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Twelve More Athletes Secure CrossFit Games Tickets

Morning Chalk Up

June 7   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Both the Fittest in Cape Town and the Granite Games wrapped over the weekend, we recap all the action.
  • Police officer Johnny Hunka uses CrossFit to battle PTSD, places second in inaugural Occupational Games.
  • Nicole Mghenyi showcases strength at Granite Games, secures Last Chance Qualifier spot.

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

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Other big news from the weekend:

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  Granite Games Final Recap: Epic Finishes and Close Races Across the Board Cap Off an Entertaining Weekend 

Granite Games Final Recap: Epic Finishes and Close Races Across the Board Cap Off an Entertaining Weekend

For the individuals, the third and final day of competition featured three 100 point events and therefore a plethora of opportunities for big moves to be made. Several would-be Games rookies had their eyes on those coveted top five spots, while Games veterans were also lurking just outside the top five knowing they too held their fate in their own hands.

Events Five and Six

Starting things off were a pair of events in “Back to Back 1 and 2,” and while some athletes excelled in one and struggled on the other, a few individuals capitalized with impressive event finishes on both workouts.

  • For the women it was all about Arielle Loewen, winning both parts of a back to back workout is typically not something anyone is capable of doing. This was reminiscent of Katrin Davidsdottir on Ringer 1 and Ringer 2 at the Games in 2019. Loewen’s performance bumped her into the overall lead heading into the last event.
  • On the men’s side Tim Paulson did nearly the same thing; taking third on event five and winning event six vaulted him all the way into second place heading into the final.
  • Caroline Conners held a three point lead over Nicole Mghenyi, and a fifteen point lead over Kristi Eramo O’Connell. Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Rogelio Gamboa entered twelve points clear of Nick Mathew for the final Games position.
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Good News is our weekly round-up of positive stories around the affiliate community. Are you opening a new gym, expanding a current location, offering new classes, or is your box running a fundraiser? Send us a tip to be featured.

  • No Surrender CrossFit Blood Drive: In Covington, LA, No Surrender CrossFit held a blood drive to help the seven-year-old son of one of the gym’s community members who was recently diagnosed with Leukemia.
  • Atlanta Masters Classic: Registration for the Atlanta Masters Classic is open now through June 13. The event, which will be held at CrossFit Conyers-Stonecrest, takes place Saturday, June 25.
  • Rockingham CrossFit Celebrates Community: To celebrate the athletes who supported them through the last year and persevered with their fitness, Rockingham CrossFit hosted a CrossFit Open event with a DJ, event lighting and a competition atmosphere. Watch a video of the event.
  • WOD-a-Lupe Fundraiser: The Athletic Lab South Wake community in Holly Springs, NC held a fundraiser on Friday to benefit a member of their community, Lupe Howell, who was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer in mid-April. The community also started a GoFundMe for her and have raised more than $13,000 so far..
  Fittest in Cape Town Final Recap: Smith, Basnett and Eikestad Mighty Oaks Head to the CrossFit Games 

Fittest in Cape Town Final Recap: Smith, Basnett and Eikestad Mighty Oaks Head to the CrossFit Games

Two more individuals and a team can now start making their travel plans for Madison, WI. Jason Smith, Michelle Basnett and CrossFit Eikestad Mighty Oaks will be representing the continent of Africa at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games as they each finished atop the podium at the Fittest in Cape Town on Sunday.

With just one Games invitation available for the winners of each division and three Last Chance Qualifier spots available on the individual side, it was an exciting final day of action inside the Woodmill Lifestyle Market in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The women’s division:

Michelle Basnett may have dual citizenship as an American but will represent South Africa in Madison at the end of July. The 24-year old will make her Games debut after keeping her Day 2, 32-point lead over Dina Swift.

  • Basnett started the day off with an event win in “Pinball,” her second event win of the weekend. She finished the grueling chipper in 12:05, :11 second ahead of Swift.
  • The win all but sealed the Games berth for her and she ended the weekend with a ninth place in “The Frinals” giving her top-ten finishes in all seven workouts.
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  One Officer’s Take: How CrossFit Can Help Overcome PTSD, Change Public Perception of Police 


One Officer’s Take: How CrossFit Can Help Overcome PTSD, Change Public Perception of Police

For Johnny Hunka, PTSD doesn’t stem from one single event in his career as a police officer in Truro, Nova Scotia.

Sure, there was the time in 2014 when the 15-year cop ran into a burning building to save a woman’s life before holding his breath and running through flames and smoke to save his own life. And there was the time when he went to a call to discover a man whose legs had been severed by a train.

However, it wasn’t really about that one incident, he explained.

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  Nicole Mghenyi Showcases Strength at Granite Games, Secures Last Chance Qualifier Opportunity 

Nicole Mghenyi Showcases Strength at Granite Games, Secures Last Chance Qualifier Opportunity

The third and final day of The Granite Games came to an end on Sunday afternoon, sending five athletes from each individual division to the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Nicole Mghenyi entered the afternoon with the opportunity to reach Madison, barely missing the cutoff spot in the final event. However, she walks away with a spot in the Last Chance Qualifier.

Remind me: A former member of OC3 Black, Mghenyi reached the CrossFit Games in 2019. The team finished fourth overall on the strength of six top-five finishes, including second in the BIg Chipper. Now Mghenyi is competing as an individual while working as a registered nurse.

  • Mghenyi finished 141st in the 2021 Open worldwide, 74th in North America. This performance locked up a spot in the Individual Quarterfinals and set her on a quest to reach Madison.
  • There were several athletes with the opportunity to reach Semifinals in the female division. Mghenyi was among this group, and she finished 31st in North America in the Individual Quarterfinals.
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  Nicole Mghenyi Showcases Strength at Granite Games, Secures Last Chance Qualifier Opportunity 

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The Three Stages of Training Fatigue

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Rowing Intervals Against the Clock

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Grilled Strip Steak with Blistered Green Beans and Tomatos

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Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

12/3 - 12/4: Torino Challenge (Moncalieri (TO), Italy)
12/3: Reindeer Rumble (Ocala, FL)
12/9 - 12/11: Fall Series Throwdown (Desio, Italy)
12/17: The Midwest Championship (Warrensburg, MO)
1/15 - 1/31: Athens Throwdown Qualifiers (Athens, Greece)
1/21 - 1/22: Modena Challenge: Beginner and Master (Modena, Italy)

See all upcoming events

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