My pick for the Games

Whew, what a few weekends that was. Regionals were awesome and there were plenty of upsets (no Julie Foucher or Josh Bridges), a few “duh”‘s (NorCal CrossFit, Camille LeBlanc Bazinet) and a few “wow!”‘s (Foucher again and OPEX Red emphatic win in event 7).

Here are all the individual winners and how they have fared in past Games (only back to 2012 for most as that’s how far back the Games website goes). I know athletes like Voigt and Smith have been to several (Voigt has been to eight!) Games and I think Briggs took 2nd in 2012 or 2011. Other than that, I think the stats below encompass most athletes Games experiences.

Men Games finishes Women Games finishes
Ohlsen  8th (’14) Bridgers  6th (’14)
Hanna Briggs  1st (’13)
Muhammad Tunnicliffe  9th (’13), 22nd (’14)
Smith  11th (’12), 3rd (’13), 7th (’14) Lance  29th (’13), 9th (’14)
Bramblett Gelin
 Bailey  6th (’12), 8th (’13), 10th (’14)  Ence
 Maddox  20th (’12), 9th (’13), 15th (’14)  Valenzuela  2nd (’13)
 Pera  23rd (’12)  Cho  15th (’14)
 Alcaraz  Pichelli  4th (’13), 23rd (’14)
 Melton  Voigt  10th (’12), 11th (’13), 24th (’14)
 Panchik  4th (’12), 4th (’13), 5th (’14)  Wells
 Heppner  18th (’14)  Holcomb  32nd (’14)
 Anderson  Tovar  12th (’12), 20th (’14)
 Urankar  Akinwale  7th (’12), 10th (’13), 14th (’14)
 Holmberg  1st (’10), 10th (’12), 14th (’13)  Barber  28th (’13)
 Fraser  2nd (’14)  Letendre  24th (’12), 13th (’13), 4th (’14)
 Vigneault  Horan  18th (’13), 18th (’14)
 Tyminski  14th (’12), 34th (’13)  Pearce
 Hendel  13th (’12)  Thibault
 Malleolo  8th (’12), 41st (’13)  Jackson  27th (’14)
 Koski  32md (’14)  Sigmundsdottir
 Guomundsson  26th (’14)  Davidsdottir  30th (’12), 24th (’13)
 Fawcett  Thorisdottir  1st (’11), 1st (’12), 2nd (’14)
 Hogberg  23rd (’14)  Holte  16th (’14)
 Hesketh  Helgadottir
 Porter  27th (’14)  Webb  19th (’12), 12th (’13), 31st (’14)
 Forte  35th (’12), 33rd (’13), 12th (’14)  Boon
 Mackay  9th (’12), 11th (’13)  Toomey
 Manuel  Brown  17th (’14)
 Garard  Wood
 Gamboa  22nd (’13)  Bazinet  6th (’12), 16th (’13), 1st (’14)
 Williams  Alvarez  26th (’13), 34th (’14)
 Cook  36th (’14)  Goodman  35th (’13), 20th (’14)
 Conway  Jones  28th (’12), 6th (’13), 10th (’14)
 Cole  Myers
 Parker 15th (’12), 19th (’13), 34th (’14)  Abbot  35th (’14)
 Sager  17th (’14)  Mathews
 Simons  Core
 Takasaki  23rd (’13), 37th (’14)  Huckaby  30th (’14)
 Scali  Parker

So, I think it sort of jumps out who should be favorites in 2015.

Men: Smith has been to several Games and been on the podium, he is a favorite. Fraser finished 2nd last year and demolished his region this year, he is a favorite. In three previous Games Panchik has never finished outside of the top five, he is a favorite. Bailey is experienced and looked stronger than ever at his region, he is a favorite. And an outside shot is Forte who will be competing at his fourth Games and has improved his finish each year, he is a favorite.

With those five names I pick Fraser for first place, Panchik in second and Smith in third. All safe picks and no reaches.

I know Ohlsen won his region and had a strong showing last year, but I need a bit more from him before picking him to win it all.

Women: Thorisdottir has won the Games twice and finished 2nd last year, she is a favorite. Briggs won two years ago and has the best engine among all the women, she is a favorite. Bazinet won last year and destroyed her region, she is a favorite. Letendre has improved her finish at the Games in each of the last three years and finished 4th last year, she is a favorite. Webb was well ahead after several events at last years Games and she destroyed her region, she is a favorite.

With those five names I pick Webb for first place Briggs for second and Thorisdottir for third.

I know Bridgers has had a heck of a year and she did win her region….but I wonder if she would have won her region if Briggs didn’t have a broken foot? (A minor crack but a bad foot none the less.)

As for teams, I feel like I need to hold off on predicting because there is one team that could be a HUGE wild card: Invictus. They did qualify for the Games and finished fourth in the California region, but there were two BIG name athletes from Invictus who did not make it to the Games as individuals: Lauren Fisher and her boyfriend Rasmus Wisbech Andersen. If those two decide (or are invited) to be part of the Invictus team, watch out. Fisher didn’t qualify as an individual because she severely twisted her ankle just two weeks before her region. Give her another six weeks and she will be strong.

If those two do NOT join Invictus then I got to take NorCal to win the Affiliate Cup. I think the biggest threat to NorCal assuming Invictus doesn’t change members is Hack’s Pack and OPEX Red, not Mayhem. I think Mayhem looked like they have a major weak link in their 40+ female athlete on their team. That weakness will be exposed a lot more in Carson then it was at Regionals.

Only about six more weeks until we get to watch!

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