Canadian PB&J Invasion Off to Hot Start at TYR Wodapalooza

January 14, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
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The 2023 TYR Wodapalooza began on Saturday, January 14, for the stacked field of elite teams. Every group entered with the goal of taking the throne from The Boyz, but one from up north took care of business early with some consistent performances and some flashy flannel shirts. 

One big thing: There was a major change early as Scott Panchik withdrew before the first event. He explained to Morning Chalk Up that there was something going on with his knee, so the competition moved forward with Tudor Magda replacing him on Team Panchik. 

Event 1: Start Fast, Finish Faster – The opening event quickly took the athletes to the pain cave. The event featured a 13-minute time cap and two rounds with athletes taking on different challenges. Athlete A completed 42 handstand push-ups and a 420-foot shuttle run. Athlete B completed 42 pistols and a 420-foot shuttle run. Athlete C completed 42 chest-to-bar pull-ups and a 420-foot shuttle run.

The second part of the event featured the same reps of handstand push-ups, pistols, and chest-to-bar pull-ups. However, they had to complete a 240-meter sprint on the rower instead of the shuttle runs. 

  • The opening event quickly turned into a two-team battle. The Boyz – Travis Mayer, Noah Ohlsen, Chandler Smith – and Smith Bros – Ben Smith, Dane Smith, Alec Smith – jumped out to a large lead in the first round. 
  • These two teams had about a 10-rep lead over Canadian PB&J – Jeffrey Adler, Brent Fikowski, Patrick Vellner – while maintaining a blistering pace in the early movements. 
  • The Boyz had the lead, but a rare mistake by Ohlsen opened up the door for Smith Bros. He received a no-rep after starting his shuttle run instead of heading to the rower. 
  • This created one final battle between Mayer and Ben, who both went unbroken on the final set of chest-to-bar pull-ups before hitting the rower at the same time. Vellner was just behind them, but it was Mayer who ultimately crossed the finish line first out of this group.
  • There was some controversy in the final round. King BK & Friends – Tola Morakinyo, Khan Porter, Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson – actually crossed the finish line first.
  • However, the replay showed that BKG hopped on the rower at 9:30 and climbed off at 9:47, making for a theoretical 17-second 240-meter row. 
  • After several hours of work, the officials made some changes. They added roughly 22 seconds to King BK & Friends’ time, which dropped the team to sixth in the event. The Boyz took the event win while Smith Bros and Canadian PB&J finished second and third, respectively. 

Event 2: Chasing Waterfalls – The second event of the day was a two-parter with 200 possible points. The first part was a 5k run that the members of the team completed relay style. 

The second part was a three-round workout featuring 15 D-ball cleans (150 pounds), an open-water swim, and 21 D-ball squats. Each team member had to complete one round of the workout while someone else worked on the run. 

  • While Smith Bros battled with The Boyz in the first event, the situation changed during the grueling two-parter. This time, it was Canadian PB&J that went back and forth with the defending TYR Wodapalooza champs. 
  • Ohlsen and Smith led the way into the water during the first portion of the workout while Fikowski and Vellner were right on their heels. Fikowski was able to make the pass during his swim, but Vellner actually lost ground to Smith during his time in the water. 
  • The Boyz kept the strong start going by winning the three-round portion of the workout. Meanwhile, Team Training Program won the 5k portion in an earlier heat. Smith Bros finished third in that portion overall but first in their heat. Canadian PB&J finished 10th in the run and third in the three-round workout. 
  • One unfortunate storyline followed CrossFit Mayhem. The Rich Froning-led team finished 10th in the opening event and then it finished 34th and 11th in the Chasing Waterfalls workouts.  
  • The team ultimately withdrew from the competition ahead of the final event. Froning revealed in an Instagram post that Samuel Cournoyer suffered a bicep injury. The team decided it was a smarter idea to withdraw and let him heal for the full CrossFit season. 

Event 3: Sync Up and Squat – The final event of the first day was a straightforward event that required precise movements from the members of the respective teams. They had to complete 30, 20, and 10 reps of synchronized ring/bar muscle-ups and synchronized squat cleans (205 pounds) and squat snatches (165 pounds). 

  • The first two heats in the men’s division showed that there wasn’t any ground to gain in the sets of 30 or 20. Instead, the best method was to push harder on the set of 20 and try to gain any possible advantage. 
  • As evidence of this, King BK & Friends and Canadian PB&J hit the rig for the set of 20 muscle-ups at essentially the same time. They remained neck-and-neck, but Team GOWOD – Roman Khrennikov, Willy Georges, Jay Crouch – actually took the lead on the 20 cleans and snatches with a faster pace and impressive teamwork.
  • This team of standout athletes built up so much of an advantage that they were able to overcome a no-rep on the set of 10 snatches and cleans. They went on to score their first event win after finishing second in Chasing Waterfalls Part B. 
  • Canadian PB&J turned in another solid performance to cap off the opening day. The team of perennial contenders finished second in the final event and jumped to the top of the leaderboard. King BK & Friends rounded out the top three. 
  • The Boyz needed a strong performance to remain in contention for the title, and the team did just that. The CrossFit Games veterans finished sixth overall in the event and capped off a solid first day. 

The top-five teams at the end of the first day:

  • Canadian PB&J – 342 points
  • The Boyz – 330 points
  • Team GOWOD – 312 points
  • King BK & Friends – 307 points
  • Smith Bros – 279 points

One last note: Injuries have, unfortunately, played a role in the team competition. There were many groups that drew attention prior to the trip to Miami as CrossFit fans waited to see them in action. 

Having multiple big names such as Froning and Panchik unable to take part in TYR Wodapalooza certainly took away from the festive atmosphere. The event lost a little luster as the legends of the sport stepped away. 

The bottom line: The TYR Wodapalooza continues on Sunday, January 15, with three more events. One of these is a heavy lifting event while another is a two-parter. There are 400 points on the table, so the title could go to any number of teams. 

This is exciting news for CrossFit enthusiasts. The battles between the top male teams provided no shortage of fireworks on the opening day, and this should only continue as they all face raised stakes.

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