Recalculating the Pacific, California and South Regionals

Take this for what it’s worth – a what if. A big what if. If you took the top five to seven finishers from each Regional from this past weekend and compared their times who would qualify for the Games would change up quite a bit.

For the men:

Men

With the smaller number of competitors the poor finishes don’t hurt as bad. But if you take just the top competitors from each Region and calculate their times and scores then Dan Bailey is the second best finisher from this past weekend. Meanwhile Garrett Fisher falls all the way to the bottom.

Again, take it for what it’s worth, but this just shows that Bailey, when compared to the best of the best, is still really fit.

For the women:

women

The ladies from the Pacific really dominate. Webb, just like Bridges, shows that she is clearly the #1 competitor. The ladies don’t shake up nearly as much. Ence, for example, is still towards the bottom looking in. But the fifth place finished in the Pacific trails by a pretty good margin after Fotsch and Ence.

I have never really liked the scoring system that CrossFit uses. I think due to the faulty system last year Davidsdottir won because of the wonky scoring for those who tied (all those ladies who couldn’t complete one trip up the peg board). I haven’t put a lot of thought into a better system, but I feel like there has to be a better system. I wonder how this would look if you just went the other way – one point for first, two for second, three for third, etc. Would everyone still fall out the same?

Things shake up a little bit for the men:

Men2

I don’t know…but that feels better. Doesn’t it? Bridges, Bailey, Gamboa, Williams, Porter, Filly…all of them towards the top. It doesn’t really change too much.

For the women:

women2

Just a little shake up with this scoring system in the South with CLB dropping to third best out of the top three from that Regional.

I’m probably just searching to make a case for Bailey to qualify for the Games.

Dan Bailey?? Really?!?

bf60f2966353a58e77b98bfac19f0aa8Late last night I was catching up on the final heats from Regionals this weekend. I didn’t watch much of the coverage live, but watched nearly all of the final heats from all three Regionals.

Watching Khan Porter smoke the final event in the Pacific Regional to make it to the Games was awesome.

Nearly seeing EZ Muhammad do the same was almost as awesome…until he failed on his rope climb and sputtered to the finish and missed qualifying for the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games. I mean, he was crushing it and that rope climb, where he is supposed to excel…ouch. He misses the Games by three points.

Brooke Ence didn’t really own any workout this weekend with only one finish in the top three. She did place fifth in three events, but also had a 12th and 27th place finish. Most would have considered her a sure-thing to qualify, but she fell short.

If Porter didn’t qualify that would have made three CrossFit personalities that are pretty popular on social media that wouldn’t have qualified. There are some athletes that put a lot – a LOT – of their life and their training on social media but when it comes to qualifying for the Games they can’t do it. Then there are athletes like Roy Gamboa who don’t post nearly as often that go out and crush it. Or maybe that’s just who I pay attention to?

Kara Webb absolutely destroyed her Regional. Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet nearly did, but showed some holes (wall balls, for example).

Josh Bridges showed that last year really fired him up. He dominated the California Regional. I think he was sort of on auto-pilot on Sunday because he knew he basically had first wrapped up. And with Bridges takes me to Dan Bailey. Dan Bailey didn’t qualify for the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games. These two switched spots from the 2015 California Regional where Bailey won and Bridges finished on the outside looking in.

Every year there is a shocker, it seems. I’m pretty shocked that Ence didn’t qualify. I was shocked at how well Kristin Clever was doing after Saturday. I am sort of shocked that Tiffany Hendrickson didn’t fare better this weekend. Not so shocked that Molly Volmer didn’t push the top five.

But I am FLOORED that Dan Bailey didn’t qualify. The California Regional was stacked.

Not only did Bailey not make it, he finished well outside the top five, considering how close these Regionals have become. He finished seventh, not sixth. And he finished 21 points behind fifth place. 21 might not sound like a lot but Muhammad missed by three measly points. 21 is actually a pretty sizeable number. Jason Carroll who finished fifth was only five points out of qualifying. And Carroll went out and smoked the final event – something Bailey needed to do. When I saw Bailey slowing jogging back to the rig for his final rope climb I was floored. First of all, he was jogging, not sprinting, which was a shock because he needed to win that event or place in the top two or three spots. But when he crossed the finish line and a large portion of the guys in his heat were already there…floored.

