Coming into the second half of day two, the athletes tried their best to prepare mentally for Event 4, the longest workout of the competition thus far. After a quick ice and light lunch, the competitors regrouped and headed back to the competition floor for a grinding mash up of barbell lifts and pull-ups. With the crowd still reeling from the exciting finishes in Event 3, the remainder of the day got underway.
1. Matt Brisebois (19:42)
2. Bryan Diaz (20:16)
3. Jason Hoggan (20:21)
Overall Day 2
1. Bryan Diaz
2. Jason Hoggan
3. Aja Barto
With the start of Event 4, it became clear that efficient movement would be the differentiator in a workout that would otherwise equalize any strength-focused or gymnastics-dominant men. Those with strong butterfly pull-ups found an advantage when it came to speed, and used the tool to their advantage to surpass their “regular” kipping rivals. In Heat 1, Cody Spell, Josh Hill and Bailey Rowe battled to set the bar for competitors to follow. The trio stayed within reps of each other until the final set of shoulder-to-overheads, where Cody Spell solidified his victory by pulling ahead and finishing just two reps shy of completing the full workout.
In Heat 2, Mike Wit gained some early traction, but Dillon Bramblitt eventually caught up to him. At the 15-minute mark, Bramblitt passed Witte and took the momentum with him into the remainder of the workout, launching an impressive surge to the finish line. With a time of 20:27, Bramblitt was the first competitor of the day to finish the entire workout. With Heat 3 of the Men’s event just behind him, though, the intensity in the room began to escalate. Powerful competitors Crockett Ladd and Ryan Bielefeldt fought for an advantage over one another, but it was a smaller powerhouse, Matt Brisebois, who deserved their attention. As Brisebois blew past the competition with new found confidence, he made a final statement by powering through the final 30 shoulder-to-overhead presses completely unbroken, finishing with the fastest time of the day at 19:42.
As the day drew to a close, the top 12 contenders for the Games geared up for their fourth event. Spectators cheered as favorites like Bryan Diaz, Aja Barto, Jason Hoggan and Paul Smith entered the Coliseum. The crowd continued to roar as the top finishers progressed through the demanding stages of the workout. On the last set of pull-ups, Hoggan managed to gain on Diaz who was leading the pack up to that point. From there, the pair went on to a dramatic race to the end. “It helps having someone like Bryan Diaz in front of you who you’re chasing,” Hoggan said about the back and forth. “I thought for sure he was going to smoke those [last set of] pull-ups. When I started to pass him, it was like go time.”
With similar thoughts, the crowd got louder than they had all day as Hoggan, Diaz and three other competitors reached the final shoulder-to-overhead stage at the same time to battle for the win. Continuing with his impressive performance throughout the event, though, it would be Diaz who channeled the energy of the fans and drove the victory home, finishing with the second fastest time of the day at 20:16. “It was pretty exciting. I didn’t anticipate it going down to the wire like that,” Diaz said. “I was aware of Jason. He was right next to me. I knew I had to turn it on at the end if I wanted to catch him.”
Firmly in the top spot going into the final day of competition, Diaz isn’t getting complacent. “I could still lose [the lead] big time tomorrow. It’s happened the last few years. I’m just not taking anything for granted,” he added.
1. Azadeh Boroumand (19:50)
2. Janet Black (20:35)
3.Amanda Schwartz (20:45)
Overall Day 2
1. Azadeh Boroumand
2. Karen Pierce
3. Amanda Schwartz
Going into Event 4, the mood in the women’s division was cautious, as 11 competitors had already been cut due to failures to meet the work requirements in earlier events. With only 22 athletes left, the battle to remain in the top 18 was closer than ever. At the start of Heat 1, Cassidy Lance struggled to break parallel on her back squats, leading to close investigation by Head Judge Adrian Bozeman and a number of no-reps that set her back from the other athletes. As the competitors fought to set the mark for the women of Heat 2, Janet Black pulled ahead of the competition, reminding fans of how she won the Open by finishing with an impressive time of 20:27.
In Heat 2, the top 12 women were lined up as onlookers watched and wondered if Azadeh Boroumand’s winning streak would end. The race began as the group’s most powerful women — including Boroumand, her teammate Holly Mata and Karen Pierce — set the pace for Event 4. While Mata retained a consistent lead through roughly half of the event, she was eventually slowed by the pull-ups, allowing several other competitors to work their way past her. Among the standouts was Kelley Hennigan who was in 4th place, just outside of Games-qualifying range. Hennigan eventually placed 4th in the workout, just ahead of Mata.
“I didn’t know what to expect going in, so I’m really excited where I am and taking it one event at a time and seeing what happens,” she said.
As the race continued, fans were on their feet as once again Boroumand pulled ahead of the pack and gave the crowd what they wanted as she continued to work at an astounding pace. Now, at the end of Day 2, Boroumand finds herself in 1st place in three out of four workouts.
“Honestly, I’m trying not to give in to the hype,” Boroumand says. “I’m just trying to focus on what I’m trying to achieve. Hopefully, by the end of the weekend I’ll make podium. But as far as every workout, it’s about tackling it individually and staying focused on what I’m trying to do and doing my best. If I do well and get a good time, then that’s an added bonus for me.”
1. CrossFit Dallas Central (26:13)
2. CrossFit Central Competitors (26:15)
3. CrossFit Cedar Park (26:25)
Overall Day 2
1.CrossFit Dallas Central
2.Bayou City CrossFit
3.CrossFit Central Competitors
The second team event of the day was brutal on the competitors, as no single team managed to complete the full workout within the allotted 25 minutes. Heat 1 began and Team C4 quickly became a standout, establishing an early target to beat by progressing their men into the second shoulder-to-overhead stage of the workout. In Heat 2, though, the pack began to tighten as Atomic CrossFit and CrossFit NOLA jockeyed for first position throughout the duration of the women’s half of the workout.
When it came time for the men to make the difference, though, a surprising turn of events occurred. CrossFit Deep Ellum pulled ahead from the middle of the pack and advanced to the furthest position of the day by completing 10 of the men’s final overhead squats.
With the pressure to beat the clock in full effect, the top 10 teams began their share of the heavy lifting at an astounding pace. Front runners CrossFit Central and CrossFit Dallas Central put on an exciting show as they battled for the top spot. As the men took to the bars, the competition only intensified as the two teams stayed only reps apart from one another up until the last seconds of the heat.
Amid the roar of the crowd, CrossFit Dallas Central chipped away at CrossFit Central’s lead on the final set of overhead squats to pass them and advance the furthest in the competition with one final pull-up. While the turn of events was definitely a crowd pleaser, one person who didn’t even blink about their first place finish was CrossFit Dallas Central team member Don Walker, who said, “I’m not surprised about the comeback at all. We fought so hard. I love these guys, they never quit. Even if we’re down we don’t stop.”
When asked about his thoughts on tomorrow, the last day of the competition, Walker said, “We’re going to treat it like the first day again - just got to come out firing. You can’t rest on a lead.”