Canadian PB&J Reigns Supreme With 2023 TYR Wodapalooza Title
The 2023 TYR Wodapalooza came to a close on Sunday, January 15, with three final events for the elite teams. The final day came down to an intense battle between three heavy hitters, but Canadian PB&J put on a strong showing and locked up the TYR Wodapalooza title.
One big thing: The first team event began without some big names. Smith Bros pulled out of the competition before the start of Holds and Climbs due to Alec Smith suffering an injury. This left a big hole in Lane 6.
Event 4: Holds and Climbs – This event was all about communication and grip strength. The athletes started with 48 synchronized hang cleans. One athlete had dumbbells, one had kettlebells, and one had a barbell. The teams then had to complete 48 synchronized shoulder-to-overhead with the same implements. Finally, they had to complete 48 synchronized thrusters.
To add to the complexity, there was an additional movement between each round of synchronized lifts. One athlete headed to the rope for 12 climbs while his partners stood by holding two of the implements.
- There was one team that jumped out to an early lead in the final heat. Team Panchik–Tudor Magda, Spencer Panchik, and Jacob Heppner–took control on the opening set of synchronized hang cleans.
- Team Panchik maintained this advantage over the field as Canadian PB&J–Patrick Vellner, Jeffrey Adler, and Brent Fikowski, tried to reel them in.
- Canadian PB&J and Team Panchik actually traded the lead several times during the 48 synchronized thrusters. However, it was Team Panchik that ultimately crossed the finish line first for its first event win.
- Canadian PB&J crossed the finish line second while keeping a stranglehold on the points lead. Good Dudes took third and remained in contention for a strong finish to the weekend.
- One major surprise was the reigning TYR Wodapalooza championship team. The Boyz entered the final day second in the points, but they finished sixth in the event. This dropped them to 27 points below Canadian PB&J and helped Team GOWOD move a little closer to a proverbial silver medal.
- Similarly, King BK & Friends also struggled mightily on the final set of thrusters before finishing eighth in the event. Khan Porter needed some assistance getting his dumbbells into the right position, which created questions from the broadcasters about a previous elbow injury. However, he went on to complete the weekend without further issues.
Event 5: 3, 2, 1 Lift Off – The second event of the day was a pure test of strength. The first athlete had to complete a three-rep max overhead squat while the second athlete had to complete a two-rep max front squat. The final athlete had to do a one-rep max shoulder-to-overhead. All three weights were put together for one total score.
- The expectation was that Roman Khrennikov, Chandler Smith, Tola Morakinyo, Jeffrey Adler, Nick Mathew, and other veteran athletes would put up some big numbers. They did not disappoint during an intriguing event.
- Adler hit 381 on his shoulder-to-overhead, which was a PR, while Khrennikov hit 367 to score some crucial points. Both teams needed to keep in contention for podium spots, and they did exactly that with their big lifts. Canadian PB&J hit 1,088 pounds while Team GOWOD hit 1,075, which were good enough for fourth and seventh, respectively.
- Meanwhile, Morakinyo stunned the crowd with 407 pounds on his shoulder-to-overhead. He celebrated by dropping the bar and throwing his hands in the air. This was enough to help King BK & Friends lock up 1,027 total pounds and stay in fourth place entering the final event.
- While these three teams made big moves, the defending champions had a rare misstep. The Boyz only put up 765 pounds after Ohlsen was unable to complete either of his overhead squats. This was 40th overall in the event, and it dropped The Boyz below Team GOWOD in the standings.
- Interestingly, a team trying to avoid the cut won the event. Invictus Tiny Dancers put up a total of 1,155 pounds while facing immense pressure, which topped the previous best set by Team Mexico (1,115). This locked up 100 points and launched them above the cutline.
- The driving force behind this win was Sam Dancer. The only man to clear the deadlift ladder at The Ranch during the 2016 CrossFit Games has a reputation for big lifts. He proved this to be true during an early heat with his 420-pound front squats.
Event 6: Sync Up and Squat – The final event of the TYR Wodapalooza had a whopping 200 points available as it took place over two parts. Part A featured three pairs of teammates completing different movements.
They started with 60 synchronized toes-to-bar and 50 box jump-overs (30 inches). The next pair then completed synchronized 60-meter single-arm dumbbell overhead walking lunges (80 pounds) and 50 dumbbell bench press reps. The final pair completed 50 synchronized heavy wall ball shots (30 pounds) and 50-meter handstand walks. Though the teammates could swap during the sets of 50.
Part B consisted of three movements. The athletes started with 33 synchronized single-arm dumbbell snatches (80 pounds) before continuing with 22 calories on the Assault bike (relay style). They then completed the workout with 33 synchronized lateral burpees over the dumbbell.
- Good Dudes entered Part A in seventh place on the leaderboard. They needed a lot of points, and they secured them by going unbroken on the wall ball shots and winning the event. This locked up 100 points and put them within striking distance of the podium.
- Team Panchik entered the event fifth on the leaderboard. They also put on a very strong performance while finishing second overall in Part A and continuing a big Sunday.
- The final part was a sprint to the end as every team tried to deliver a win. The Boyz, Team GOWOD, Good Dudes, and Canadian PB&J were all rep-for-rep on the final set of burpees with none of the teams gaining any advantage.
- It appeared that The Boyz were going to steal the event, but the judge sent Ohlsen back for leaving his dumbbell too early. This opened up the door for Team GOWOD to initially win the event and for Canadian PB&J to finish second overall.
- The team of standout Canadian athletes entered the final event with a sizable lead on the leaderboard. They then went out and did exactly what they needed to and secured the TYR Wodapalooza title.
A late change: The event came to an end with Team GOWOD crossing the finish line first, but the leaderboard changed to show that The Boyz were the event winners. Team GOWOD dropped to second while Canadian PB&J dropped to third.
This resulted in them receiving 100 points, but it did not change the leaderboard. Team GOWOD still locked up second place overall. There were no details provided about the scoring change or the dispute by The Boyz.
The top-five teams at the end of the TYR Wodapalooza:
- Canadian PB&J – 634 points
- Team GOWOD – 605 points
- The Boyz – 604 points
- Good Dudes – 543 points
- Team Panchik – 534 points
A war of attrition: There were concerns throughout the weekend about the toll on the athletes. The broadcasters wanted to know if those that pulled double duty could hold up. Canadian PB&J shut this discussion down as the team delivered top-five finishes in all but one event.
Fikowski and Vellner were not the only athletes to turn in strong performances while pulling double-duty. Roman Khrennikov was a shining example throughout the weekend. He finished second in the individual competition after winning four events and then his team finished second in the team competition after winning one event and delivering multiple consistent performances.
The bottom line: There was a lot of hype surrounding the team competition in the weeks leading up to TYR Wodapalooza. Everyone wanted to see the big names from CrossFit team up and go head-to-head in a different way.
There were some setbacks due to injuries and teams withdrawing, but TYR Wodapalooza still delivered in a big way. The battle between Canadian PB&J, The Boyz, and Team GOWOD was riveting to the final moment.
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