But Bailey not qualifying is different than, say, Sam Briggs two years ago. Or Bridges last year. Two years ago Briggs didn’t qualify because she did poorly (albeit really poorly) on one event – the handstand walk. Otherwise she crushed but still missed. This year Bailey didn’t do particularly well in many events. He finished outside the top five in every event except one. He had a 10th place finish and two ninth place finishes, an eighth, a seventh, a sixth and a second place finish in event 4 (heavy deadlift event). While that isn’t bad…it’s not good either. If you finish outside the top five in six of the seven events you shouldn’t qualify for the Games. Comparatively Garrett Fisher who finished fourth had an event win and a second and a fourth place finish in the same Regional.

Did Bailey have an injury? An off weekend? Some unfair or untimely no-reps? We’ll never know. First, because CrossFit still doesn’t have the media support to inform it’s fans of details like this. CrossFit doesn’t have reporters who will ask the tough questions and snoop for this sort of information (just like you won’t find a simple injury report). And, second, because Bailey won’t look for any sort of excuse. He will most certainly take the high road and give his competitors their just due and move on.

When guys (or gals) of this caliber miss the Games you really wonder if they question what they are doing. Someone like Bailey who was a shoe in, or so most thought, doesn’t make it…does he wonder if he wants to go through another tough year of training to try to make it next year? I wonder if his sponsors have any say in that? Does he count on whatever little money he makes from Rogue or his other sponsors? Does he continue because of that? Or does he truly love the grind so much that he will do it again.

In any case, the Games this year will definitely be different without him. For the first time since 2010 no Dan Bailey. Bailey has finished fourth, 10th, eighth, sixth and sixth in the last five Games. Never finished outside the top 10 at the CrossFit Games and finished sixth or higher in three of the last five Games. And he isn’t one of the top five fittest men in California right now? I find that hard to believe, but I guess that’s so based on Dave Castro’s programming.

This is only week one! There are two more weeks of this where I am sure another big name or two will not qualify. Who might that be in the coming weeks?? I certainly cannot wait to see.

2016 Regional Predictions

I have predicted Regional results each of the past 2 years. I might as well show the Internet, once again, how wrong I can be. Let me just cut to the chase and my stupidity:

South Regional
Men: Travis Williams, Roy Gamboa, Adrian Conway, Sean Sweeney and EZ Muhammad. Lots of new names in my home region this year. No Spealler, Chan, Hoppe, Burke, Lucero and more.
Women: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Tiffany Hendrickson, Michelle Kinney, Alyssa Ritchey and Candice Wagner out of nowhere (sort of). Since Ms. Newhart was DQ’d for using steroids CLB will absolutely obliterate the competition in the South.
Teams: BackCountry Black, Max Effort Avengers, CrossFit Omnia, CrossFit Jaakarhu and #TeamDensity. Two CrossFit gyms from my area make it in BCB and Omnia.

California Regional
Men: Josh Bridges, Garrett Fisher, Marcus Filly, Dan Bailey and Rasmus Anderson. Stack region. STACKED. This leaves out names like Christian Lucero and Kenny Leverich. Can’t wait to watch this one.
Women: Chyna Cho, Brooke Ence, Lauren Fisher, Jamie Hagiya and I have to go with Becca Voigt – I learned my lesson the past 2 years leaving her out. No Alessandra Pichelli, Molly Vollmer or Colleen Fotsch.
Team: Invictus, Diablo Anejo, 808, CDR and Stay Classy. The Invictus girls are super strong.

Pacific Regional
Men: Rob Forte, Khan Porter, Brandon Swan, Kyle Frankenfeld and James Newbury
Women: Kara Webb, Ruth Anderson Horrell, Aletha Boon, Tia-Clair Toomey and Helen Harding.
Team: Let’s be honest, I have no idea…

Atlantic Regional
Men: Noah Olsen, Ben Smith, Alec Smith, Travis Mayer and Jordan Troyan. Alec joins big bro this year.
Women: Emily Bridgers, Sarabeth Phillips, Cassidy Lance, Christy Adkins and Anna Tunnicliffe.
Team: Peak 360, 12 Labours, Explode, Soul and Bound.

