Darkness had fallen over Dell Diamond in Round Rock, TX, but there was still a competition to finish. The only thing standing between Oleksii Novikov and the 2022 Rogue Invitational championship was the final event: the Stones Over Hitching Post. Trey Mitchell and Martins Licis had to leave it all on the platform, and hope Novikov was off his game if either were to win this competition.
The goal of this event was simple. The strongmen had to lift five stones that weighed 275, 300, 365, 400, and 420 pounds over a 25-foot long and 50-inch tall hitching post that served as a crossbar. The athlete who could lift all five stones over in the fastest time was the winner. Athletes who couldn’t convert all five were scored by the stones and times they did achieve. The athletes had two minutes to get the job done.
Novikov entered the event knowing he needed to best Mitchell by four ranks to secure the title, and he did not cave under the pressure. While Mitchell won the event in a blazing sub-25-seconds, Novikov landed a third-place score and the overall contest crown.
[Related: 2022 Rogue Invitational Strongman Results]
[Related: Hafþór Björnsson Announces Plan to Break His Weight Over Bar World Record at the 2022 Rogue Invitational]
Event Six — “Stones Over Hitching Post” Results
- Trey Mitchell — 24.79 seconds
- Mitchell Hooper — 26.49 seconds
- Oleksii Novikov — 30.62 seconds
- Maxime Boudreault — 36.28 seconds
- Eythor Ingolfsson Melsted — 1:07.14 seconds
- Pavlo Nakonechnyy — Four stones
- Kevin Faires — Four stones
- Martins Licis — Three stones
- Rob Kearney — Three stones
- Bobby Thompson — Two stones
Event Six Workout — “Stones Over Hitching Post”
- Stone weights: 275, 300, 365, 400, and 420 pounds
Stones Over Hitching Post Highlights
The athletes started in reverse order of how they were ranked entering the event. Kevin Faires was up first, and he converted the first four stones quickly. After asking the crowd to get louder for him, he gave a solid effort, but he couldn’t maneuver the fifth stone. Eythor Ingolfsson Melstead took his turn next, and he got all five stones in 67 seconds and change
Maxime Boudreault was third and sought to finish this competition on a high note. He got through the first four stones in 23 seconds, and after a brief respite, he got the fifth over in a time of 36.28 seconds. Following Boudreault was former Arnold Strongman Australia winner Rob Kearney. After struggling to hold onto the fourth stone, he finished the event with three successful lifts.
Bobby Thompson took his turn but missed the third stone twice and had to stop due to a cramp in his midsection. Ukraine’s own Pavlo Nakonechnyy approached the stones and cleared the first four stones with no trouble. However, his inexperience cost him time and energy on the fifth, and he bowed out before converting it.
The defending champion, Martins Licis, won this event to take the title last year. Unfortunately for him, he suffered an injury when working on the fourth stone, and he had to bow out — though what the injury was remained unclear. While a sad moment for Licis, he guaranteed a new champion would be crowned. The crowd paid respect to the 2021 winner before Mitchell Hooper approached the stones.
Hooper needed four stones to clinch the bronze spot overall in the competition. He did much better than that as the first strongman to finish in less than 30 seconds. That put extra pressure on both Trey Mitchell and the leader, Novikov.
Mitchell had to beat Novikov by four positions in this event to overtake him for the overall lead. Novikov only converted four stones in this event at the 2021 contest, so there was a looming aura that Mitchell could snag that top overall spot. Mitchell did his part, converting all five stones in just under 25 seconds to take the lead.
That meant Novikov had to get all five stones in a time of 1:07 or better to claim the title. Novikov did just that in less than 30 seconds to be the 2022 Rogue Invitational Champion!
Featured Image: @novikov_strong_wsm on Instagram