CrossFit Games

CrossFit Games Day Two Individual Recap

August 4, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
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Roman Khrennikov came into the day as the overall leader after an excellent performance on Day One and got a chance to take on a redux of a test that the field was supposed to tackle last year. Those who watched his post-test win interview in 2022 following “The Alpaca,” will remember he said he would’ve won it even if it had included the legless rope climbs as originally programmed. 

The sun was out this year, and the men took the field in North Park first, and Khrennikov was right.

Test 4: “The Alpaca Redux”

  • All for time:
    126-foot sled push, starting with all six kettlebells (443/546 pounds)

    Then 3 rounds of:

    2 legless rope climbs
    12 kettlebell clean and jerks
    42-foot sled push, starting with two kettlebells* (53/70 lb)

    *Add two kettlebells to the sled after each round.

3, 2, 1…Go:

It was a two-heat test, and the men had to remember that they need to get inside the top 30, as athletes are cut at the end of the day. Right off the bat, Jayson Hopper had problems pushing the sled, while Justin Medeiros was one of the first men off the first set of rope climbs, suggesting this could possibly be a good bounce-back event for him.

Sam Kwant joined him, and the men jockeyed back and forth as the test progressed. Medeiros started to slow on the sled pushes, and Jack Farlow passed him, showing off his strength on the kettlebells. He sped up on the sled push and grabbed the heat win. David Shorunke finished next, and Medeiros salvaged third in the first heat.

The second heat started with Roman Khrennikov and Dallin Pepper unloading their kettlebells first and ultimately getting right to the rope climbs. Pepper fell off slightly, and the rest of the event became a back-and-forth between Brent Fikowski and Khrennikov.

Khrennikov got his second event win of the weekend and his fourth straight event finish of fifth place or better. Fikowski had a solid second-place finish which helped him gain ground on the leaderboard–he finished ahead of several men he was chasing.

With these finishing times, this year’s version of the Alpaca took almost twice as long as last year’s.

Of note:

  • Pat Vellner suffered hand tears, failed a rope climb several times and was time capped.
  • Medeiros came away with an unofficial seventh place, which would put him safe from the first cut.


  1. Roman Khrennikov
  2. Jack Farlow
  3. Brent Fikowski


The women were up next, and Emma Cary, Ellie Turner, and Paige Semenza were first to the rope. Cary got a no rep on a climb about halfway through the workout, which allowed several women to pass her. She was left on the mat for a significant amount of time, and when she attempted again, she had another fail. Women continued to pass her, but none finished under the time cap–Abigail Domit managed to get the furthest. The failures cost Cary greatly–she finished the event in 39th place.

The crowd waited for a show from Laura Horvath in heat 2, and she was the first one to the rope, with Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir close behind. Alex Gazan began to make her move on the legless rope climbs and took a slight lead over Horvath as the event progressed. Emma Lawson quietly moved into fourth in the heat about halfway through and was joined by Emma Tall to round out the top four women with Gazan and Horvath.

It was a push to the finish between Gazan and Tall, and out of nowhere, Tall took the win. Gazan lost a shoe, shed her other one, and was told by her judge she had to put them back on to finish. It cost her precious time, but she still managed third in the event.

Of note:

  • It was the first career test win at the Games for Emma Tall.


  1. Emma Tall
  2. Laura Horvath
  3. Alex Gazan

Test 5: “Ski Bag”

  • For time:

    30-calorie SkiErg
    30 sandbag squats (125/200 pounds)
    20-calorie SkiErg
    20 sandbag squats (125/200 pounds)

    Time cap: 6 minutes

We left the heat and humidity behind for a sprint in the Coliseum, and those dangerously close to the cut line were ready to push.

3, 2, 1…Go:

Sam Kwant came out with a bang in the first heat, and he needed to, not having the week he thought he would. Kwant and Jake Douglas battled the entire event, and Kwant took it, setting a solid time to beat. The big boys continued to succeed in the second heat, with Bronislaw Olenkowicz and Jayson Hopper looking solid, joined by Will Moorad and Nick Mathew with a late push. 

