Entering the tenth and final event, Heavy Grace, yesterday at the 2022 Rogue Invitational, Justin Medeiros held a slim 5-point margin over Pat Vellner in 2nd place. Vellner would need to beat Medeiros and have one athlete slip between their times for Vellner to overtake Medeiros for the championship (Medeiros held the tiebreaker with two event wins).
And 25 reps into the 30 clean and jerks at 225 pounds, Vellner was on his way to doing exactly what was needed. When Vellner completed his 25th clean and jerk, Medeiros was completing his 23rd rep. Vellner also had the help he needed as Chandler Smith and Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson were between him and Medeiros.
But then disaster struck. Vellner failed the jerk on the next rep. Medeiros hit his 24th rep and followed that up with another to tie Vellner at 25 scored reps. Vellner would hit his next rep to take a slight lead, but now he didn’t have anyone in between him and Medeiros.
Medeiros, however, did not let up and quickly gained a one rep advantage while Vellner failed another jerk. By this time, Chandler Smith had crossed the finish line ahead of the two battling for the top of the leaderboard. Medeiros would cross the finish line 10 seconds behind Smith to secure the championship again for the second consecutive year.
However, Vellner was still two reps shy of completing the workout. Jayson Hopper, Gudmundsson and Sam Kwant would all pass Vellner during those final two reps pushing Vellner down to 10th in the event, netting him 55 points.
The problem was that Jeff Adler and Chandler Smith finished 1st and 3rd, respectively, on Heavy Grace. Both Smith and Adler were able to move ahead of Vellner in the final standings when the dust settled. Vellner would end up sliding down two spots on the leaderboard and off the podium for a 4th place finish.
Had Vellner been able to complete the last five clean and jerks without failing, there was a very good chance he would have been on the top of the podium Sunday night. He would have also received massive $218,868 payout for taking first place.
But after sliding down to 4th overall, Vellner will receive $30,540. That’s a difference of $188,328.
Vellner took to social media after the competition and shared the following quote. “Only those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” – JFK.
Vellner went on to say that the loss “stings” but that he will get over it. He said he was proud of the decision to go for it. He concluded by reassuring his fans that you will see him in 2023. He signed off on his post by saying, “Sincerely not retired.” -PV