West Regional
Men: Brent Fikowski, Cole Sager, Ben Stoneberg, Lucas Parker and Jonathan Gibson
Women: Emily Abbott, Margaux Alvarez, Regan Huckaby, Alex Parker and Chelsea Nicholas.
Team: Fort Vancouver, Marysville, Spokane Valley, Undefeated and Centaurs.

Meridian Regional
Men: B. Karl Guomundsson, Jonne Koski, Frederik Aegidius, Lukas Hogberg and Mikko Aronpaa.
Women: Sam Briggs, Sara Sigmundsdottir, Annie Thorisdottir, Kristin Holte and Erla Helgadottir. This is going to be a lot of fun to watch. Briggs and Annie get to try to hold off Sara.
Team: Nordic OPEX, Copenhagen 1, Reykjavik, Solid and Idol

Central Regional
Men: Scott Panchik, Jacob Heppner, Sam Dancer, Will Moorad and Nick Urankar. No Graham Holmberg at the games in 2016.
Women: Brooke Wells, Stacie Tovar, Elizabeth Akinwale, Jenn Smith and Julie Foucher. With not near the volume as the other girls Foucher still sneaks in. And how I would love to be standing BEHIND this podium…
Team: Mayhem, Timberwolf, Kilo, Three Kings Black and Kinesis behind Kasperbauer.

East Regional
Men: Matt Fraser, Paul Tremblay, Dan Tyminski, Spencer Hendel and Chase Smith.
Women: Michelle Letendre, Katrin Davidsdottir, Kari Pearce, Dani Horan and Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault. I think this is the first sign that Katrin was a fluke last year in scoring because of the F’d up scoring in the final event at the Games.
Team: Milford Black, JaktRX Red, Dynamix, Back Bay and Pro1 Montreal.

 

I’ll check back in a few weeks to see how poorly I did. I can’t WAIT for Friday!!!

More CrossFit Games Athletes Retiring

CrossFit is hard. If it wasn’t hard it wouldn’t be effective. If it wasn’t hard everyone would be doing it. It’s heavy, it’s long, it’s light, it’s short, it’s calisthenics, it’s barbells, it’s running, it’s jumping, it’s everything. It’s hard doing CrossFit several days per week. It must be REALLY hard doing it as a profession.

It’s Friday morning as I am writing this and I am pretty damn sore from this previous week. I worked out everyday, including only doing heavy deadlifts this morning and doing a two-a-day yesterday with my first workout being a PiYo class. I feel pretty beat up. I feel like a rest day is needed. And I probably only did a third or a quarter of what a CrossFit Games hopeful would do in terms of volume.

To be a Games athlete you need to work out several times a day, multiple days per week. Not just twice a day for a few days, but like three or four times a day for multiple days and on the one or two days when you only do one or two workouts…those are your “rest” days. Maybe there are a few Games level athletes who take true, honest, doing nothing rest days, but I think those are few and far between.

That has to be a toll on your body. That has to be a toll on your brain. That has to be a toll on your relationships with humans who are not in the gym 24×7. That has to be a toll on anyone.

And we are starting to see athletes “retire” who many would never think would do so. Starting last year with Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa and now we have these two announcements:

And

So happy to do this one last time. #eastregionals #reebok

A photo posted by Michele Letendre (@mich_letendre) on

Sam Briggs and Michele Letendre are both athletes that I would have never guessed were ready to hang it up. Maybe they are both planning on going team? I don’t think either of them do the GRID thing.

I am super shocked by Briggs. She has always struck me as someone who loves to do this. Loves the work. Loves the hours of conditioning. If I had to make a list of Games athletes that I thought would do this regardless if there was such a thing as the Games her name would be near the top of the list along with names like Ben Smith, Dan Bailey and Elisabeth Akinwale. She seems to really enjoy rowing, maybe she will focus on that?

As for Letendre I could see her going team. I think she trains (or at least had been training) under Ben Bergeron and I could see him trying to put together a team of athletes to challenge Froning’s team. I could also see the team competition being the fan favorite at the Games in the near future – and possibly even where CrossFit ultimately ends up for competitions. I know I certainly enjoy competing as part of a team more than as an individual and watching the team comps is more fun, too, I think.

Or maybe this is just a case of “In with the new, out with the old”? Out goes a Briggs who has been a part of the CrossFit Games for several years and in comes athletes like Brooke Wells who are still young and hungry.

Will there be more in the coming weeks? Did I miss one?