Roman Khrennikov, Laura Horvath Steal Rogue Invitational Lead on Day Two
Six-time CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr and the reigning Fittest Man on Earth Jeffrey Adler have to be considered the favorites at this weekend’s Rogue Invitational in Austin, TX, but their biggest competitors are arguably the 2023 Games champion Laura Horvath and bronze medalist Roman Khrennikov.
And on Friday, Horvath and Khrennikov, who some believe would have won the Games this summer if it weren’t for his foot injury, did just enough to sneak past Toomey-Orr and Adler to take the lead on Friday evening.
Horvath leads Toomey-Orr by five points, while Khrennikov has 20 points over Adler with two full days of competition left in Austin.
On the men’s side, Adler, who started the competition with an event win on Thursday evening, placed eighth and ninth on Friday’s events, dropping him to second after Khrennikov picked up an event win on the second event of the day: three rounds of 40 calories on the Ski Erg, five single arm strongman 100-pound dumbbell shoulder to overhead and a monkey bar traverse in the Killer Cage.
Five-time Games podium finisher Pat Vellner also had a big Friday. After placing 13th on Thursday night’s running event, Vellner put forth back-to-back top three performances on Friday (second and third), helping vault him into third overall, although he is tied in points with Adler. Chandler Smith and Brent Fikowski round out the top five.
What about Ricky? After withdrawing from the 2023 season due to a shoulder injury, 2022 Games podium finisher Ricky Garard is back and said this year is “a bit of a redemption story for me.”
Being in the first heat on Friday didn’t stop Garard from picking up an event win on the first event of the day, but he struggled on the Killer Cage, finishing 18th. He heads into Saturday in ninth overall, but still just 45 points out of third.
- “I’m going to keep fighting,” he said.
On the women’s side, Horvath bested Toomey-Orr in both events on Friday, finishing second on the first one—an event featuring log muscle-ups and 15 260-pound back squats, which Horvath sped through with ease—and followed that by annihilating the Killer Cage for the event win.
Toomey-Orr looked strong on Friday, although she moved through the 260-pound back squats much slower than Horvath, possibly an indication that she likely hasn’t regained 100 percent of her strength since having a baby in May.
Looking to break through to the podium, Poland’s Gabriela Migala put forth two more consistent performances and sits in third overall—40 points behind Toomey-Orr—while 2023 CrossFit Games silver medalist Emma Lawson and Emma Cary round out the top five respectively.
The bottom line: The plot thickens after Friday’s events at the Rogue Invitational, and questions arise:
- Can the recently crowned Fittest Woman on Earth Horvath make a statement to Toomey-Orr that she can’t just cruise back to the top without a fight?
- Will Khrennikov get his redemption over Adler? Or will Vellner finally break through for the win?
Six events remain and we will have our answers.