Leaderboard observations after 15.1/15.a

Things I noticed while doing entirely too much “leaderboarding” during the first weekend of the Open.

  • Rich Froning and Mat Fraser both re-did 15.1/15.1a. I found that interesting. I asked Lindsey Valenzuela yesterday on Twitter what percentage of top CrossFit athletes re-did 15.1/15.1a and she put the percentage at 70-80%. I think it might have actually been higher. Who do you think did NOT re-do? I would guess Valenzuela and Val Voboril off the top of my head. Anyone else jump out that you think didn’t re-do?

  • Ouch – Sam Briggs! She did post an Instagram yesterday stating she hurt herself and that might have impacted her C&J (185), but she did not say what she hurt. She did say she is pressing on in the Open. She will be fine, she did get two hundred and fifty freaking one reps on 15.1. There is a lot of working out left to do to qualify for Regionals and she will make it.
  • I didn’t care if people “gamed” the first WOD to score really high on the second. If CrossFit HQ didn’t want folks doing that they should have explicitly written the rules to say they couldn’t do that. Not sure how that could be written, but I am sure they have a lawyer on staff who could have figured it out. From the looks of it they only removed those who had very, very few reps in 15.1 (like 1 rep). On the men’s side there is one guys (Tom Sroka – well known Olympic weightlifter) who scored 30 reps on 15.1 and 405 pounds on 15.1a. Another guy with only 66 reps on 15.1 and a few more in the top 15 or so in 15.1a with 90 reps or less on 15.1. Seems like if you finished your third round and then stopped to do 15.1a that is just as bad as only doing 1 rep on 15.1. You gamed it either way.
  • Who in the hell is Michelle Spinnato? She clean and jerked 363 pounds to beat the next closest woman by 98 pounds? That has to be incorrect, right? I Googled her name and apparently she is in Australia, but nothing else really came up. You would think there would be links to her with associated with Olympic lifting or something if she really did 363 pounds. At that weight she is only off by 50 pounds of the World Record. To give context, the best men’s 15.1a is 180 pounds off of the World Record. I have to think her score is removed.

Going Region by Region (those I care about):

