Competition Recap: Elite

Photo: Shaun Cleary (@supercleary)

Photo: Shaun Cleary (@supercleary)

After three days of competition at the DC Armory a man, woman, and team have all been dubbed Champions of the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit® Challenge and earned an invitation to the 2019 CrossFit Games.

In a season with a new landscape, it can sometimes be confusing as to who will get the invites from the Sanctioned Events due to previous qualifications and backfill procedures. We came into the weekend with scenarios that could send athletes who placed first or placed third. But the MACC proved that the victors get all the spoils…

Each division winner will indeed earn their invite to Madison, WI.

Elite Teams:

It’s been 4 months and 3 Sanctioned Events in the making, but Invictus X has finally found the winning combination of athletes to earn a return trip to the CrossFit Games. Sam Dancer and Holden Rethwill have been consistent as the male members of the team. Chantelle Loehner and Maddy Myers were not on this team back in December, but it is clear that their addition to the team brings yet another formidable group with their sights on Madison.

Through the entire competition, Invictus X placed in the top 6 in every event. The super-team, Misfit did all they could to keep the points close, but Invictus X proved to be strong, and too consistent in the end.

Elite Women:

Many assumed the darling of the CrossFit Sanctional™ season, Dani Speegle, would come to the MACC and earn a seamless victory. As the weekend wore on, however, it became a two-women race. Heading into the final event Speegle held a slim 6 point lead over former Games individual athlete Meg Reardon.

The final event was a couplet of muscle-ups and ascending weight snatches. It was very close through one round, but in rounds two and three, as Speegle’s muscle ups slowed a bit, Reardon stayed strong. Meg took second place in the event, and when Paige Semenza hit her first attempt on the heaviest barbell and crossed the finish line (a mere two seconds before Speegle) it was settled. Meg Reardon became the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit® Challenge champion by a 4-point margin. Thus, she is heading back to the Games this July.

Elite Men:

Sanctioned events on the men’s side have yielded some potentially unlikely champions this year, but nothing comes close to what we saw this weekend. John-Paul Hethcock wasn’t even supposed to be here. He was 23rd in the online qualifier (only the top 20 were invited). Less than a week before the event, two athletes withdrew, and one athlete ahead of him declined their backfill invitation to compete. He was going to be in DC anyway cheering on his girlfriend Tammy Wildgoose, who was competing in the women’s division, so he accepted the invite.

As the events wore on, he continued to put up impressive performances and was lingering near the top of the leaderboard. Then, after a couple stumbles in events from other contending athletes, he found himself in first place heading into the final event.  

All Hethcock needed to do was finish in the top three to earn the invite, but in the true fashion of a champion, he took a victory on the final event and left no doubt that he was the fittest man this weekend in the nation’s capital.

The weekend was filled with exciting finishes and races in a Sectionals™ storyline that was unpredictable in the best way possible. Congratulations to Invictus X, Meg Reardon, and John-Paul Hethcock on an excellent performance and well-earned victories. Best of luck this summer in Madison!