The Teenage Competition was a new addition this year and was a success.
Our community now has an opportunity to highlight what our best teenagers are capable of. It also gives us a nice preview into our future stars.
Angelo Dicicco trains at CrossFit Mayhem and won the 14-15 Division. His victory further solidified the CrossFit affiliate that Rich Froning owns as home to the most CrossFit Games gold medals at any one CrossFit box.
Masters Final: 'Amanda'
The fastest male masters time this year was 4:37 by Matt Swift. That would have been 12th in 2010, beating people like Mikko Salo, James Hobart, Tommy Hackenbruck, and other top names. Swift is in the 45-49 category and won gold for that division.
In the 40-44 division the slowest time would have been good enough for 30th out of 45 competitors in 2010.
Sam Briggs laps people in Midline Madness.
This event was designed as a pure mental fight. Run hard and maintain a painful pace the entire time. Briggs, the athlete known as having one of the top engines, did just that, lapping other competitors in the process with a final time of 13:26.
This year we let the community decide (from two variants of DT) which event the athletes would compete in on Friday night. They voted via Twitter. Heavy DT won. I personally wanted Double DT, but was not surprised heavy DT was selected. In testing, Double DT was a 10-11 minute event whereas Heavy DT was a few minutes faster.
Ben Smith on the Snatch Speed Ladder.
Smith had a disappointing showing on the Sandbag event in the stadium, but came back strong to take 2nd in the Snatch Speed Ladder. This moment captured my attention and made me think he had a chance to podium.
There would be another moment where I realized he could win. That comes later in the countdown.
His 2nd on this event would be followed up later by 2nd on the other pure strength test: the Clean and Jerk.
The prone paddleboard was originally intended to be introduced at the 2014 Games, but a variety of factors prevented that from happening.
Their inclusion in 2015 was a success. Nobody saw them coming and they are a great tool to add into the elements we use at the Games.
Mat Fraser Struggles on the Rope.
The Games are not won or lost on any one event, but there are defining moments where momentum swings. Going into Saturday, Fraser was dominating the competition. On Saturday, he lost some points on the two sprint events, but the Soccer Chipper changed the storyline for the weekend.
Fraser struggled to do the legless rope climbs and I watched from the side thinking he may have just lost the Games. He ended up taking 32nd overall on that event. On the same event in the same heat, Smith took the overall event win with a time of 4:30.
The struggle we saw Fraser endure on the rope, we would later see again on the final during the handstand push-ups.
James Hobart Runs Away on Solo 4.
Hobart ran away with his heat taking the first (the other male competitors of CrossFit Mayhem Freedom would also take first in their solo events) place spot in his heat. He made a field of vets, including a former Games champion, look like they started a full minute behind him.
Mayhem would go on to win the Games with 11 top-5 finishes, taking 1st in 6 events. Their return to defend the title will be one of the top story lines next year.
Prepare for the Unknown and Unknowable.
The point of the Games is not to showcase the athletes, but to test them. Some will rise to the occasion and use the platform to showcase who they are and others will not. The peg board and its introduction is part of the process. The Games are supposed to be challenging. The Games are supposed to identify athletes who have weak points in their game.
Margaux Alvarez had tried a peg board once before (and didn't make it up), yet she, along with two other female athletes were able to show that it wasn't impossible or even that hard. They climbed up it three times where twelve men, to include competitors like Daniel Tyminski, were not able to scale it once.
This is not the last time that you will see the peg board at the Games.