For the 10th anniversary of the Crossfit Games, Dave Castro took it back to its birthplace: The Ranch in Aromas, California. Athletes were given a packing list the night before with instructions meet with their judges at 3:30AM. No further instructions. After being bussed to LAX, they boarded a chartered flight to San Jose, and arrived at The Ranch for the announcement of Events 1 and 2.
Events 1 and 2 were repeats from 2009, a 7k trail run followed by a deadlift ladder. The men and women ran the trail together with Mat Fraser taking the event win for the men and Sam Briggs taking the win for the women. Fraser has placed second for the last two years and after missing the title by a few points last year, he is making a statement on day one. With a time of 34:10, he was over a minute ahead of second place finisher, Josh Bridges (35:30). Naturally, Fraser and Bridges were the only two athletes to beat the Engine from England; Briggs beat all the women and 38 of the men with a time a time of 36:08.
Event 2, the Ranch Deadlift Ladder, started 10 minutes after the last athlete completed the run in reverse order of completion; the last person to finish Event 1 was the first person to start Event 2. One deadlift was performed every 30 seconds through a series of 20 barbells increasing in weight. The men started at 425lbs with ten pounds added every round to the final 615lbs bar; the women deadlifted 275lbs through 415lbs. Sam Dancer, who placed last in the run was the only man to successfully complete the ladder. Lucas Parker also had a great performance in Event 2 as he moved methodically through the weights, executed his lifts, and sat on the end of the barbell to stretch his legs. His routine was good enough for third overall with a 585lbs deadlift. Fan favorite, Brooke Wells, placed 37th in Event 1 but was the only woman to complete the deadlift ladder. Wells is known for the impressive numbers she puts up in all her lifts and was a favorite to win this event.
Event 3 was announced to be a mini chipper consisting of 50 wall balls, 25 medicine ball GHD sit ups, and a medicine ball hill sprint, 20lbs medicine ball for the women and 30lbs for the men. Former champion, Annie Thorisdottir, took the win in Event 3 with a time of 4:28. Although Fraser was the first to complete the wall balls, Brent Fikowski took the lead on the GHD sit ups and held on to it for the event win.
Top Five After Day One
1) Annie Thorisdottir
2) Sam Briggs
3) Tia-Clair Toomey
4) Tennil Reed
5) Sara Sigmundsdottir
1) Mat Fraser
2) Patrick Vellner
3) Brent Fikowski
4) Alex Vigneault
5) Alex Anderson
2015 champions, Ben Smith and Katrin Davidsdottir, are sitting in 13th and 11th, respectively, after the first day of competition. Smith had three finishes outside the top ten but nothing worrisome; although Davidsdottir had strong finishes in Events 1 and 3, her 295lbs deadlift was only good enough for 38th overall. 2014 champion, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, sits in 28th place with two finishes in the bottom half. Kara Webb didn’t have a particularly bad day but she’s in 18th overall (maybe it’s a sign because the last two years she’s ended the first day in the top spot and look how that turned out).
Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson, who joined his two Icelandic countrywomen on the podium in 2015, finished day one in 7th place with his best finish being in Event 3. He is followed by Bridges in 8th, who didn’t qualify last year and came back with something to prove. Noah Ohlsen is a favorite to podium but is currently in 19th with two finishes in the bottom half. The most surprising is Jonne Koski in last place. Koski finished 9th in 2015 and led the competition straight out of the water (literally). However, there’s four days of competition left with many leaderboard shake ups along the way.
Day one saw Castro rip the competitors away from their coaches and out of their comfort zone. Day two begins with an ocean swim and…that’s all we know.
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