If you’re looking for evidence that CrossFit HQ and Dave Castro are programing with drama and entertainment in mind, look no further than individual Event 7 from the 2016 CrossFit Regionals. Since 2014, the final event of Regionals weekend has consisted of a two movement, all out sprint designed to be quick and dirty.
Last year’s muscle up and clean ladder was certainly fun to watch and provided a few unforgettable moments, like EZ Muhammad‘s win that clinched him a spot to the Games, and Sheila Barden’s breakdown that cost her a spot. But those moments were few in comparison to 2016.
This year’s couplet of 21 thrusters (95lb/65lb), 3 legless rope climbs, 15 thrusters, 2 legless rope climbs, 9 thrusters, and 1 legless rope climb was the stuff made of dreams…and nightmares. We can’t remember a Regional event that was so consistently devastating and exhilarating as this year’s Event 7. The three or so minutes of thrusters and legless rope-climbs literally changed the future of countless athletes, for better or worse.
We knew Event 7 was going to go down in the history books early on, when during the Pacific Regional, Khan Porter needed to win the event in order to make a return trip to Carson. In what can only be described as an epic performance, Porter put on a jaw-dropping show. We recommend watching Porter’s entire performance, from start to finish.
About 16 hours later, Event 7 reared its ugly head for the first time. Just like the year before, EZ Muhammad needed a win in Event 7 to get his ticket to Carson. It looked like he was going to make it happen, when on his last set of rope climbs he was apparently no-repped. We’re not quite sure what happened here, as the judge is offscreen (along with EZ’s long legs), but the end result was a .6 second difference that cost Muhammad a trip to the Games.
One week later, Jeff Evans followed in Muhammad’s unfortunate footsteps, much to the dismay of the arena and the entire internet. According to the rules as they were written, we know Evan’s rep was no good. He clearly closed his legs around the rope just before his hand touched the rope. Even Evans doesn’t dispute that fact.
What is disputed, though, is the consistency of judging across the board. This “technique” seemed to occur across all Regions, but Jeff Evans simply had the head judge’s eyes on him when he was toeing the line. We watched many athletes “get away” with the same split second difference, and it took multiple slow mo replays to make Evan’s no rep clear. It is a standard that was too hard to judge in real time, and Evans was the sacrificial lamb.
Heading into Event 7 on the women’s side of the Meridian Regional, the Top 5 ladies were all but guaranteed. The battle for first place was far from decided, though, and Event 7 turned into the ultimate Dottir vs. Dottir showdown. Annie Thorisdottir and Sara Sigmundsdottir had all but locked up 1st and 2nd place overall, and whoever beat the other would likely take the top spot. We were all focused on Sara and Annie when Samantha Briggs showed up to the party, creating an unforgettable race to the finish.
Event 7 would claim one more dream before the Meridian weekend was over. After watching his long time girlfriend Annie Thorisdottir qualify for the Games, Frederik Aegidius needed to beat Lucas Hogberg to return back to Carson. Getting to the ropes before Hogberg, Aegidius was no-repped on his first rope climb, effectively eliminating the lead he’d gained. The two kept up through the last set of thrusters when Aegidius was no-repped again, after dumping the bar too early, leaving him in 7th place overall.
Featured image: Khan Porter’s Instagram and blaze1706