CrossFit Games

Jeffrey Adler Captures Opening Day of North America East Semifinal

May 19, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
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The first week of Semifinals kicked off on May 18th with events in North America and Africa. Veteran NOBULL CrossFit Games competitor Jeffrey Adler delivered a standout performance on the opening day of individual competition and put himself atop the leaderboard in Orlando, FL. 

Event 1: Event 1 was all about endurance. The athletes had 30 minutes to complete 3,000  meters on Echo Bike, a hand-over-hand pull (84 feet), 2000 meters on the Assault AirRunner, a hand-over-hand pull (84 feet), 1,000 meters on the SkiErg, and a hand-over-hand pull (92 feet). 

  • Alex Vigneault, who was in the first heat due to some issues in Quarterfinals, put the sport on notice early. He set the time to beat at 22:57.04, and then he told broadcaster Adrian Conway that he would be in the “right heat” on Saturday. It was the ultimate mic drop moment for the Canadian. 
  • This time remained the best in the field until the heavy hitters took the competition floor for the final heat. This is when James Sprague and Jayson Hopper put on an absolute show. 
  • These two men blew through the event and put themselves on pace to beat Vigneault. It was Sprague who had the lead during the final pull, but he had a disastrous moment as his sled tipped over. He had to run out onto the floor and put it right side up. 
  • Hopper held on and kept moving methodically. He was able to yank his sled across the finish line first with a time of 22:18.87. Sprague finished his own pull at 22:32.21 to take second. 
  • Vigneault, Hopper, and Sprague were the talk of the event, but there was another competitor who just quietly delivered a strong finish. Roman Khrennikov pulled his sled across the finish line at 22:55.34, which secured third place ahead of Vigneault. 
  • Adler, for comparison, posted the sixth-fastest time in the opening event, 23:56.38, which put him in striking distance of a podium spot. He would later capitalize on the opportunity he created. 

Event 2: While Event 1 was long and grueling, Event 2 consisted of three, three-minute AMRAPs with one minute of rest between each. The athletes had to complete a “buy-in” of five ring complexes (one toe-to-ring, one muscle-up, one ring dip) before they took on 20 single-leg squats and max burpees over box in the remaining time. They had to complete the entire sequence while wearing a 20-pound ruck.

  • Once again, Vigneault jumped out to a quick lead. He took the competition floor in the first heat, and he set the score to beat. He completed 40 burpees over the box and took his second heat win of the day. No other athlete in this opening heat completed more than 27 burpees. 
  • Connor Duddy was the first competitor to take over the top spot on the leaderboard. He completed two more burpees than Vigneault to win his heat, but Benoit Boulanger quickly topped it with 46 burpees. 
  • Will Moorad delivered a strong performance of his own in the penultimate heat. He went unbroken on the ring complex and managed to work his way through 48 total burpees. This set the standard for the final heat. 
  • Noah Ohlsen jumped out to the lead on the first set of pistols during the final heat, but Adler kept pace with him throughout the opening AMRAP. The two men then continued trading the lead in the final two rounds while Dallin Pepper remained in pursuit.  
  • Adler was faster on the final ring complex, but Ohlsen had a better pace during the pistols. The event win came down to the final set of burpees over box, which Adler used to cap off a strong day as he hit 53 total. Ohlsen finished second as the only other athlete to complete 50 burpees. 
  • The second-place finish was significant for Ohlsen. He only secured 14th place in the opening event, which put him at a points disadvantage. Finishing second in Event 2 put him all the way up to sixth place after one day of competition. 
  • Hopper, the winner of Event 1, was not able to fully keep his momentum. He finished 11th overall in Event 2, and he dropped to second in the standings after the first day. He is now 15 points back of Adler. 

Worth noting: As the broadcast noted, Adler was one athlete that did not test these events before heading to Orlando. He did not have the ability to properly recreate the different movements requirements, nor did he have the standards for Event 2. 

This lack of rehearsal did not negatively affect Adler. He went out and delivered a strong finish in the opening event before winning the second. This set him up for the final two days and a potential return to the NOBULL CrossFit Games.  

The bottom line: With two individual events complete, the top athletes competing in Orlando are ready for another difficult day of competition. They will take on two events, one of which is a two-part affair. The first event, in particular, should only help Adler stack more points. 

Semifinals Linda will be the first event of the day. This will task the athletes with completing a descending number of reps (10-1) of deadlifts (295 pounds), dumbbell bench presses (90 pounds), and squat cleans (145 pounds). They have to complete all of the reps in 17 minutes. 

Event 4-5 is a quick, two-parter. The athletes must first complete an 800-meter run before setting a max snatch. They have six minutes to complete these movements. Once the first part is complete, they will rest for two minutes. 

The second part of the event consists of eight snatches (185 pounds) and an 800-meter run. Once again, they will have six minutes to complete all of the movements.

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