The 2017 CrossFit Games gave Dave Castro and team a new venue in which to structure events throughout the weekend at Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. From condensing the competition to a four-day festival to moving the afternoon/evening events inside to the Coliseum, Madison provided a much different look and feel than Carson.
But while some may miss the outdoor tennis stadium at the StubHub Center or the California weather (always sunny), the first year in Madison had its own special moments and the town welcomed the thousands of CrossFitters that made the trek to MadTown.
Here are our top 10 favorite moments from the 2017 CrossFit Games:
10. Cody Anderson Finishing Muscle-Up Clean Ladder
The weights on the Muscle-Up Clean Ladder were astounding. Sixteen total cleans with weights starting at 225 pounds and finishing at 350 pounds combined with 32 bar muscle-ups put the athletes to the test, especially when there was an 11 minute time cap.
As the heats passed, some of the strongest athletes in the sport were unable to complete the ladder – Elijah Muhammad, Brent Fikowski, Travis Williams. However, Cody Anderson at just 172 pounds was able to complete the event under the time cap. And 350 pounds was a new PR for him…which he did twice!
9. Fraser Diving to the Finish Line on Strongman’s Fear
One thing we know is that Mat Fraser does not coast during a workout – ever. Even with a significant lead and when 2nd place and 94 points would basically keep him in comfortable position, Fraser did everything he could to steal a win on Strongman’s Fear.
In a neck and neck race with Brent Fikowski, Fraser dragged his sled to the finish line and sprinted to the chess piece at the end of the finish line. Unfortunately for Mat there was a two-foot drop off right behind the chess piece and he went tumbling down onto the pavement.
8. Men’s 35-39 Masters Division Podium
We talked about it on Monday, but the Men’s 35-39 Masters Division podium was a special blast from the past. Some of our favorite Games athletes from the past came back for the new masters division this year and it was awesome.
What made it even better was the podium ended up being Kyle Kasperbauer, Neal Maddox and Chris Spealler. You couldn’t ask for anything better.
7. 15-Year-Old Marya Drabicki Snatching 180 Pounds
Yes, you read that right. A 15-year-old girl at the CrossFit Games snatched 180 pounds! With just six minutes to find their 1RM Snatch, Drabicki went big and snatched an unreal amount of weight.
To put it in perspective, 180 pounds would have been good for 16th against the fittest women in the world. She even missed 190 pounds three times and almost made the last attempt.
This just makes you wonder what the sport will look like in five years when these 14-15 year old teenagers have grown up and are competing on the big stage…
My first CrossFit Games has come to an end and I’m really happy with how I did! I can officially say I’m the tenth fittest 14-15 year old girl on earth! Some things definitely did not go as well as planned and there were definitely some things I could have changed to do better but it’s all part of learning! I put everything I had into each workout and that’s all I can ask for. Oh, and I got 2 event wins at the CrossFit Games so that’s pretty freaking cool 😉😂 Thanks to everyone who made this possible, especially my amazing sponsor @lyftrx for all their support. HUGE thanks to @misfitathletics @misfitgabe for the programming to get me ready for the games all year and thanks to my coach @masterathlete for helping me with well basically everything. #drabicki160 #lyftrx #lyftrxathlete #teammisfit2017 #misfitathletics #misfitteens #crossfitgames #crossfitteens #fittestonearth #crossfithenderson
6. Cassidy Lance Sets 3 PRs During 1RM Snatch
There’s definitely something special about lifting inside the Coliseum. With 10,000 screaming fans the adrenaline is pumping. That was certainly the case for Cassidy Lance-McWherter on Friday afternoon.
Lance-McWherter’s top recorded snatch heading into the event was 185 pounds. Lance-McWherter hit hit first snatch attempt at 176 pounds and then went on a tear. On her second attempt, she jumped to 191 pounds and nailed it.
That lift would put her in the top 10 and allow her two more attempts to better her score. Her next lift was 195 pounds and then for her final attempt she loaded 200 pounds onto the bar and made it look easy!
5. Rich Froning Out Sprinting Wasatch CrossFit on the Burpee Litter Finish
When Rich Froning was competing as an individual, he was one of the smartest, strategic athletes out there. His pacing was flawless, he knew who he had to beat and when and could turn it on when he needed to.
The sprint to the finish of the Burpee Litter event was a perfect example of this. Down by 60 points to Wasatch CrossFit, every point still mattered as they didn’t know what the final event (or events) would be.
