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Coronavirus Outbreak in Italy Suspends Compex Box Challenge

Morning Chalk Up

February 22

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Good morning and welcome to the weekend edition of the Morning Chalk Up. Day two at Wodapalooza was packed with action, and we have a full recap below. And, the coronavirus continues to make an impact on CrossFit gyms and competitions, this time in Northern Italy. Today: 

  • Recap: Wodapalooza day two.
  • Jessica Griffith wants to punch her ticket to Madison at Wodapalooza.
  • The coronavirus shuts down a CrossFit competition in northern Italy.

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Wodapalooza Day 2 Recap

 Wodapalooza Day 2 Recap 

The narrative from day one carried over to day two of the Wodapalooza CrossFit Festival on Friday in Bayfront Park, Miami. Travis Williams continued to make his presence and level of fitness felt in the men’s division, the women’s division’s much-promised battle between Tia-Clair Toomey and Sara Sigmundsdottir continues into day three and CrossFit Mayhem Freedom remains the team to beat despite many challengers to the throne.

The men’s division:

Williams keeps on showing that despite his commitment to compete with CrossFit OC3 at the 2020 CrossFit Games, he is still a force to be reckoned with in individual competition. In the first event of the day, called “Pace Race”, he came up just 28 meters short of an event win finishing with 3,600 meters rowed. His second-straight runner-up finish gave him a 32-point lead over Cole Sager.

In event four, the “Pump Sesh Triplet”, Williams struggled under the lights of the Bayside Stage as he failed to finish the workout under the 8:00 minute time cap, finishing 12th. Sager made up 28 points with his fourth-place finish and sits just four points behind Williams.

  • Sager has finished in the top-eight in all four events with three top-four finishes. He is one of two male athletes who have finished in the top-ten in all events.
  • Patrick Vellner is the other athlete with no finishes outside the top-ten. The defending Wodapalooza champion sits in third place, just 16 points out of the lead.
  • The battle for the 2020 Games invitation could come down to a sibling rivalry. Saxon Panchik sits in fourth place, only four points ahead of twin brother Spencer. After both finished in the middle of the pack in event three, each finished in the top-five in event four. Spencer placed third and Saxon finished fifth.
  • Canadian Albert-Dominic Larouche is making a charge to earn his first-ever Games appearance. He sits in sixth just eight points behind Saxon Panchik’s Games qualifying position.
  • A pair of Games veterans who finished in the top-ten last season continued to struggle on day two. 2019 Games runner-up Noah Ohlsen is tied for seventh. After finishing second in the opening event of the competition, Adrian Mundwiler has finished 27th, 20th and 10th. The eighth “Fittest Man on Earth” last year currently sits in tenth place, 108 points behind Williams.

The women’s division:

Sigmundsdottir remains atop the leaderboard in the women’s division but she knows she’s in for a fight to keep it. Toomey is just four points behind her as both women have put on a show for the South Florida crowd.

The 2020 CrossFit Open champion, Sigmundsdottir, placed sixth in the “Pace Race” in a close contest for the event win. The difference between Katelin Van Zyl’s winning distance of 3,285 meters and Sigmundsdottir’s was 42 meters. Toomey placed 11th in the event, the worst finish she has ever had in a Sanctional.

That gave Sigmundsdottir an 18-point lead heading into event four.

Showing the drive and determination that has garnered her three-straight Games titles, Toomey stormed back and finished second in the “Pump Sesh Triplet” while Sigmundsdottir placed fifth.

  • Sigmundsdottir is the only woman not to record a finish outside the top-ten. Her worst finish after four events is sixth place.
  • Kari Pearce sits in third place, 32 points behind Sigmundsdottir. She won event four with a time of 4:44, finishing ahead of Toomey by nearly a minute.
  • After a 23rd place finish in the opening event, Amanda Barnhart has recorded three-straight finishes in the top four putting her in fourth place.
  • Haley Adams also recovered from day one struggles, finishing third and eighth in day two events. She rounds out the top five athletes in the women’s division.
  • Van Zyl currently holds onto the Games qualifying spot thanks to her event three win. She is in sixth, holding onto a four-point lead over Canadian Emily Rolfe who is also looking for the Games invite.
  • Savannah Carver withdrew from the competition after finishing second in event three.

