Scott Cottrill had the fastest time in the world on 17.1 after CrossFit HQ assessed penalties to the top 3 men. Cottrill followed up his Open victory with a 32nd worldwide finish on 17.2 and now sits 5th overall worldwide. He is 2nd in the Central East behind who else but Rich Froning.

We caught up with Cottrill to learn more about this new face competing near the top of the leaderboard. Read our interview below and keep an eye on Cottrill this season!

The Barbell Spin: Most people have probably not heard about Scott Cottrill before 17.1. What is your athletic background before CrossFit? When and why did you start CrossFit?

Cottrill: Before CrossFit I played tennis throughout high school and played club all 4 years at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I started CrossFit back in 2012 and I started it because I was so tired of traditional bodybuilding training and I could only run so much with tennis, I just needed something different that would challenge me and make me a better athlete.

The Barbell Spin: You competed out of the Mid Atlantic region last year. What prompted the move to Ohio?

Cottrill: My father recently took a job up in Ohio last year so it was only fitting that I move up here with him. Plus, we decided to live 5 minutes from Graham Holmberg’s gym so that made the decision a little bit easier!.

The Barbell Spin: Are you training with Graham Holmberg now?

Cottrill: Yes, I am currently training with Graham, and I have been since September of 2016. We typically train in the morning, then again around 2pm and then again in the evening. I can definitely tell that I have become a better athlete since training with him. He has taught me a lot and has shown me how to make it to the next level, Regionals and eventually the CrossFit Games. It really has been a privilege to train by his side each and everyday; I never take it for granted.

The Barbell Spin: What have you done differently, if anything, this season with respect to preparing for the 2017 season?

Cottrill: This kind of goes in line with my previous answer, but I have found that working on weaknesses each and everyday has been the difference between this season than past ones. In years past I would avoid working on them in hopes that those movements wouldn’t show up in the CrossFit Open, and they almost always did. I also have a training partner in Graham Holmberg that pushes me to the limit each and everyday. Having a training partner is the biggest reason why I have gotten so much better this year.

The Barbell Spin: What were your goals heading into the Open? Have they changed after the first two weeks?

Cottrill: My goals heading into the Open were to be in the top 30 in the Central East region after the first 2 weeks and to maybe be in the top 100 in the world.

My goals have definitely changed after the first 2 weeks as I am now sitting in 2nd in the Central East and 5th worldwide!

The Barbell Spin: How did the 17.1 leaderboard shake-up go down? Did CrossFit HQ say anything about the other athletes’ penalties or did they just ask for your video?

Cottrill: Crossfit HQ didn’t say anything about the other athlete’s penalties at all to me. They just asked for my video and at the end of all the reviews and discussions I was the worldwide winner of 17.1. I still cannot believe it!

The Barbell Spin: Are there any movements that you are hoping to not see in the Open?

Cottrill: If you had asked this question to me in past years I would have had a long list of movements that I wouldn’t want to see in the Open. However this year I would feel comfortable with any movement or workout that Dave Castro can throw at me this year, so bring it on!

The Barbell Spin: What’s your prediction for 17.3?

Cottrill: I am guessing some rowing, deadlifts and wall balls, maybe some more dumbbells!

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