Brooke Wells Ready to FIGHT for the CrossFit Games Podium

Can Brooke Wells be the woman to challenge Tia-Clair Toomey?

Brooke Well is a six-time CrossFit Games athlete, and while she burst onto the scene years ago as a promising teenage rookie, she’s now a seasoned competition veteran. She’s strong, she’s fit, and she has fantastic body control. That complete package contributed to an outstanding performance in Stage 1 of the 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games, placing her second behind three-time defending champion Tia-Clair Toomey.

The Top 5 Women and Top 5 Men will compete for the podium at the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas, California. The points reset, so Toomey won’t be taking a scoring advantage into that event. And while Tia is the clear favorite to continue her streak of victories, Brooke Wells looks best-positioned to challenge her.

A fun fact: No American woman has stood on the CrossFit Games podium since 2014, when Julie Foucher finished in second place. With three American women in this year’s Finals, it’s virtually guaranteed there will be an American woman in the top 3. That could mean a first-ever podium finish for Brooke Wells, who missed out on the 2019 Games Top 10 after a devastating out-of-bound penalty in the sprint event. 

Brooke Wells and the 2020 CrossFit Games

We break down Brooke’s road to Aromas, including her performance in Stage 1:

00:00 Brooke Wells as a Games finalist
00:30 Wells as a seasoned veteran
01:42 Wells’ end at the 2019 CrossFit Games
02:30 Brooke’s incredibly consistent Stage 1
03:38 Points reset
04:05 Wells vs. Toomey
05:53 Wells’ improvements

Brooke Wells Finals Performance

Event One — 2007 Reloaded

For time:

  • 1,500-meter row

Then five rounds of:

  • 10 bar muscle-ups
  • 7 shoulder-to-overheads — 145 pounds

Coming out of the row, Wells fell to the back of the pack behind Tia-Clair Toomey, Haley Adams, and Kari Pearce, but had a gap between her and Katrin Davíðsdóttir. Wells had to stop for breaks more often than the three competitors ahead of her and was unable to catch up. The big moment came in Wells final shoulder-to-overheads, which were giving her a difficult time. 

Wells struggled to get her final reps overhead, performing several failed reps which drained a lot of energy. The additional breaks between those failed reps gave Davíðsdóttir who was trailing all event to make one last push to overtake Wells and earn fourth place. That left Wells to claim the 15 points that accompany a last-place finish in event one.

Event Two — Corn Sack Sprint

For time:

320-meter hill sprint with a corn sack — 30 pounds

This was a rollercoaster event for Wells, who sprinted out of the gates quickly to battle for the lead against Toomey. Wells allowed Toomey to take the lead after choosing to avoid some brush on the second hill. By going wide up the route, Wells had to travel a bit farther, giving up some valuable time.

Wells was able to then hold second position for the majority of the sprint, but at a certain point towards the back half fatigue hit really hard. She dropped quickly behind the pace of the other three competitors who were able to cross the finish line before her. Wells placed last again for the second event in a row and will need some big performances to move her way back up the leaderboard.

Event Three — CrossFit Total

For total load:

1-rep-max back squat
1-rep-max shoulder press
1-rep-max deadlift

Wells began her comeback in this event with a big second-place finish that might have broken her way had athlete order of the lifts been different. As Wells was in last place coming into the event, she made all of her attempts first, while Toomey made all her lifts last. It came down to a final attempt on Toomey’s part to pull a victory away from Wells. An excellent performance nonetheless and a colossal 884-pound total for Wells on the back of these lifts:

  • Squat — 315 pounds
  • Shoulder Press — 137 pounds
  • Deadlift — 432 pounds

Event Four — Handstand Sprint

For time:

100-yard handstand walk

After a poor showing in the first two events, Wells came through in the back half of the day. After a huge second place performance in event three, she followed it up with her first event win of the Finals in the handstand sprint with a time of 1:21.22.

Event Five — Ranch Loop

Run along 3-mile± course through varying terrain

Wells run took a turn for the worst when she literally took the wrong turn. After getting back on course, she was too far behind to make up time and finished last for the third time in five events.

Event Six — Toes-To-Bar/Lunge

30-20-10 reps for time:
Kettlebell lunge (yards) — 24-kilogram kettlebells 

Wells managed to maintain the middle position throughout this event on the heels of Davíðsdóttir, who was on the heels of Toomey. Her final time was 3:51.05.

Event Seven — Snatch Speed Triple

For time:

One snatch at each bar

  • Quarterfinal:
      Women 145-150-155 pounds
  • Semifinal:
      Women 160-165-170 pounds
  • Final:
      Women 175-180-185 pounds

Wells claimed a big second-place finish behind Toomey in this event to continue a solid start to the second day of competition. It was clear that the strength based events were her forte and that was on display through the three rounds of the Snatch Speed Triple.

Event Eight — Bike Repeater

10 rounds:
440-meter bike sprint
One legless rope climb — 15 feet

If the strength events were where Wells excelled, the longer endurance events were her weakness at the Games. She fell behind for the entirety of this event, nearly getting lapped by Toomey, and ended up fifth.

Event Nine — Happy Star

Four rounds:

200- to 300-meter hill run

5-7-9-11 reps of:

  • Burpee
  • Thruster — 95-105-110-115 pounds

Wells improved one rank to a fourth-place finish in the Happy Star event, besting only Haley Adams. Wells official time of 10:05.21 was more than 30 seconds behind Davíðsdóttir, who finished in the middle position.

Event Ten — Swim ‘N’ Stuff

Four rounds, each for time:

  • Air bike calories (10 | 15)
  • 50-meter swim
  • 10 GHD sit-ups
  • 10 ball slams 40 pounds
  • Rest

Begin a new round every four minutes.
*Rounds two and four performed in reverse

The two athletes who stood out in this event were Toomey, for her incredible speed in the water, and Adams, for her cycle pace on the GHD sit-ups. Wells official cumulative time of 9:39.96 was good enough for a fourth-place finish.

Event Eleven — Sprint Sled Sprint

  • 100-yard sprint
  • 100-yard sled push — 80-pound sled
  • 100-yard sprint

Although Wells was unable to out sprint Toomey, she had a great performance in this event as she excelled in the sled portion. Wells stood more upright in the sled push versus Toomey’s lower position, but it proved effective for her and scored another second-place finish.

Event Twelve — Atalanta

While wearing a 14-pound vest:

  • One mile run
  • 100 handstand push-ups
  • 200 pistol squats
  • 300 pull-ups
  • One mile run

This was a long event that didn’t fare well for Wells. She fell significantly behind in the pistol squats and was unable to make up any ground in the pull-ups or run. She finished in last place and fell to fifth overall on the leaderboard.

What did you think of the competition Aromas? Let us know in the comments below!