Baltimore Anthem Edge Past New York Rhinos in GRIDlock

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Jared Enderon, Baltimore Anthem, on final clean and jerk to tie match against New York Rhinos
August 22, 2016: New York Rhinoss take on the Baltimore Anthem at the Utah Valley Convention Center. Copyright Melissa Majchrzak

Week 2 began with a match-up featuring the New York Rhinos and the Baltimore Anthem. The Rhinos, coming off a nail biting victory against the Boston Iron in week 1, were favored against the Anthem who had yet to secure a match victory since joining the NPGL last year.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 OT TOTAL
Rhinos 2
(2)
1
(3)
1
(4)
1
(5)
2
(7)
2
(9)
2
(11)
2
(13)
1
(14)
3
(17)
1
(18)
0
(18)
18
Anthem 1
(1)
2
(3)
2
(5)
2
(7)
1
(8)
1
(9)
1
(10)
1
(11)
2
(13)
1
(14)
4
(18)
1
(19)
19

 


The Anthem, however, wouldn’t back down and tied the score after a dramatic Race 11 victory. The tie meant the two teams would repeat the final four elements of Race 11 in GRIDlock, NPGL’s version of overtime. Minutes after the Anthem’s Jared Enderton outpaced the Rhino’s Andrew Rape on nine clean and jerks at 225 pounds, the teams had to send out two men and two women to decide the match.

The final four elements of Kilimanjaro’s Race 11 included 9 bar muscle-ups, 90 double-unders, 9 burpee to 10-foot ring and 9 clean and jerks at 225 pounds. With Elijah Muhammad having to sit out of Race 11 following a lost challenge by Rhinos’ coach Frederick Aegidius earlier in the match, Nick Bloch took on the burpees to 10-foot ring while Andrew Rape had to repeat the nine clean and jerks.

Both teams were neck-and-neck heading into the final element, but the Anthem sent out Joshua Arcona instead of Jared Enderton. Arcona was much more fresh and was able to cycle through the clean and jerks unbroken while the reps were too much for Rape. As Arcona sprinted back to the start line, Rape dropped the bar and collapsed near the the finish line.

As Arcona crossed the finish line, the Anthem celebrated their first NPGL match victory. Christen Wagner of the Anthem said, “It was stressful, but in a good way.” The win moved the Anthem’s record to 1-1, tied with the Rhinos also at 1-1.

The rare glimpse of GRIDlock created some confusion following the match. The rules state the two men and two women will face of in the final four elements of Race 11 with no substitutions. The Rhinos protested the Anthem’s swap of Arcona for Enderton on the final element, however, it was within the rules because the swap occurred before the start of the GRIDlock race. The Rhinos did commit an infraction as they sent out three men to complete GRIDlock.

GRIDlock might never have happened though if Aegidius had not challenged a no-rep on Nick Bloch during Race 2, Mirror. Aegidius argued that Bloch was no repped when he struggled to complete the overhead portion of a thruster. The challenge was overruled and the call stood as called on the Grid. The downside of losing a challenge is that the other team selects an athlete who can’t compete in Race 11. The Anthem selected Elijah Muhammad as the athlete on the Rhinos who would have to sit out Race 11.

The selection proved to be wise as Muhammad was the best athlete on the burpee to 10-foot ring element. Bloch had to fill in for Muhammad, but with an injured quadriceps, Bloch was not nearly as fast. This allowed the Anthem to take a slight lead for Enderton to hold on and force GRIDlock.

The Anthem’s win puts them in contention for a playoff spot heading into the final regular season match. The Rhinos, now 1-1, are in the same position as the Anthem but face the Eastern conference leaders, DC Brawlers.

Up Next:
Baltimore Anthem (1-1) vs Boston Iron (0-2)
New York Rhinos (1-1) vs DC Brawlers (2-0)

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