  • Australia – Kara Webb is in first, where you would expect to see her. The recent five part “Behind the Games” series from CrossFit by Sevan Matossian turned me into a Webb and Michelle Letendre fan. If you are a top notch CrossFitter you need to turn on all your charm when Sevan is around – he could easily turn you into a star and thus get you a bunch of endorsements ($$$). I am also curious about Chad Mackay since he didn’t qualify for the Games last year, he currently sits in fifth. Rob Forte (he won the Triple 3 event last year) is in eighth.
  • Canada East – Letendre is in third. Had to check in on her for the same reason I did Webb.
  • Canada West – Lucas Parker is in sixth. I love Parker, who doesn’t? But I feel like he is so adverse to injury that it slows him down at times (especially in the Olympic lifts). Now, that isn’t a bad thing as injuries are no good, but when competing at the level he does you need to take some risks. Will be really interesting to follow him this year and see if he makes it back to the Games and if he does if he improves on his poor finish last year (said he was hurt after Triple 3 – thought he might have had a mild case of Rhabdo, but in the Behind the Scenes series mentioned above he seemed OK shortly after the event).
  • Central East – With Rich Froning going team I guess you can bump almost everyone up one spot, except Nick Urankar who won 15.1/15.1a Worldwide. I think it is fairly obvious that when Graham Holmberg won the Games in 2010 he wasn’t the “Fittest on Earth”, he just had a skill that Froning did not (rope climbing). Much like the handstand walks in Regionals last year I don’t think lacking on a particular skill like that is the same as not being able to run a 5k. Some skills should not preclude someone from being deemed “fit”. A rope climb is more a demonstration of skill than it is fitness, in my mind. With that being said don’t think Holmberg factors into the Games ever again. The athletes coming up are just plain better. Sure, he will make Regionals, but not the Games. I am very surprised at Will Moorad being as high as he is. Both he and Cody Anderson I figured would miss the Games this year as I am guessing strength plays a bigger part in getting to the Games in 2015 (and so far has been proven with 15.1a), but Moorad sits in seventh place in the Central East after the first workout. On the women’s side Danielle Sidell sits in 21st after the first WOD and would not make Regionals this year…if the Open only lasted one week. Remember a little over a year ago when Sidell dominated that event in Minnesota and Elisabeth Akinwale hinted that she thought Sidell might be using PEDs? Well, Sidell hasn’t done much since (….if you consider making Regionals “nothing”…).
  • Mid Atlantic – Which set of brothers will get multiples to the Games first? The Panchik’s or the Smith’s? Currently Ben and Alec Smith sit 1-2 in the Mid Atlantic Region.
  • North Central – I could have swore that I saw on Sam Dancer’s Instagram one day that he wasn’t competing in the Open this year due to a knee injury he is recovering from. Well, he currently sits in 12th place in the North Central Region – with a 315 pound C&J. Stacie Tovar isn’t “back”, I would say, she has always been there. Another example of a VERY fit person who missed the Games last year due to a lack of skill (the handstand walk). And, to elaborate even more, she may very well be able to walk a few hundred feet on her hands, but with a one-and-done nature like last year’s event a fluke might have knocked her off her hands and cost her a trip to the Games. Far from indicating she wasn’t fit enough to compete in the Games. It is cool to see Deborah Cordner Carson in seventh place after taking last year off to have a kid. I believe she is on record stating that she is just going to have “fun” this season. I wish I could take a bunch of time off and come back to have fun and probably qualify for Regionals. What’s it like to be that fit??
  • North East – With Daniel Tyminski back in the mix after being hurt last year it looks like Spencer Hendel is going to have really hard time getting back to the Games. Hendel left an impression on my because my first year really watching the Games (2012) he was there….hasn’t been back since. Hendel sits in 16th place after the first workout in the North East Region. With Tyminski, Fraser and Austin Malleolo all in front of him it will be hard for him to qualify.
  • Northern California – Cool, Jason Khalipa and Neal Maddox top the scoreboard. Shocker. Let’s talk Brooke Ence. She obviously knows the WODs before everyone else does as she is the one in the standards video. If that is the case, does it give her an unfair advantage? She currently sits in second place in the North California Region. Is this a problem? I think HQ needs to address this and inform everyone how far in advance she knows about the WODs. If she did all the taping for all of the standards videos before the Open started (meaning she taped the standards for 15.5 five plus weeks before the rest of the world knows it) then I definitely think it is an unfair advantage. If she does the taping a day or two before then I don’t think it is a big deal. And, everyone’s favorite CrossFit personality, Miranda Oldroyd, sits in 20th place. She is going team, though, so her score won’t count when the Open is over for individuals.
  • North West – Where is Rory Zambard? I can’t find her.
  • South East – Looks like all the early season competing for Emily Bridger’s wasn’t a fluke as she leads the South East Region. Briggs is currently 29th. The men’s side is interesting. Garret Fisher is currently second (so much for Rick Ross taking up too much of his training time), Noah Olsen is in ninth (surprising as many expect him to compete to win the Games in 2015), Elijah Muhammad is 12th (everyone’s favorite rope-jump-guy) and Jeff Evans 370 pound clean and jerk was only good enough to bump him into 17th in the Region. This could be a really fun region to watch on the men’s side.
  • Southern California – Dan Bailey sits atop the leaderboard after the first week and Kenny Leverich is in third with Josh Bridges in fifth (315 pound C&J for the “little man”!). Pretty much where you would expect them after the first week. These three will probably make up 1, 2 and 3 at the end of the Open in this Region. On the women’s side the current top three are all probably going to be there when the Open is over, too. Lauren Fisher, Lindsey Valenzuela and Val Voboril are 1-2-3 with Becca Voigt sitting in 11th. Remember when Kristan Clever was a factor? She sits in 28th place.
  • South West – And the best for last, in my opinion. I might be biased.
    • Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet is sitting in first. Not a shock, she won’t budge off this spot.
    • Maddy Myers – 18 years old and clean and jerked 227 pounds. Follow her Instagram. She is the next big thing in CrossFit. Winner of the 2017 Games – I’m calling that shot now.
    • Probably because it is my Region (and I follow OPEX), but so many names I am interested in. Amanda Goodman, Tennil Reed, Mandi Janowitz, Alex LaChance, Emmalee Teribery, Andrea Ager, Tiffany Hendrickson and Becky Conzelman all sit in the top 20. It’s Natalie Newhart sitting in 32nd place that I will be watching. Can she come back? The answer is “no” if too many WODs are heavy. She is like Chris Spealler and Cody Anderson to me – just too small to really ever be a serious pick to win the CrossFit Games. I am also interested in a few more local athletes like Jasmin Dever and Kristin Olson from Front Range CrossFit – would love to see them make Regionals.
    • On the men’s side – MATT CHAN!! LOVE IT!
    • I play billiards with a guy that goes to CrossFit Unbroken and he said Matt Hathcock was not really trying to qualify for Regionals or the Games this year. Maybe that will change after this workout? He currently sits in third.
    • Christian Lucero has made crazy gains over the last few years. I don’t really know the guy that well, but can someone test him?
    • Adrian Conway, Danny Nichols, Zach Forrest, Tommy Hackenbruck, Brennan Fjord and Chris Hoppe are all names I am interested in (Hoppe is 21st). I believe a few of these names may go team so the top 20 will change a lot. Pat Burke is currently 42nd (I think he has been to the Games five times, maybe six?) and Spealler is way back at 135th. I really hope he makes to the top 20 to see if he holds true to his “retirement”. Or would he go to Regionals just to see what happens?

This is just the first week! Man, I love this stuff.


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