What a first week! We saw some of the most dominant performances at Regionals, ever — especially from Katrin Davidsdottir. FIVE first place finishes…in six events! Crazy.
To start off this week, let’s see how terrible my picks were last week! Overall, I correctly picked 20 out of the 30 qualifiers. Pretty decent I think. My best region was the South Men, which I picked 5 for 5! Click here for the full breakdown of my mediocre picks by region.
If you missed the action last weekend, you can head to Games.CrossFit.com to watch replays or catch one of the video recaps.
The big stories from week 1:
- Katrin DOMINATING the East Region. Winning 5 of 6 events in any region is something special — only Mat Fraser has matched that feat. She looked like the Katrin of 2015-2016. The other female competitors should be scared right now!
- Treadmill Controversy in the East Men’s competition. In the first men’s heat, many of the comeptitior’s treadmill monitors didn’t turn on, and didn’t work at all. The backup plan was for the judges to manually count the piece of white tape on the belt of the treadmill to track their distance. Every 10 revolutions was 1/10 of a mile…you can guess how that went. Expecting judges to count this accurately for 20+ minutes was crazy. Some athletes were credited with 4 minute miles, and others took over 10 minutes for one of their miles. The big loser here was Cody Mooney, who got bounced to the sixth spot and missed qualifying, after being beaten in this event by some of the beneficiaries of the equipment failure. For reference, he got on the treadmill 5 seconds after Craig Kenney, but Kenney was credited with being 800m ahead of Mooney just 2 minutes into the run. Unreal that this sort of thing still happens at this level of competition.
- Annie Thorisdottir makes it to her 9th CrossFit Games, and wins her 5th Regional Competition! Annie is a CrossFit OG who people constantly overlook, just because she’s been around so long. She turned a lot of heads with a 3rd place finish at the Games last year. She came out in first in a stacked regional once again — hopefully nobody is writing her off this time!
Looking ahead to Week 2:
Regions on tap: Central, Latin America, West
Let’s start with the Central Region! This region is absolutely STACKED this year, especially on the Men’s side. This is perhaps the most challenging region to predict (other than 1st place), because the talent pool is chock full of Games veterans, plus some younger athletes who might shake things up.
1. Mat Fraser (duh)
2. Streat Hoerner
3. Scott Panchik
4. George Sterner
5. Alex Anderson
1. Kristi Eramo
2. Jen Smith
3. Jessica Griffith
4. Brooke Wells
5. Kelley Jackson
NOTES: I actually hope Brooke Wells doesn’t make it, after basically being given a free pass by CrossFit HQ in the Open. Long story short, she should have been given a massive penalty for no-reps in her video of 18.4, but HQ gave the now-running-joke answer of “We know she has the capacity to do the reps even if they weren’t good reps in the video, so we’re giving her the reps.”
On the guys side, I would love to see multiple Panchik brothers make it to the Games, but I’m not sure if Saxon is good enough, yet. I’m a big George Sterner fan, but he’s only 19 years old — he might need another year or two to grow before he makes the leap to the Games, but he had a ridiculously good Open, so who knows! If Mat Fraser doesn’t win the Region, I’ll do Fran in a tuxedo. I don’t see a workout that screams “Fraser won’t win this one.” Maybe the Triple Three, but then again was still top 6 in the endurance events at the Games last year. Can he go 6 for 6 this year and sweep all the events? That seems more likely, than him not winning the region.
This will be an interesting one. The new West Regional combines the old California regional with the Northwest regional. There are a ton of strong athletes who haven’t gone head to head in Regionals before, so this should be fun to watch.
1. Brent Fikowski (Calling it now — he sets the world record on Event 5)
2. Christian Lucero
3. Cody Anderson
4. Cole Sager
5. Josh Bridges
1. Chyna Cho
2. Alessandra Pichelli
3. Becca Voigt
4. Emily Abbot
5. Carleen Matthews
NOTES: I am a big Becca Voigt fan, and maybe it’s wishful thinking that she’ll make it back for her 10th Games appearance…but a guy can dream, right? I would say there’s no real favorite to win this Region for the ladies– it should be pretty wide open down to the wire! Will Brooke Ence be a factor, after taking a year off for a major surgery? Time will tell. Brent Fikowski didn’t have a great Open, but he is better suited to the Regionals and Games events. I don’t think he’ll dominate, but I think he will win with a fairly comfortable margin by the end. He knows how to bring it when game day comes. Garrett Fisher is another guy who could take a top 5 spot, but I struggle to find events that he’ll knock out of the park this year.
It should be noted that only ONE qualifier gets to the Games from this region! If you want to make it to Madison…you have to win. Latin America has seen a huge surge in CrossFit participation, so they’re getting their own regional competition — but the overall quality of competitions isn’t enough to warrant lots of Games competitors. Yet. Brazil has seen some especially astounding growth numbers in the recent years, and has some seriously talented Teen athletes coming down the pipeline.
1. Paulo Rossil
2. Brenda Castro
Lots of new faces in this Regional. Castro is looking to finally crack the Games lineup after several years coming up short in the South regional. Look for Guilherme Malheiros on the Men’s side in a couple years…he snatched 280 at the Games last year… at age 17! He missed Regionals by a handful of spots this year as an 18 year old.
That’s a wrap for this week! Can’t wait for the Central Regional action. First heats for individuals are usually around noon on Friday, but they will release the heat schedules at http://www.games.crossfit.com in a day or so. Get pumped!