The team division:

Mayhem Freedom may hold the lead after day two, but they have a few highly competitive teams nipping at their heels. Two “Super Teams” are pushing the four-time Games champions. Team GOWOD is just two points behind Freedom with Team Wit in third, eight points off the lead.

Team GOWOD and Wit traded places in events three and four. In the “Pace Race”, teams were split into male and female pairs and given separate scores for each. Michael Smith and Joshua Al-Chamaa won the men’s pairing for Team Wit with Luke Schafer and Streat Hoerner placing second for GOWOD. The men’s Mayhem Freedom pair of Rich Froning and Scott Panchik struggled, finishing 13th.

The women then got a chance to tackle the rower in event four. Andrea Nisler and Taylor Williamson gave GOWOD their second event win of the competition. Samantha Briggs and Harriet Roberts were runners-up for Team Wit, and the team of Chyna Cho and Tasia Percevecz placed third for Mayhem Freedom.

Both GOWOD and Wit held the overall lead heading into event five, the team “Pump Sesh Triplet”. It was all Mayhem Freedom from the outset as they were the only team to finish under the time cap.

  • Mayhem Independence currently sits in the Games qualifying spot in fourth place. Team GOWOD and Team Wit have athletes that have qualified as individuals or on other teams. Mayhem Freedom has already earned its invitation after winning at Strength in Depth.
  • Team Victory Grips is in fifth and just three points behind Independence for the Games qualifying spot.

On tap for day three: Three events are scheduled for both individuals and teams.

The top 10 overall after day 2:

  1. Sara Sigmundsdottir (344) | Travis Williams (328) | Mayhem Freedom (365)
  2. Tia-Clair Toomey (340) | Cole Sager (324) | Team GOWOD (363)
  3. Kari Pearce (312) | Patrick Vellner (312) | Team Wit (357)
  4. Amanda Barnhart (300) | Saxon Panchik (260) | Mayhem Independence (305)
  5. Haley Adams (262) | Spencer Panchik (256) | Team Victory Grips (302)
  6. Katelin Van Zyl (254) | Albert-Dominic LaRouche (252) | SugarWOD(266)
  7. Emily Rolfe (250) | Logan Collins (236) | ROMWOD Meat Squad (258)
  8. Brooke Wells (232) | Noah Ohlsen (236) | US Army Warrior Fitness Team (255)
  9. Colleen Fotsch (226) | Nycolas Joyal (224) | Blacklisted HQ (240)
  10. Jessica Griffith (220) | Adrian Mundwiler (220) | Team Soul/Luther (235)

Jessica Griffith Seeks CrossFit Games Ticket in Miami

 Jessica Griffith Seeks CrossFit Games Ticket in Miami 

Jessica Griffith ended day one at Wodapalooza in fourth place overall and in the CrossFit Games invitation spot after a tenth place finish in event one and a sixth in event two. In the Friday morning press conference, she talked a little about her Open this year and her plans going into the rest of the Sanctionals season. Here are a few quick takeaways:

  • On missing a Games invitation in the Open, Griffith said “I was the idiot who loaded the wrong weight on the clean and jerk.”
  • Remember, Griffith’s Open 20.4 workout video was rejected due to an error in loading her barbell. She took full responsibility on Instagram, noting that it was a simple math error.
  • On her Sanctionals plans, she said that while she hopes to punch her ticket to Madison at WZA, she’s “planning on going to the West Coast Classic,” and if necessary “re-evaluate after that.”

Griffith had a lot to say about her Wodapalooza story thus far, calling it “the athletes’ favorite event” of the year.

  • On the elimination-style, bike and overhead lunge workout, “Miami Heat,” Griffith said “that bike was epic!”
  • She noted that she’s loving the programming and was most looking forward to the “Pump Sesh Triplet,” a three-round workout with 18-foot rope legless rope climbs, heavy dumbbell bench press and thrusters set to close out Friday’s events.