As men of Wasatch CrossFit and CrossFit Mayhem reached the women finishing up the burpees, it was a dead heat. Once the women finished, it was a sprint over three hurdles to the finish line. What Froning knew and Wasatch didn’t think about was that the official time was when the person with the chip timer crossed the finish line.
Knowing this, CrossFit Mayhem let Froning take off and sprint to the line while Adrian Conway (Wasatch’s member with the chip) was the second athlete to cross the line. Froning ended up beating Wasatch by one second.
Re-watching the live stream did not show the speed of Froning over the hay bale walls. Watching him live was reminiscent of his individual days where he crushed the competition on Sunday.
4. Wasatch CrossFit Taking Down the Defending Champs
Staying with the teams…Wasatch CrossFit had one of the best team performances at the Games ever. It wasn’t that CrossFit Mayhem had a bad week, it was that Wasatch was on fire. With only two events outside the top 10 (26th in the Men’s Muscle-Up Snatch and 11th in the Men’s Clean and Jerk), it left no room for error for any other team.
Team captain Adrian Conway talked about the #StopTheMayhem hashtag after winning the Affiliate Cup and said it wasn’t about disrespecting CrossFit Mayhem, but about having the attitude that they were going to win. They most certainly did that this weekend.
3. Josh Bridges’ Celebration After Winning his Heavy 17.5 Heat
If there is anything that gets you more fired up that watching Josh Bridges win an event, please let us know…we’ll be waiting. It has been rumored that Bridges was dealing with some sickness early in the week which is why he might have been lower down the leaderboard than he usually is.
But when Heavy 17.5 came out (yes, it wasn’t as heavy as we thought), it was the perfect event for Bridges. Not only was that the case, Bridges was finally able to show some fire and emotion in Madison. It must have been building up because his celebration after winning the heat was awesome!
2. The Weather
In Carson, the weather was always sunny and hot. The athletes knew what to expect.
In Madison, the first year showed us that the weather will be a factor at the Games for the next several years. The forecast for the weekend was predicting rain in the week leading up to the Games and it was right on Thursday and Friday.
The Run-Swim-Run event Thursday morning kicked off with a steady rain. As the day progressed it got better, but then in the afternoon severe weather moved into the area. The teens’ Run-Swim-Run event was delayed and all fans, vendors and athletes were moved inside until the weather passed.
The weather got so bad that the Compex tent outside collapsed and crushed the GatorZ Eyewear tent.
We are all okay. Unfortunately, due to weather, our neighboring structure, failed and landed on our booth. We have a temporary tent set up at the sponsors vendor village. So you can still get your Gatorz. To our fellow vendors and crossfit community friends that came out with helping hands and offered more than we expected. THANK YOU. Let the good vibes continue and visit our booth! 😎😄👌🏼 @crossfitgames @gatorzeyewear @fitaid @compexusa @romwod @511tactical @assaultairbike @paleoethics @airrosti @rocktape #gatorzeyewear #crossfitgames #2017CFG #crossfit #crossfitgames2017 #thereisnosubstitute
The next morning, the athletes took on the Sprint O-Course. The weather was in the mid-50s with a strong wind and a mist/rain. Everyone, athletes, fans, judges, etc, were really, really cold. Of course, Dave Castro enjoyed the weather.
Team o course done. Love this weather
— Dave Castro (@CFthedavecastro) August 4, 2017
1. Women’s Final Event
How could the women’s final event not be #1? With just six points separating Tia-Clair Toomey and Kara Webb, everything was going to come down to the final event, the Fibonacci Final.
With 89 feet of kettlebell overhead walking lunges, the race to the finish line in the final heat was epic and not just because of Toomey and Webb.
Ahead of them were Katrin Davidsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir racing to win the heat when Sara Sigmundsdottir came out of no where to pass them and win the event. The crowd was on its feet and was one of the loudest venues I’ve been in.
Thirty seconds after that Toomey and Webb were lunging to the finish line in an attempt to earn the title Fittest on Earth. Toomey held the lead over Webb by 14 feet, but on Toomey’s last lunge over the finish line she was unable to stand up with the kettlebells overhead. She had to move back four feet to redo the final lunges. This gave enough time for Webb to catch up and pass Toomey by 0.19 seconds.
Webb finished 7th and Toomey finished 8th in the event. Webb was only able to make up 4 of the 6 points, leaving Toomey in 1st place by the narrowest of margins – just 2 points.
Is there a moment that you think deserves to be in the Top 10? Let us know in the comments below…