CrossFit Games Day 2: Elites Fall, Blood in the Water

By Ben Garves, WODDITY

As day two of the 2019 CrossFit Games comes to a close, we’re breaking down the cuts of podium athletes like Brent Fikowski and Ben Smith, the rise of Noah Ohlsen, and more.

Athletes and Teams Who Boomed

Noah Ohlsen

It feels strange to type, but Mat Fraser isn’t in first place after two days and five events. That honor goes to Noah Ohlsen, a skilled athlete who has fallen to mistakes in previous years. So far, that appears to be the Noah Ohlsen of CrossFit past. His dominant performance in “Mary” during event five had the entire stadium on their feet.

Tia-Clair Toomey

Much like Fraser, Toomey didn’t look invincible today. She’s counting her blessings, though; a second-place finish in the Sprint Couplet and a fourth-place finish in Mary helped her keep the leader jersey despite having two twelfth-place finishes.

Team OC3 Black

OC3 Black also had a hole to overcome. 14th-place and one 8th-place finish had them dug deeply into a deficit. By the end of the day, they had kicked in the afterburners and climbed to fourth-place, finding themselves within striking distance of the lead and a little less under threat of being cut.

Anna Fragkou

We wrote about Fragkou as a day one surprise: she’s one of only a few national champions outside the CrossFit Open’s top-20 to still be in contention. She stands in fifth-place after day two. It’s an incredible performance for someone who placed 714th in the Open.

Will Moorad

Moorad has been one of the feel good stories of the 2019 season. After being misdiagnosed with an auto-immune disorder and being forced to take time away from competition, he’s been back with vengeance. He currently sits in seventh on the leaderboard.

Haley Adams

We also wrote about Haley Adams after day one’s cuts. She’s been able to turn a successful teen career into some fantastic performances as an elite female athlete. She stands in ninth place, despite placing as low as 34th on the Sprint Couplet event.

Matt McCleod

This Australian athlete had a great event win placing first in the Sprint Couplet, and fifth in Mary. This has kept in in ninth place, despite placing 40th in First Cut, 44th in Second Cut, and 18th in Ruck.

Lukas Hogberg

Hogberg is also counting his blessings today. This Swedish athlete’s performances on Ruck (first-place) and Mary (fifth-place) have kept him away from cuts despite finishing in 39th, 18th, 15th, and 19th in previous events.

Emily Rolfe

Rolfe is celebrating a rookie breakout season after placing all the way down at 300th in the CrossFit Open. She also celebrated her first event win when she crossed the finish line of Ruck ahead of all other women.

Laura Horvath

The 2018 Rookie of the Year is having a rocky sophomore outing, but has managed to hang onto 18th-place despite finishing in 27th on the Mary event.

Athletes and Teams Who Busted

Mat Fraser

Only an athlete as dominant as Mat Fraser could make second-place seem like an underwhelming performance. After sweeping the field in day one, a small scandal befell Fraser on the Ruck event. A ten-pound weight fell from his pack on the last turn into the stadium and he was given a time penalty, pushing him to a 17th-place finish in the event.

Later in the end-of-day press conference, Fraser wrote the dropped weight off as having been a surprise to him. However, footage shows Fraser turning to look at the weight as it fell from his pack.

CrossFit Invictus Boston

CrossFit Invictus is a legendary affiliate in both the gym and competitive space. They’ve sent three teams to the CrossFit Games this year, an CrossFit Invictus Boston was a favorite to unseat CrossFit Mayhem Freedom as the defending champions.

Unfortunately, a series of unfortunate events resulted in the team being cut today:

During the Team Strongman’s Fear event, fan-favorite Kelsey Kiel started to struggle with handstand walks. Despite this, they were still able to largely keep up with the middle of the competitive field until Kiel began to suffer from cramping in her foot. As the team pushed the 700-lb Rogue Snail up to the finish line, it became caught on another team’s Rogue Big Bob sled, just inches from crossing.

Kaitlyn Kassis of CrossFit Invictus Boston tends to teammate Kelsey Kiel after an 11th-place finish in Team Strongman's Fear.
Kaitlyn Kassis of CrossFit Invictus Boston tends to teammate Kelsey Kiel after an 11th-place finish in Team Strongman’s Fear.

After a failed appeal, Invictus Boston has been cut after falling to 12th-place.

Brent Fikowski

Brent Fikowsi has been a top athlete for a number of years, placing second at the 2017 CrossFit Games, and fourth in both the 2016 and 2018 Games. He’s one of two podium athletes to fall victim to the new cut rules this year. His final finish is in 23rd.

Ben Smith

Ben Smith joins Fikowski as the second podium athlete to be cut. Smith has the longest active CrossFit Games streak, attending his 11th this year under the new wildcard rules. Smith placed third in the 2013 CrossFit Games, second in 2016, and was crowned Fittest Man on Earth after winning the 2015 Games.

Dani Speegle

Speegle has been one of the most competitive athletes of the 2019 season, bringing dominant performances to the competition floor at multiple Sanctional events. After a strong first day, a 39th-place finish in Ruck and 28th-place finish in Mary pushed her below the day’s cut line.


In years past, Canada has been a significant force on the floor of the CrossFit Games. That edge looks different this year, with:

  • Camille Leblanc-Bazinet – Emigrated to the United States and is on the CrossFit Krypton team.
  • Michelle Letendre – Retired
  • Emily Abbott – Sanctioned after drug test
  • Patrick Vellner – Fell to 10th
  • Brent Fikowski – Cut on day two
  • CarolAnn ReasonThibault – Fell to sixteenth
  • Emily Rolfe – Sits at seventeeth
  • Carolyne Prevost – Fell to nineteenth

Iceland’s Dottirs

An Icelander has been on the CrossFit Games podium for five years straight. That streak is looking more and more like it will be broken, as Annie Thorisdottir, Katrin Davidsdottir, Thuri Helgadottir, and Sara Sigmundsdottir sit in tenth, eleventh, 12th, and 20th-place, respectively.

In fact, Iceland has had podium finishers for seven of the last eight CrossFit Games:

  • 2018: Katrin Davidsdottir (Female-3rd)
  • 2017: Annie Thorisdottir (Female-3rd)
  • 2016: Katrin Davidsdottir (F-1), Sara Sigmundsdottir (Female-3rd)
  • 2015: Katrin Davidsdottir (Female-1st), Sara Sigmundsdottir (Female-3rd), BK Gudmundsson (Male-3rd)
  • 2014: Annie Thorisdottir (Female-2nd)
  • 2013: None
  • 2012: Annie Thorisdottir (Female-1st)
  • 2011: Annie Thorisdottir (Female-1st)

By Ben Garves

Ben Garves is a digital product expert, author, entertainer, and activist. His portfolio of thought leadership in digital marketing and web experiences has included major clients like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, eBay, and Facebook. He’s also a freelance health and fitness journalist with over 400 stories written since 2018, a podcaster with 200 episodes to his name, and runs a YouTube channel with over 100 fitness and activism-oriented videos and live streams. Ben has founded the Fitness is for Everyone™ initiative to raise awareness about social injustice in both racial inequality and socioeconomic disparity in access to quality fitness and nutrition options around the globe.

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