The highs of Griffith’s day one were quickly replaced with some struggles on day two, however. In the afternoon event, the “Pace Race,” a 12-minute row for distance with a computerized pace boat that athletes had to outpace, she placed 22nd and in the evening event, she had trouble with her final legless rope climb, ultimately earning a 16th place finish. She ended the second day holding on to tenth place overall with 220 points, 30 points behind Emily Rolfe who now sits in the Games invitation spot. Colleen Fotsch, also seeking the invite is one place ahead of Griffith with 226.  

One big thing: After competing in the Games in the team division for three of the past five years and experiencing, in her own words, a variety of “plot twists” through the last few Opens, Griffith appears to be ready to make her individual return. In her own words, “I have a fire under my ass this year.”  


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Coronavirus Outbreak in Italy Suspends Compex Box Challenge

 Coronavirus Outbreak in Italy Suspends Compex Box Challenge 

The death of one citizen and 15 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in northern Italy has caused the organizers of the Compex Box Challenge to suspend their competition as the host country deals with the outbreak of the deadly virus. The international team fitness competition was originally scheduled for Feb, 22-23 in Piacenza, Italy.

What this means for CrossFit:

  • This is the first CrossFit competition outside of China, that we know of, that has been canceled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
  • The Morning Chalk Up contacted Carlo Strati, event organizer for the CrossFit Italian Showdown, to ask how this affects the Sanctional scheduled for April 24-26.
  • “On our side, everything is on track with the Italian Showdown,” commented Strati. “In fact, this year’s edition will not take place in Milan. The city of Riccione is located on the Adriatic Riviera, over 300 km from Milan, in a different region, with no restrictions so far.”
  • Milan, the second most populous city in Italy, has reported some of the confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The bottom line: Events across the globe are keeping a close eye on the situation but right now all sanctioned events, including the Italian Showdown, are set to continue.

  • Strati: “As of now we have no reason to predict any change to our event,” said Strati. “Should the situation change in the next two months, we will promptly inform you, all the registered athletes and all the spectators.”

More on this:




WOD, Tan, Laundry — Wodapalooza Day One with Rory McKernan

Rory McKernan recaps his thoughts on the first day of his first trip to Wodapalooza, joined by the Morning Chalk Up’s Tommy Marquez. The duo talks about the spectator experience, including Tommy’s run through the Gauntlet, as well as a full breakdown of the two team and individual events.

 Morning Chalk Up 



Crush WODs, Then Cans!

FITAID, your favorite clean workout recovery drink, is turning up the heat at Wodapalooza. Stop by the FITAID booth for a FREE can of FITAID or LIFEAID HEMP plus exclusive meet and greets all weekend long with: Cassidy Lance (11am-12pm on Saturday), Hannah Eden (1pm-2pm on Saturday), Luke Parker (2:30pm – 3:30pm on Sunday) | and more.

 Morning Chalk Up 


Dave Castro on Mark Bell’s Power Project Live Podcast

Director of the CrossFit Games, Dave Castro has been making the podcast rounds recently and this week appeared on the Power Project podcast for a very lengthy interview that dug deep into Castro’s career and history with the CrossFit Games.

 Morning Chalk Up 


Garlic Lime Steak and Noodle Salad

This not-really-Thai-steak salad is perfect for a group, assemble-your-own dinner. It hits all the Thai flavor notes — garlic, lime, fish sauce, peanuts, shallots and mango — without being overly concerned about authenticity. Prepare all the ingredients separately and everyone can build their own salad.





Trending Stories at the Morning Chalk Up

Here are five of the top trending stories from the past week:

  • Sara Sigmundsdottir is off to a great start this season but faces a tough test in Miami.
  • Meredith Root profiles the state of nutrition in CrossFit.
  • Wodapalooza stands out as the most inclusive functional fitness event worldwide.
  • Alexis Johnson suffers season-ending Achilles tear, plans to come back stronger.
  • Fun and fitness in the Miami heat, how WZA has become a winter destination for CrossFit fans.
  • Bonus: Justin LoFranco talks with Kristin Holte about Norway’s Sanctional and recovering from wrist surgery.
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