1. Rich Froning loves to be in 1st
Despite the fact that he is no longer an individual competitor, Froning sits in familiar territory after the 2nd week of the Open. Consistent as ever, Froning earned finishes of 49th (15.1), 57th (15.1a) and 6th (15.2) to amass 112 total points for 1st place overall, eight points clear of Mathew Fraser in 2nd.
His newly established team, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom (CMF), sits in 1st in the Central East and 8th worldwide—but given that there are a few teams above CFMF with inflated scores (from athletes that will be going individual when Regionals roll around), expect to see Mayhem Freedom sit closer to the top 3 by the end of the Open.
2. Six of the top 10 women are international
Trivia time—can you name the last American woman to stand atop the CrossFit Games podium? The answer is Kristan Clever, who won the Games back in 2010. Since that time, the quality of international female competitors has risen exponentially, which is reflected by the current standings in the Open leaderboard:
1. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (Canada)
2. Emily Bridgers (USA)
3. Kara Webb (Australia)
4. Lauren Fisher (USA)
5. Annie Thorisdottir (Iceland)
6. Stacie Tovar (USA)
7. Maude Charron (Canada)
8. Michele Letendre (Canada)
9. Ragnheidur Sara Sigmundsdottir (Iceland)
10. Chelsea Hughes (USA)
3. Teens and Masters athletes impress
For the first time, the Open has a specific Teen division (separated into two age groups for boys and girls: 14-15, 16-17), and based on the evidence of these young athletes, the future of CrossFit looks bright. Juliana Riotto (16) clean and jerked 210lbs during 15.1a. Yogev Miller, a 15-year-old competing out of the Africa region, hit 207 reps during 15.1. As impressive as these Teens are, we should not forget about the old guard, as some of the Masters athletes are putting up ridiculous scores themselves. Frank Colavita (51) from CrossFit Greendale put 268lbs overhead during 15.1a, while Mary Miller, a 60-year-old competing out of the North Central region, won 15.2 with a final score of 244 reps (Pull-ups were substituted for chest-to-bars for Masters and Teen athletes).
4. Sam Briggs currently sits in 23rd in the South East
This is significant, because under the new qualifying procedure the top 20 men and women from U.S. regions advance to the Regionals. Briggs put a monster score of 251 reps in 15.1 (good for 2nd worldwide), but dropped significantly after a 185lb clean & jerk (a 1512th place finish). She bounced back with 318 reps in 15.2 (61st overall), and is only six points away from 20th in the South East. Though much of the community is confident she’ll earn a spot in the top 20 by the end of the Open (possibly top 10), it’s worth keeping an eye on as we enter the third week of the Open.
5. Dave Castro does the Open too
It’s not well advertised, but if you enter in ‘Dave Castro’ in the CrossFit Games leaderboard, his name will come up—at least we’re pretty sure it’s him. It’s good to know that the Director of the CrossFit Games does each Open workout—after all, he is still a CrossFitter—with a slight advantage of course! Castro currently sits in 49,159th position worldwide, with scores of 123, 200lbs and 118 for 15.1, 15.1a and 15.2 respectively.
6. The men are facing tougher competition in 2015
In 2014, after three Open workouts, Rich Froning had a total of 14 points in 1st, Jason Khalipa had 33 in 2nd, and Ben Smith had 54 in 3rd. This year, Froning has 112, Fraser 120 and Smith 158. What does that tell us? There’s a lot more competition. Remember, in CrossFit the aim is to have a low point total. The higher you finish in a workout, the fewer points you accumulate. In 2014, the top 3 men had all finished in the upper echelon’s of the first three workouts—hence their low point totals. There weren’t many other men challenging them in those workouts so they had an easier time racking up fewer points. That’s not the case in 2015. In fact, no man in the top 25 has won a single (individual) Open workout yet (Nick Urankar was the winner of 15.1 and 15.1a after his scores for each workout were combined)! The point totals are far more spread out because more men are finishing higher in workouts than last year. As a result, the top 3 have scores are in the 100’s, whereas last year they were sitting comfortably with double-digit tallies.
7. The top 5 men and women are
elite Games athletes
It’s accepted that the type of workouts in the Open, Regionals and Games all vary from one another significantly. Many athletes have said that each stage is completely different from the other, but the fact that the same athletes remain at the top during all three stages is a good indicator of the Open is in fact a good test of fitness. If you look at the quality of athlete in the current top 5 for both the men and the women in the Open, you’ll see that that’s the case.
The top 3 men are all podium finishers at the Games, and two of the top 5 women are Games champions. No athlete that sits in the top 5 of either division finished outside of the top 10 at the 2014 Games (Kara Webb withdrew from the competition due to injury).
Image from games.crossfit.com