In notorious Dave Castro fashion, the final event on the first day of individual competition for the 2021 CrossFit Games was unknown until moments before it began. What was known is four-time reigning Fittest Woman on Earth®, Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr was throwing a perfect game. She went three-for-three across the first three events in the competition and ranked 30 points ahead of Haley Adams in second place overall.
Once game time rolled around for Event Four, athletes learned they had to perform wall walks — a callback to Open Workout 21.1 — and thrusters. Scott Panchik scored the second event win of his career as the only male athlete to finish with a sub-14-minute time. Mallory O’Brien was the story at the end of the event as she became the youngest ever winner of a CrossFit Games event at age 17.
Here were the results:
Individual Event Four — Top Five Men
- Scott Panchik— 13:39.61
- Justin Medeiros — 14:50.28
- Brent Fikowski — 15:05.03
- Saxon Panchik — 15:17.35
- Jay Crouch— 15:18.65
Individual Event Four — Top Five Women
- Mallory O’Brien — 13:41.22
- Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr — 14:15.83
- Emma Cary — 14:25.57
- Brooke Wells — 14:34.55
- Amanda Barnhart —13:35.95
Both divisions featured two heats.
Individual Event Four
For time — 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:
- Wall walks
Time cap of 21 minutes. Thrusters: Men — 185 pounds | Women — 135 pounds
The broadcast team made clear early on how much more tiring the wall walks would be paired with thrusters than when paired with double unders, as they were in Open Workout 21.1. Cole Sager and Scott Panchik were the first two athletes in heat one through the opening wall walks. They stayed on pace through the second round, where Panchik took a small lead.
Jeffrey Adler, Colten Mertens, Jay Crouch, and Uldis Upenieks caught up to Sager — they were all a handful of reps behind Panchik at the 50 rep mark (110 reps total in the event). Notably, Panchik battled through knee pain — he tweaked his meniscus during Event One. Despite that, he never gave up the lead and scored a heat-winning time of 13:39.61.
Crouch took second in the heat with a time of 15:18.65. Upenieks scored third place with a time of 15:53.12. Chandler Smith came in fourth with a time of 17:06.73.
Heat two, Brent Fikowski, Noah Ohlsen, and Justin Medeiros, shared the lead in the first round of thrusters. Saxon Panchik didn’t let their lead last for too long and battled his way within a rep of the lead by the 50-rep mark. Those four athletes continued to trade the lead as Patrick Vellner clawed his way into the mix.
Medeiros claimed a slight lead by tackling the smaller sets of thrusters unbroken. Despite the fast pace of this heat, none of the times beat Scott Panchik’s. It was Panchik’s second event win of his Games career.
Thuridur Helgadottir and Emma Cary claimed the early lead for the first women’s heat. By the 30-rep mark, Gabriela Migała and Arielle Loewen got into the mix for the lead. By the 40-rep mark, Sasha Nievas was also within a rep of Cary. Those five women held the top five spots heading into the round of five reps.
Cary extended her lead by a few reps and maintained it for the duration of the heat. She hit a final time of 14:25.57 — the first heat win of her Games career. Loewen finished in second with a time of 14:57.23. A few minutes later, Migała crossed the finish line at 16:26.44, followed by Laura Clifton at 17:08.93 and Helgadottir at 17:09.18.
In heat two, all eyes were on Toomey-Orr, and she got off to a hot start. She shared the lead with Mallory O’Brien and Brooke Wells heading into the second round of wall walks. Annie Thorisdottir was also in the mix, only a few reps back from the lead.
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By round three of wall walks, O’Brien sustained a two-rep lead over the four-time champ. O’Brien was moving faster through the wall walks, while Toomey-Orr was quicker with the barbell. Wells was still a few reps behind and was joined by Amanda Barnhart and Katrin Davíðsdóttir by the round of seven thrusters.
O’Brien was the first athlete to advance to the second wall for the round of six wall walks. She sustained the lead and took the event win — she is the youngest ever winner of an event at the Games at age 17. Toomey-Orr held on to second place overall in the event to finish the day atop the overall leaderboard. Cary’s time held up for a third-place finish in the event.
The Games Continue
Thursday, July 29, 2021, will be a rest day. However, there are still three days of competition after that left. They will feature 11 more events (15 total). Event Five will involve rope climbs, ski ergs, and sandbags. Event Eight will be a handstand walk, the details of which are still up in the air — as is the case with many of the remaining events. The goal for the women, it seems, is to put a meaningful dent into Toomey-Orr’s lead. The Men’s podium still appears fairly open, heading into the next three days of Individual competition.
Feature image courtesy of CrossFit