Those handstand walks. The f’ing handstand walks. They are killing some really good athletes. As I wrote last week, if it wasn’t for the handstand walks Stacy Tovar would be headed back to Carson this year, but there are handstand walks and she sucked at them, so she isn’t.
This week the handstand walks killed Sam Briggs chances of repeating as the Fittest Woman on Earth as she couldn’t even advance out of the European Regional due to her inability to walk on her hands.
That sounds odd, doesn’t it? Briggs isn’t one of the top three fittest ladies in Europe because she can’t walk on her hands as far as others. Not that she CAN’T walk on her hands in general, but that she couldn’t walk on her hands for a few hundred feet. Briggs only – only – walked on her hands for 65 feet while the top ladies were getting well over 200 – seven ladies scored over 200 feet. She murdered everything else, but can’t walk on her hands, so she isn’t the fittest.
However, remember back to 2010 when Graham Holmberg won the Games, he won it because Rich Froning couldn’t climb a rope. Froning had the Games in his hands, but since he couldn’t get up the rope he is a three time champ, instead of four time. Also, this year there were many athletes who struggled with a single movement – overhead squats, ring dips, legless rope climbs or muscle-ups, that may have cost them a chance to advance to Carson. Alyssa Ritchey, in particular, in Central East lost out on the games due to one no-rep on her final overhead squat in the final event on Sunday. Had she nailed that rep she would have advanced and Michelle Kinney would not have (also due to a poor showing in the handstand walk event).
I think it is just weird because the light was shining directly on that single movement. Had the handstand walk been in the middle of a multiple modality WOD it wouldn’t glare so much.
Look at Briggs’ results from this weekend:
Hang snatch – tied for 5th
Handstand walk – 26th
Nasty girls v2 – 1st and beat 2nd place by 47 seconds
Strict HSPU/FS/burpee – 2nd
Legless/sprint – 1st and beat 2nd by 40 seconds
The 50’s – 1st and beat 2nd by 29 reps (I think only female to make it to the rower in her region)
Pullup/OHS – 8th
To me that doesn’t look like someone who shouldn’t advance. She won three events – classic CrossFit style workouts – and didn’t do well in a gymnastic event and struggled a bit, but not too bad, with her OHS.
I did this last week, and to be clear this isn’t fool proof. I will remove the handstand walk results from the top six finishers in Europe and see how Briggs would have finished. Of course, without this event maybe the ladies tackle other events differently, and, as you will see, if I take away this event for Briggs then maybe I need to take away the legless event for Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir (how hard was it to watch her breakdown while trying to get those rope climbs finished)?
Here are how the ladies finished this weekend:
What if we take away event 2, the handstand walk?
Briggs dominated if you take away the handstand walk and wins the European Region. But, as you see, Katrin had a horrid event five (legless), so what if we add back in the handstand walks and take away event 5?
Katrin wins the region without that event.
Alas, it is what it is and the event has its regulations and rules and Briggs or Katrin do not qualify for the 2014 CrossFit Games.
On to the other regions.
My predictions for Australia
Male: Brandon Swan, Chad Mackay, James Newbury
Female: Kara Webb, Ruth Anderson-Horrell, Amanda Allen
Male: Rob Forte, Brandon Swan, Khan Porter
Female: Denae Brown, Kara Webb, Pip Malone
I am pretty shocked that Anderson Horrell did not qualify. And, not shockingly, the trend continues as her worst event was the handstand walk. My guess if I took that away she would have qualified. But I am not nearly as shocked as I am about how poorly Chad Mackay performed this weekend. He was HORRIFIC. Mackay placed third in the hang snatch and then went 22nd, 32nd, 27th, 20th, 21st and 10th. Absolutely horrible from a guy who has been to the Games a few times and I think finished 10th last year.
My predictions for Canada East
Male: Albert-Dominic Larouche, Simon Paquette, Alex Vigneault
Female: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Michele Letendre, Kristine Andali
Male: Albert-Dominic Larouche, Paul Tremblay, Alex Vigneault
Female: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Michele Letendre, Kristen Andali
I said the women’s side was a no-brainer with Leblanc-Bazinet and Letendre and I was right, but Letendre made it a lot closer than I thought. Leblanc-Bazinet won or tied for first in every event except the handstand walk where she finished second. Dominance.
My predictions for Central East
Male: Ugh, Rich Froning? Scott Panchik, Marcus Hendren
Female: Michelle Kinney, Danielle Sidell, Julie Foucher
Male: Rich Froning, Scott Panchik, Will Moorad
Female: Julie Foucher, Nicole Holcomb, Michelle Kinney
I said Froning would win all but two events and I was right. If you didn’t see the HSPU/FS/burpee event and how that ended with Panchik all-out-sprinting to the final three reps of front squat and burpees you NEED to look it up and watch. It was the most amazing thing I have seen this season. It was awesome. Coming in second in awesomeness was the legless rope climb for the men in Central East. That finish was even better and it had Panchik sprinting out of nowhere, too. On the ladies side in Central East Foucher was almost as dominant as Froning. I guess her year off didn’t hurt her at all as she won the region by 11 points. I really thought Danielle Sidell would perform better, but, again, the handstand walk got her (along with the handstand pushups – I guess she needs to get upside down more often). No Holmberg (missed by one point) or Hendren in the Games this year.
My predictions for Europe
Male: Numi Katrinarson, Frederik Aegidius, Lacee Kovacs
Female: Sam Briggs, Annie Thorisdottir, Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir
Male: Jonne Koski, Lukas Hogberg, Bjorgvin Karl Guomundsson
Female: Annie Thorisdottir, Bjork Odinsdottir, Kristin Holte
I wrote plenty above.
My predictions for North West
Male: Ben Stoneberg, Austin Stack, Cole Sager
Female: Rory Zambard, Emily Carothers, Carleen Lessard
Male: Cole Sager, Cody Anderson, Ben Stoneberg
Female: Emily Carothers, Regan Huckaby, Rory Zambard
I’ll take my predictions! Pretty darn close. Unfortunately between the ladies in Europe and all the action in Central East I didn’t get a lot of time to watch North West.
Next week we get to watch Dan Bailey, Josh Bridges and a bunch of ladies duke it out in SoCal…and…otherwise…there isn’t a whole lot I am looking forward to next weekend.