DAY 2 WITH WODAPALOOZA’S ELITE
On Day 2, athletes took on the TrueForm runner as well as the ocean before suffering through Heavy Grace and a grueling chipper.
By: Brittney Saline
WOD 3 — THE TRI
ELITE INDIVIDUALS AND TEAMS
Noah Ohlsen may have held the top overall spot after taking second in WOD 3, but the event was always Jordan Troyan’s for the taking. The Tri—a 400-m swim in the bay sandwiched between two 1200-m runs on the TrueForm runner—was won on the swim, and as a four-year All-American swimmer, Troyan was made for the ocean.
“I’m pretty comfortable in the water,” he said.
While fans expected him to do well in the sea, they were pleasantly surprised when Troyan was the first off the TrueForm runner, a curved, motorless treadmill that Sarah Scholl later said feels more like cross-country skiing.
Troyan’s prowess in the water was apparent in his first few strides; unlike other athletes who twisted their heads left and right above water with each stroke, Troyan kept his face down and body streamlined. He sustained the lead he bought in the waves on his second TrueForm stint, earning his first win of the weekend.
Like Troyan, Sarah Scholl knew the TRI was hers. A super-star collegiate runner—she ran a 4:40 mile—and a former Olympic hopeful in the triathlon, if she had any chance to get within striking distance of the podium, this was it.
“I need to capitalize on my strengths,” she said. “I’m not the strongest person, but I can hold my own in certain events and I knew I needed a win.”
Scholl was the first off the TrueForm at around 5:30, diving gracefully into the salty surf. By the time anyone else joined her, she was nearly halfway to the yellow buoy that marked the turnaround, her two small hair buns bobbing above the waves as she alternated between the front crawl and the breast stroke.
“I only did that because I didn’t have goggles, so I couldn’t see,” she explained. “I could have ended up in the middle of the bay for all I knew.”
Though she seemed to slow on the third leg, threatening to fall behind others who had returned to the TrueForm, she pulled out one last sprint in the final minute, dashing straight into an event win and third place overall.
As much as the swim mattered to the individual race, it was even more important to the teams. With equal work demanded of each teammate—a 400-m swim between two 400-m TrueForm sprints—there was no place to hide a weakness.
And weaknesses were evident across both the male and female elite team divisions. Athletes uncomfortable with the water jumped awkwardly off the ramp jutting into the bay, some donning lifejackets on the way. No matter how fast they had run on the first leg, athletes who didn’t possess a decent front crawl were resigned to spending most of the event floating.
No one understood better than team Zevia. Though they began the day tied for second with Team Panchik, teammate Irving Hernandez had never swum in the ocean before, and could not complete his portion of the event.
“I was like, ‘What just happened?’” Hernandez said. “I was trying to go somewhere but I wasn’t going anywhere. I don’t swim, and definitely not in the ocean.”
Though the water proved to be challenging for many and insurmountable for some, the TRI did exactly what a test of fitness is supposed to: bring the most well-rounded to the top.
For the women, CrossFit Parallax took that honor, winning the event at 12:32. The Smith Bro’s took it for the men, their second consecutive WOD win.
WOD 4 & 5 — BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
If the crowd asked for an encore of the Troyan-Ohlsen show, they got it in Day 2’s second event, two workouts—Beauty (30 clean and jerks at 225-lb.) and the Beast (a gnarly chipper of strict handstand push-ups, rowing, axle bar hang power snatches, bar-facing burpees, overhead squats and bar muscle-ups—performed back-to-back.
Jacob Anderson won Beauty, finishing the work in 3:08—a good regular-weight Grace time by anyone’s estimate—and earning some extra time to rest before taking on the Beast. Troyan got his extra rest a different way. After realizing he could not finish the workout before the six-minute time cap, he abandoned the barbell, choosing to save his strength for the strict handstand push-ups to come.
His strategy paid off. The first off the wall, Troyan maintained his lead throughout the event, playing cat and mouse with Mark Hutchinson several lanes over but solidifying his lead with flawless overhead squats. But it was on the rig that Troyan earned the crowd’s love.
