Day 1 of the Meridian Regionals appeared to start with a bit of Déjà Vu for 2013 CrossFit Games champion Sam Briggs, as her weaknesses were exposed and she ended in 25th place in Event 1, the snatch ladder. Just 2 years earlier, a similar low finish on the first day of the 2014 European Regionals, 26th place in the max distance handstand walk event proved enough to send the then reigning Games champion home early.
After Event 1, Briggs knew that she would need to dominate the rest of the weekend, but after a 7th place finish in Event 2, eerily similar to her second lowest finish in 2014 of 8th, she found herself in a frighteningly similar situation as two years ago, and sitting well outside of the qualifying position.
With a stacked regional, dubbed the Group of Death by CrossFit HQ, it appeared Sam Briggs’ chances of returning to the games were over before they even began. But, with more metabolic workouts looming on Day 2 and 3, Sam “The Motor” Briggs turned it into high gear, and did exactly what needed to be done. Completing the last 5 events with finishes of 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 1st, Briggs was able to climb into the top 5 and qualify for the Games with a 4th place finish overall.
Now she finished 4th at the 2014 European regionals as well and missed out on the CrossFit Games, but due to the transition to the Super Regional format, the top 5 athletes from each Super Regional now go to the games as opposed to the top 3 from the Standard Regional format in 2014.
So did Sam Briggs luck out a bit making it to the 2016 CrossFit Games? Perhaps. But that does not mean we should expect anything other than a big show from her in Carson. After narrowly missing out on the podium in 2015, you can expect her to be back with a vengeance and looking to regain her title of Fittest On Earth.