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
- 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 Davidsdottir. 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 Davidsdottir 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
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
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
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.
Who are you excited to watch in Aromas? Let us know in the comments below!