in the middle of the event.

  • And once again, it was Cary who put an exclamation point on the event. This time, though, it was Rolfe who she edged out after coming from behind on the back half of the workout, finishing her final rope climb in a time of 18:55.82, 10 seconds faster than Rolfe, whose time was good enough for second.
  • The final heat was all about veteran Sara Sigmundsdottir, who, after a tough first event (15th), took the lead early and went on to win the heat with a time of 19:24.06 good enough for third overall. Paige Powers and Emma Tall (Heat 2) rounded out the top five. 

Event 3: Start Fast and Finish Strong – The final event of the day was a two-part workout with 200 points up for grabs. Part A of the workout was a sprint involving toes-to-bar, lateral hurdle jumps and 44-yard shuttle sprints, while Part B was a 1,000-meter row followed by 20 100-pound D-ball cleans before a 300-foot D-Ball bearhug carry.

  • This time it was Rolfe who came out with all cylinders firing, pulling ahead of the pack quickly, looking fast and smooth throughout. She picked up an event win on Part A in a time of 2:30.02, edging out Fuliano from Heat 1. Cary finished well back in 12th.
  • Part B was strength athlete Dani Speegle’s time to shine. While she wasn’t one of the first athletes to finish the 1,000-meter row, Speegle started making her move on the D-Ball cleans, and then never looked back. She picked up the D-ball for the 300-foot bearhug carry, and was the only athlete to jog with it, helping her to an event win in a time of 7:17.37, two seconds ahead of Emma Tall.
  • Once again, Rolfe had a strong finish, placing fifth, while Cary finished way back in 30th. But considering Cary’s two event wins to start the competition, it was still enough for her to enter the second and final day of competition second overall, 45 points behind Rolfe.

Worth noting: Another athlete who was looking to prove herself after a disappointing 2022 season Sigmundsdottir, who suffered an ACL rupture in 2021 and failed to qualify to the CrossFit Games in her comeback attempt last year.

  • Sigmudsdottir, though, had a challenging Day 1 in Miami, starting her day with a 15th place finish. She rebounded on Event 2 with a third place finish, but then finished her day with an 18th and a 10th place finish. She heads into Day 2 in 10th overall, way back of the podium.

The top-five athletes after the opening day:

1. Emily Rolfe – 344 points

2. Emma Cary – 299 points

3. Paige Powers – 294 points

4. Sydney Michalyshen – 285 points

5. Elisa Fuliano – 283 points

The big picture: Although Rolfe is sitting pretty with a 45-point lead, there are still 400 points up for grabs on Friday, so there’s plenty of opportunity for Cary to make another big move. Furthermore, only 21 points separate Paige Semenza in eighth overall and Powers in third, suggesting Friday’s race for the podium is going to be an exciting one.

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