Ben Smith has been to the CrossFit Games five times and was the 2015 CrossFit Games champion. Before the Super Regional format, Smith was so dominant at regionals he would not even test the workouts leading up to competition.
But on Friday, Smith finds himself in a bit of trouble. After an 18th place finish on Event 1 and a 19th place finish on Event 2, Smith sits tied for 19th place overall. His 100 points puts him 42 points behind Ryan Elrod, who is in 5th place.
What may be even more difficult to overcome is that there are 13 athletes between him and a qualifying spot, meaning good finishes the rest of the way might not even be enough.
In the five regionals already wrapped up during the first two weeks, the top 5 spot earned at least 400 points with some needing 450. This would mean Smith needs to average between 3rd and 6th place, or 75 to 90 points each event the rest of the way in be in contention.
It is certainly doable as we saw with Brooke Wells last week, although she was in 12th entering Moving Day. And athletes like Jeff Patzer in California had two terrible finishes (34th on Event 3 and 28th on Event 6) and managed to earn a spot to the Games. The only difference is that Patzer’s bad events weren’t on Day 1 so he was able to stay in the final heat all three days.
Smith will be in the second heat on Saturday, meaning his toughest competition will be in the two heats after him. He will need to put up a really strong time in both events today that can’t be matched if he wants to get back into contention.
The top of the leaderboard in the Atlantic has some new faces on it heading into Saturday. John Cotley leads the pack in 1st place followed by Noah Ohlsen. Jake Berman and Ryan Elrod are in 3rd and 5th, respectively, and CrossFit Games veteran Nathan Bramblett sits in 4th. Jacob Anderson and Travis Mayer are just outside of the top 5 in 7th and 8th.
And going back to Ben Smith, he is behind both of his brothers after Friday. Alec Smith is in 10th overall while youngest brother, Dane, is in 14th.