Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr and Jeff Adler Take Event One at Rogue Invitational
After you win the CrossFit Games, the expectation is you will win again. That’s the kind of pressure both Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr and Jeffrey Adler had going into the Rogue Invitational in Austin, TX this weekend.
They both answered the call on Thursday evening, picking up event wins to kick off the four-day competition.
The details: Event one was a one mile ruck (100/80 pounds), followed by an 800-meter ruck run (45/30 pounds), followed by a one mile run, with a sled bag pull to finish (125/100 pounds).
On the women’s side, all eyes were on Toomey-Orr making her competition debut after giving birth to a baby girl in May, and the reigning Fittest Woman on Earth Laura Horvath.
- Horvath put forth a solid performance (fourth), especially on a running event which isn’t normally one of her strengths, but she was no match for Toomey-Orr, who led all competitors in a time of 20:24.
- Toomey-Orr called her win “absolutely crucial” in a post-test interview, as with only nine events, “You gotta capitalize on every event,” she said.
Worth noting: While it was no surprise to see Toomey-Orr win a run event, Poland’s Gabriela Migala managed to hang close to Toomey-Orr throughout the test, finishing just 13 seconds behind. Further, Migala also edged out Emily Rolfe, the winner of the 5-km cross country run from last summer’s Games.
On the men’s side, it was 2023 Games rookie Jelle Hoste who led the field much of the race, but Adler stayed close on his heels throughout, as if he was just waiting for his moment to pounce. That moment came during the end of the final one mile run; Adler passed Hoste and picked up the test win.
- Other top contenders, Roman Khrennikov and Brent Fikowski placed third and fourth respectively, while 2022 CrossFit Games bronze medalist Ricky Garard, who withdrew from the 2023 season due to a shoulder injury, finished eighth.
What about Pat? The current second fittest man in the world Pat Vellner, not known to excel at long runs, finished 13th out of 20 competitors and will have some work to do on Friday to get himself back into a podium position.
The big picture: With an absolutely stacked field on both the men’s and women’s side at the Rogue Invitational, the battle has just begun. But judging by the confident statement Toomey-Orr and Adler made on Thursday, they have to be considered the favorites.
Not even six months postpartum, Toomey-Orr never had a doubt: “I was adamant I was coming back at the Rogue Invitational and I made it happen,” she said.