The first man to the rig at 15:24, he had less than a minute and a half to complete nine bar muscle-ups. As the judge his raised his hand and the clock counted down, the crowd gasped when Troyan fell from the rig, just two reps to go and less than 10 seconds to do them. With one last burst of effort, he put the last rep in the bank exactly as the clock ran out. Though his official score would be capped because he did not sprint to his finish mat, it was clear from the screams in the stands that to the fans, he had finished.
Untouched throughout the majority of the final heat, Ohlsen took his second WOD win of the weekend, finishing the Beast with a minute to spare. When the clock ran out, he did one extra bar muscle-up: this time to the railing holding back the fans, where he leaned over to give his girlfriend a kiss.
“This is pretty amazing,” he said after the event. “I want to take a moment and try to remember it forever.”
While Ohlsen stayed comfy in first overall, third and and fourth-place Beast finishes by the Anderson brothers raised Alex and Jacob to second and third overall, just five points separating Jacob from Conor Nugent, in fourth.
On the women’s side, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet gave the fans the show they craved when she took on Beauty and the Beast. After taking second to Brooke Wells on the clean and jerks, she demanded the spotlight when she hit the wall, cranking out strict handstand push-ups like a piston and hitting the erg just 1:13 later.
When she reached the axle, Leblanc-Bazinet wowed the crowed with a mixed snatch grip, releasing the bar at the top of the hang snatch to catch it with both hands forward. Red welts surface on her thighs where the bar hit her skin, and when she reached the rig, center stage, she executed six seamless bar muscle-ups, leaving just three reps on the floor when the time ran out.
After, she credited the fans as her reason for being on the competition floor, tossing the crowd an appreciative smile and wave.
In first with 478 points, Leblanc-Bazinet is trailed by Wells, in second with 462 points, and Dani Horan in third with 382 points.
Flagler stage was in full party mode when the teams hit the floor, the sun dipping behind the Miami skyline and spinning spotlights skittering across the floor.
The crowd danced, and some athletes did too—team Sharpen the Axe, decked in pink board shorts with blue Hawaiian flowers, they swayed their hips and pumped their arms while the third teammate worked. At one point, a beach ball went rogue, drifting onto the competition floor for a second before a member of Team Tas volleyed it back.
For the men, the event was an exercise in musical chairs. At the start, the Smith Bro’s, Team Panchik and Misfit nLnM held the top three spots in that order; by the finish, Misfit nLnM took the top and knocked the others down one spot each.
Though Misfit nLnM had some trouble staying in time on the synchronized row, the team made up the lead on the burpees and held it to the end. The first to reach the rig at around 13 minutes, the final pair cycled their synchronized bar muscle-ups smooth and unbroken, hitting the finish at 13:42 in their matching white tights.
Neither did the women disappoint when it was their turn to perform.
Team Progenex commanded the floor in matching blue shorts and blank tops, executing each movement with the ease of a practiced team though in truth, the team hadn’t practiced together until just a day before the competition began. The women’s pulls on the erg was perfectly timed; their burpees impeccably matched.
By the time they reached the rig for bar muscle-ups, they’d all but locked up first place, forcing the rest of the field to fight for second. With just a couple minutes remaining, Team Progenex hit the mat while CrossFit Invictus Past Parallel and Team Soul fought for, Team Soul ultimately overtaking Invictus with unbroken bar muscle-ups while the northern Californian team dropped.
Though Team Progenex may be new to the team competition, they said their friendship has been critical to their success.
“It’s really cool because we get along really well on the field, but off of it as well,” said team member Chyna Cho.
Team Progenex’s win added 100 points to its total, holding them in first overall with 30 points ahead of team Probably Fitaid, who has 443. Team Soul’s hard-won second place finish in both Beauty and the Beast launched the team to third overall with 386 points. But with just three points separating the third podium spot from CrossFit Parallax in fourth, with four events remaining, medals are by no means guaranteed.