The plan was to make it to the CrossFit Games by 2022. That plan moved forward three years on Sunday when Chandler Smith earned an invite to the CrossFit Games after finishing 5th at the 2019 Rogue Invitational. Smith will be joined by Rachel Garibay who also earned her way to Madison, Wisconsin, to compete at the 2019 CrossFit Games.
In a field of Games veterans, including Mat Fraser, Patrick Vellner, Ben Smith, Noah Ohlsen, Cole Sager (and many more), Smith started off the two-day, eight-event Sanctional at Rogue Fitness HQ with two 2nd place finishes in the first three events. The strong start vaulted him up the leaderboard, well ahead of the non-qualified athletes who were competing for a spot at the Games.
One of those athletes chasing Smith was 2015 CrossFit Games champion, Ben Smith. Ben Smith was just three months removed from knee surgery, but made the trek to Columbus, Ohio, to give it a shot to make it to his 11th consecutive CrossFit Games. But after struggling on Day 1, Ben Smith was essentially out of contention to finish above Chandler Smith.
Chandler Smith, however, left no doubt that he would be moving on to the CrossFit Games. Smith stayed in the final heat alongside Fraser, Vellner, Sager and Hoerner all weekend. Chandler Smith was the only athlete who had not already qualified for the CrossFit Games in the final heat. By the final event, no one was within reach to catch the fan favorite, Chandler Smith.
With his placement at the Rogue Invitational, Chandler Smith will be making his rookie debut at the 2019 CrossFit Games.
On the women’s side, Rachel Garibay earned an invite to the CrossFit Games. Through six events, Margaux Alvarez was leading all of the women who had not yet qualified, but she was expected to decline an invite if she had finished atop the non-qualified leaderboard. However, on Event 7, Alvarez was only able to complete one strict deficit handstand push-up. She was unable to meet the minimum work requirement and was dropped to the bottom of the leaderboard.
That left Garibay in a battle against Karine Shrum and Lauren Suever. Garibay, however, looked strong on the HSPU’s and was able to separate herself from the rest of those who had not yet qualified for the Games. Garibay finished 11th overall and earned an invite to compete as a rookie at the CrossFit Games this August.
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