CrossFit Games Wrap-Up: The Takeaway

Posted by Ben Quinney on

As the 2015 Open wraps up with workout 15.5, this concludes the “games season” for majority of the competitors. However, for those few who have advanced to the regionals section of this season, the competition has really only just begun.

Lets take a look at how this years Open changed from previous years and what the changes meant for those wanting to advance through the stages:

In previous years, the Open has tried to be inclusive of all competitors abilities whilst also trying to challenge those at the elite level: which is a pretty tough task when there are hundreds of thousands of people entering the competition. This year introduced a scaling option, which allowed everyone to do a version of the workout no matter their level of athletic ability.

15.1 started with a classic CrossFit workout: 9 minute AMRAP of 15 Toes to Bar, 10 Deadlifts @ 52.5/35kg and 5 Snatches @52.535kg. The snatches were 17.5kg/10kg heavier than they were last year, which immediately sets a precedent that this year is going to be heavier. To further solidify this point, we had 6 minutes to establish a 1 rep max Clean and Jerk (which incidentally might be setting us up for a flow on to the regionals where things are going to be increasing in weight).

15.2 was a repeat of last years 14.2 workout, 3 minutes to complete 2 rounds of 10 overhead squats @ 42.5kg/30kg and 10 Chest to Bar pull ups, then 3 minutes to complete 2 rounds of 12 overhead squats and 12 chest to bar pull ups and so on. This was a great workout to repeat, it really showed not only how much better you may have become over the course of the year but also how much harder the competition has become over the course of the year. The great example of this came from Brandon Swan, who came 13th last year with a rep count of 272, but only placed 12th this year with a rep count of 333. No one is safe at the top and everyone needs to be working hard to either muscle their way in or keep their position.

15.3 was a variation of a workout that first appeared in 2012, which was 150 wall balls, 90 double unders and 30 muscle ups.  It was ok if you couldn’t do muscle ups  last year, as they came last in the workout, however this year it was first with 7 muscle ups, 50 wall balls and 100 double unders. The girls dominated this one, with a 6kg ball to a 9ft target, which meant that any female over 5’5” was able to fly through this. It also sorted out who has and hasn’t developed muscle ups. Quite a few girls struggled with the muscle ups at regionals last year, bringing in to question their open score, hopefully this workout can sift those problems out.

15.4 threw everyone on their head, literally, with the introduction of the Handstand Pushup in to the Open workouts, coupled with heavy Cleans 85kg/57kg. We also had the introduction of a new “standard” with the handstand pushup, with a line being set 3inches below the wrists and the feet then must go above the line for the rep to count. I’m pretty confident this will be the video submission workout for those who have made the top 30 and I suspect we might see a few names drop off the list, hopefully all competitors that have made it that far were judged fairly and everyone has a valid submission.

15.5 was a variation on last years 14.5 workout, replacing burpees with calorie rowing. This was a workout for the guys. The girls might be able to keep pace with the thrusters, but with the added height and strength of the guys, it would be very tough to keep the pace on the rower. This was a major lactic burn workout and anyone wanting a good score needed to sit comfortably in the pain cave and do the thrusters unbroken, or take minor breaks on one of the bigger sets of thrusters. Anyone that could still feel their legs after this workout wasn’t trying hard enough.

To summarise the Open workouts this year, as I stated earlier, I think this is setting a precedent to how the regionals are going to play out. In my opinion, the weights are going to be heavier and the strategy in each workout is going to play a major factor. If you cant move heavy weight under major lactic duress, then you’re going to be left behind. 

For all those who didn’t get a muscle up or a handstand pushup this year, you can guarantee they will be there next year, so get upside down.

Now let’s take a look at how the 21-15-Nine athletes managed through the Open and who were going to be cheering for at the regionals.

The girls:

Sammy Wood slipped back in the ranking from 11th to 20th, but books her ticket to the regionals in Wollongong. Her time of 8.55 was the 199th best in Australia.

Christie Jenkins is also inside the top 30 and qualifies for the regionals, she moved up one spot from last week to finish 24th over all, a fantastic effort from Christie. Her 15.5 time was 8.28, which was the 67th best score in Australia.

Carly Menzies was the next best of our girls, moving up from 41st last week to be sitting just outside the top 30, finishing in 34th. There were quite a few girls from outside the regionals cut off that made it through last year due to invalid submissions or girls pulling out for personal reasons, so there is still a chance that Carly can sneak in. Her 15.5 time of 7.35 was the 17th best score in Australia. Amazing work from Carly throughout the whole Open.

Maddie Sturt, our youngest member of the team at just 18 years of age, finished 40th overall. Maddie can hold her head high, and can only get better from here. Her 15.5 time of 8.40 was the 88th best score in Australia. We look forward to seeing her smash up the regionals next year.

Sarah Browne has finished 59th overall in the Open but most importantly she has finished 2nd in Australia and 24th in the world in the 40-44 y.o. category which has her qualifying for the regionals. CrossFit HQ will release a further 4 workouts for the top 200 masters athletes to complete in mid April, with the top 20 making it through to the CrossFit Games. A stellar effort from Sarah, we look forward to seeing her dominate those events as she did these ones.

Now the boys.

Brandon Swan finished off the Open in style, coming 5th in 15.5 with a time of 5.57. This has Brandon sitting 4th overall in Australia and 35th overall in the world. Looking forward to seeing Brandon push toward that Podium once again at the regionals.

Kyle Frankenfeld also finished off the Open well with a time of 6.00, the 8th best time in Australia. This is Kyle’s first top ten finish at the Open, coming in 8th over all, hopefully this is a good sign of a strong regionals performance.

Michael Roach found out just how hard it is to make the regionals now, although constantly getting stronger and fitter he finished 321 points away from 30th. His time of 6.44 was good enough for 56th place in 15.5. If we  know one thing about Michael, it’s that he will be back next year, fitter and stronger and will shake up that top 30. Great work all round.

As the Open closes, I want to congratulate not just the 21-15-Nine athletes, but everyone that took part. It’s not just a great test, but it’s great fun, it helps bring the community together, builds relationships and helps us grow.

I look forward to cheering on Sammy, Christie, Brandon and Kyle, to watching eagerly as Sarah takes on the next section of online qualifications for the Masters and seeing Maddie continue to get fitter and stronger, and of course to following Carly and Michael as they strive to fight their way back to regionals next year.

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