In what has been acknowledged as the toughest day in competition for many of the athletes at the 2015 CrossFit Games, Day 2 saw tears and frustration sewn together with grit, determination and a whole lot of heart.
Here is a closer look at how Day 2 of the 2015 CrossFit Games unfolded:
The men and women took on Murph, a hero workout designed to honor Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in action in 2005. The grueling workout, no doubt completed by athletes numerous times, was made more challenging by the custom designed weighted vest worn by each athlete. With a 12:30pm kickoff (PT time) for the men and 1:30pm for the women, the searing California sun ensured the event would present once of the most serious tests of fitness, endurance, and physical capacity.
They don’t call her the engine for nothing. Sam Briggs, the 2013 champ, certainly lived up to her name in the extra-human performance. Briggs, no stranger to weighted vest workout, kept composed and methodical on the 100 pullups, 200 pushups and 300 squats as well as keeping a tight paced on the mile runs which began and closed the event with a blistering time of 30:10. It was Aussie rookie Alethea Boon who came in second with an equally impressive 40:33 with Norwegian Kristin Holte close behind in 40:39.
Icelandic athlete Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson was the standout performer in the men’s competition, finishing Murph in a time of 38:36 with a steady pace and clean reps clearly his winning formula. 2014 Games runner-up Mat Fraser finished second with 39:20. Fraser typically known for his barbell work proving he is a dangerously good contender for that top podium spot. Close behind Fraser was Noah Ohlsen in a time of 39:33 to secure his best finish so far at the 2015 games.
While the winners of Murph gained well-deserved cheers, it was the next few waves of athletes that gained the attention of the crowds, both in the stadium and at home. In the women’s competition, during the last mile run, Kara Webb was seen to be visibly disoriented. She pushed on, however, and ended up collapsing on the finish line and immediately taken away by medical staff on a stretcher. 2011 and 2012 CrossFit Games champ Annie Thorisdottir also slowed to a walk and failed to complete the course.
Women Event 3 Results:
1. Sam Briggs
2. Alethea Boon
3. Kristin Holte
5. Kari Pearce
Men Event 3 Results:
2. Mathew Fraser
3. Noah Ohlsen
5. Jonne Kosk
The Snatch Speed Ladder
The Speed Clean Ladder from the 2014 Games was one of the crowd favorite. The speed lifting event returned again this year, this time in the form of the Snatch in an event which ruthlessly eviscerated the leaderboard.
The exhaustion of Murph completed just hours earlier clearly took its effect on both the men’s and women’s competitors. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Kara Webb, two favourites for the event, did not make it beyond the quarter final. Similarly, Noah Ohlson and Dan Bailey both failed to progress beyond the first round.
The final heats did deliver fireworks, however, with Games rookie Brooke Ence winning the stacked women’s final. After missing the final lift, her second attempt at the weight was perfect and saw her win an event at the Games, a massive achievement for any athlete no less a rookie. Iceland’s Katrin Davidsdottir took second and Nicole Holcomb from the Central region took out third place.
In the men’s half, we saw a blistering fight between previous Olympic lifting specialist Mat Fraser and seven-time Games competitor Ben Smith. However, it was Jon Pera, the LA County Sheriff Deputy, who snuck past both of them to steal the show and win the final heat.
Women Event 4 Results:
1. Brooke Ence
4. Elisabeth Akinwale
5. Michele Letendre
Men Event 4 Results:
1. Jon Pera
2. Ben Smith
3. Mathew Fraser
5. Chad Melton
Keeping to the ‘Hero Friday’ tradition initiated at this year’s regionals, Dave Castro announced the third and final event of Day 2 would be the Hero Workout ‘DT’. As athletes began to leave the stadium following the announcement Dave Castro, revealed he would be shifting the format of the workout which is normally 5 rounds of 12 Deadlifts, 9 Hang Power Cleans and 6 Push Jerks at 155lb/70kg for men 110lb/50kg for women. Castro informed them that he would leave it up to the fans to decide, via the @crossfitgames twitter feed, whether DT should be done at a heavier weight or doubled to 10 rounds. The fans opted to watch their athletes contend with heavy weights increasing to 205lb/92kg for the men and 145lb/65kg for the women.
The volume of the day became evident at the grip strength and general fatigue visibly affecting athletes.
Rookie phenom Sara Sigmundsdottir blasted through the workout in a blistering time 8:25. Katrin Davidsdottir finished almost a minute later at 9:18 with another rookie Whitney Gelin 9:46. Special mention must go to Annie Thorisdottir managing a 4th place in the event after a very shaky start to the day in Murph.
In the men’s half it was the Ben Smith show, with the Games veteran managing to hold off Mat Fraser to win the event in a time of 7:55 with Fraser struggling to keep pace finishing in 8:33. Crowd favorite Scott Panchik starting to make his way back up the leader board after a slow start completed the event in 3rd place. Fraser managed to retain his overall lead with Smith ending the day second overall..
Women Event 5 Results:
1. Ragnheiður Sara Sigmundsdottir
3. Whitney Gelin
4. Annie Thorisdottir
5. Emily Abbott
Men Event 5 Results:
1. Ben Smith
2. Mathew Fraser
3. Scott Panchik
4. Rob Forte
5. Aaron Hanna