Moritz Fiebig was the first man to the squats in the third heat and looked strong, but Colton Mertens, with his smaller range of motion, started to catch up and took the lead when the men moved back to the SkiErg. It was a furious race in the event’s second half, and Colton Mertens won the heat and beat Kwant’s time to move into the lead in the test. The final heat put on a show, with almost all of the men getting off the SkiErg within seconds of each other. Khrennikov headed to the last set of squats first, but Chandler Smith managed to catch him to win the heat. Mertens came away with the test win.

Of note:

  • It was Roman’s first finish of the weekend outside the top five.
  • This was Colton Mertens’ first career Games test win.


  1. Colton Mertens
  2. Sam Kwant
  3. Justin Medeiros


Only one woman finished the test in the first heat, with Ella Wunger sneaking across the finish line at the horn. All eyes were on Amanda Barnhart in Heat 2 as she came in right on the cut line. She started strong, along with Emma Cary. 

It was Barnhart and Cary, joined by Paige Semenza and Ellie Turner, who got to the midway point of the test first, and the four women raced each other to the end, with Turner being the only woman to complete the test in Heat 2. Ladies in the third heat came out itching to get into the top ten, especially Katrin Davidsdottir, who picked up the sandbag first. Olivia Kerstetter crept up on Davidsdottir, who had to drop the bag several times near the end and was the only woman to finish in the heat.

In the final heat, Laura Horvath came out angry, massacred the sandbag squats, and ran away with the heat and test. This win put her in first place overall. Alex Gazan just managed to finish as well.

Of note:

  • This was the eighth career test win at the Games for Horvath.
  • It was the second test win of the week for Horvath.
  • Only four women finished the test before the time cap.


  1. Laura Horvath
  2. Alex Gazan
  3. Olivia Kerstetter

Test 6: “Helena”

  • 3 rounds for time:

    400-meter run
    12 bar muscle-ups
    21 dumbbell snatches (35/50 pounds)

3, 2, 1…Go:

The men started staggered and took off outside. The first run was fast for all the men, and the pace stayed tight throughout the test. Cole Greashaber was the gatekeeper of the cuts, and he came out swinging in the next heat. He fell behind slightly, and the heat ended with a sprint to the finish, with Uldis Upenieks winning.

Noah Ohlson was finally permitted to come out hot, and he battled Lazar Dukic and Will Moorad for the duration of his heat. Moorad turned the jets on at the end and stole the heat win. Heat 4 started close and got chippy on the second run when rookie Jelle Hoste gave Bayley Martin a little elbow to get in front of him and Pat Vellner. It was those three men down to the wire, with Vellner executing the start of a classic Vellner comeback and winning the heat.

The final heat of the men took the floor and wearing the white leader’s jersey, Khrennikov looked strong and fast. Jeff Adler overtook Khrennikov on the second run, and as the test progressed, they were joined by Chandler Smith in the top pack. After the last run, Adler opened up a lead heading back into the Coliseum and never looked back. 

It’s jacooz time.

Of note:

  • Adler was the only man to go sub-eight minutes on the test.


  1. Jeff Adler
  2. Will Moorad
  3. Lazar Dukic


Track star Sydney Wells had a chance to shine in Heat 2, making up significant ground on every run. However, more was needed to catch the women who were faster on the gymnastics and dumbbell snatches. As Heat 3 kicked off, Ellie Turner clearly hurt as she struggled to run. Emma Cary and Elisa Fuliano led the pack for most of the test, and Cary won the heat. Turner, clearly distraught and crying, got a standing ovation as she entered the Coliseum after her final run.

The women in Heat four all started the run at a similar pace, and Jamie Simmonds, Paige Powers, and Bethany Flores separated slightly from the rest on the snatches. Simmonds held a great sense of urgency through the entire test and snagged the heat win, and set the new top time. 

The final heat took the floor with Laura Horvath wearing the leader’s jersey for the first time since her rookie season. The women returned from the run within seconds of each other, and the race stayed tight until Arielle Loewen and Emma Lawson made a small move to overtake Horvath. Horvath failed her final bar muscle-up and had to drop from the rig, allowing several women to get ahead of her. Alexis Raptis came out of nowhere to win the heat and test.

Of note:

  • Emma Lawson regained the leader’s jersey at the end of Day 2.


  1. Jamie Simmonds
  2. Emma Cary
  3. Alexis Raptis

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