Cuts, cuts, cuts, and more cuts. Day 3 at the 2019 CrossFit Games started with some heartbreak as fans watched many of their favorites fail to make the cut to the top 10 after the Sprint event.
Included in the cut were the likes of Patrick Vellner, Brooke Wells, Annie Thorisdottir, Cole Sager, and Sara Sigmundsdottir.
The cuts to 10 were met with mixed reactions from fans and athletes as well, most notably with field leader Tia-Clair Toomey making a comment about it following her Split Triplet win. Regardless of emotions from fans and athletes, the Games continued. Before we get into the other events let’s go back and recap the Sprint event.
On the men’s side Noah Ohlsen started the day with the leader jersey, narrowly ahead of Mat Fraser by two points. The Sprint event worked like a bracketed tournament, with athletes advancing to the semifinals and finals based on their times in each of their heats.
Many expected Fraser to come out and dominate this event based on his past performances on sprint events, but in a shocking turn of events Fraser failed to make it to the finals heat. Patrick Vellner, who needed to do very well on this event to have a hope of making the top 10, received a 10-second penalty during his run for stepping out of his lane. The penalty effectively ended his hopes of advancing to the next event.
Just five athletes advanced to the final heat of the Sprint event: Noah Ohlsen, Will Moorad, Matt Mcleod, Saxon Panchik, and Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson. The race for the top spot was tight with everyone crossing the line nearly simultaneously, but the event win went to Panchik.
On the women’s side, Toomey came into the day in first by 22 points. Fan favorite Brooke Wells, much like Patrick Vellner, found herself the victim of a 10-second penalty due to stepping out of her lane. Wells, who entered Day 3 in seventh, found herself on the opposite side of the cut thanks to the penalty. Icelandic powerhouses Sigmundsdottir and Thorisdottir also missed out on the final heat, effectively ruining their chances of advancing to the next event. Last year’s runner-up, Laura Horvath also failed to make the final heat and survive the cut.
In the final heat it was a showdown between Jaime Green, Kristin Holte, Tia-Clair Toomey, Thuridur Helgadottor, and Carolyne Prevost. After the dust settled at the finish line, it was Holte in first and Prevost in second. Prevost, however, still didn’t accumulate enough points to make the top 10 and was cut following the event.
The teams also completed a version of the Sprint event with teams competing in relay fashion. Following this event, the team field was cut to just nine teams. In the final heat, it came down to Krypton, Mayhem, Alioth, Don’t Stop, and Invictus X with Krypton and Alec Smith’s incredible speed taking the win.
The second event of the day for the individuals brought out the pegboard and some unconventional dumbbell movements: split clean and jerks and split snatches. Called the Split Triplet, this event was all about pacing and grip.
On the men’s side Fraser claimed the top time, but the more exciting race was between Noah Ohlsen and Gudmundsson. In the final round, both men were neck and neck, but Ohlsen slipped coming down from his pegboard ascent and had to redo the rep, allowing Gudmundsson to pick up a lead. Ohlsen kept his cool, however, and turned up his pace on the split dumbbell clean and jerks to claim second place on the event.
On the women’s side, Toomey made her dominance even more known, taking the lead early and holding onto a pace that nobody else could match. Kari Pearce, who has looked phenomenal all weekend, finished in second. Behind her in third was none other than two-time Fittest Woman on Earth Katrin Davidsdottir, who narrowly missed the cut to 10. With a third-place finish in this event, Davidsdottir rocketed herself from ninth place into the top five.
The teams had a much different second event on Day 3. Titled the "Big Chipper," teams had to complete a massive workout involving snail jump-overs, curd cleans, axle-bar deadlifts, and other movements in a 25-minute time cap. Mayhem continued their dominant run for the title, winning their fourth event of the Games. OC3 Black finished in second. Krypton, who won the Sprint Relay earlier in the day, found themselves in dead last. This was the final event for the teams on Day 3.
The final event for Day 3 brought us back under the lights in the coliseum for a good ole “clean off.” With ascending weight on the barbells, athletes had to complete a one-rep clean at each weight to advance to the next heavier barbell. For the men, the battle came down to just Fraser and Panchik duking it out on the final barbells. Panchik failed to complete the 380-pound bar and Fraser in the most Fraser way possible hyped up the crowd and stood up 380.
The march to reclaim the leader jersey is in full swing for Fraser. Fraser trails Ohlsen by 15 points heading into the final day. Can Noah hold him off, or will Fraser claim his fourth title? Odds are on Fraser, but Ohlsen isn’t going to make it easy.
The women’s clean event ultimately came down to powerhouse Amanda Barnhart and the reigning champ Toomey. The pair left the rest of the competition behind on the 230-pound bar and worked their way all the way up to 260 pounds! The event as written only had the weights for the women written up to 260 pounds. With both Barnhart and Toomey easily cleaning 260, Castro made the call to have them advance to 265. Barnhart failed to make the lift, putting all eyes on Toomey. Toomey stepped up to the challenge and finished the clean, extending her lead to 85 points heading into Sunday.
Can anyone catch the champ, or will Toomey succeed in making history and claiming her third straight title?
With the exception of knowing there’s a water-based event, we still have no clue what events are planned for Sunday. The uncertainty of events and the new point system make it impossible to write anyone off. For the first time in a while, the final day at the Games are hard to predict. We hope you’re as excited as we are to see how this show wraps up!