Last week, we saw both Will Sutton and Haley Johnson retain their status as Titans of the East. In the men’s division, pro golfer Ryan Steenberg injured his bicep on Mount Olympus allowing Sutton to take a solo run on the course. In the women’s division, pro wrestler Dasha Kuret was fell to Johnson who outpaced Kuret from the start.
This week determined who would advance to the East Regional finals. Whomever stands victorious there will earn a spot in the Titan Games Championships to battle against the Titans of the West Region — Margaux Alvarez and Noah Palicia — and the Titans of the Central Region — Dani Speegle and Matt Chan.
Competing in the women’s division was fitness model Courtney Roselle and firefighter Shantal Athill. Both athletes were from New Jersey and both sought the same goal — to replace Johnson on Mount Olympus.
In the men’s division, police officer Blake Broadhurst battled against Army Parachute Rigger Josh Porter.
In both divisions, the first athlete to win two out of three events would earn the chance to compete on Mount Olympus.
Nuts & Bolts — Women’s Division
Each athlete is assigned a wall with long pegs that are weighed down with large plates for a combined weight of 2,000lb. Competitors race to spin plates off their respective wall so they can pull it down using rope. The first athlete to bring down their wall and pull the Victory Chain wins.
Right out of the gate, both athletes headed straight for the plates on the top posts. The height advantage was on Roselle’s side and she took a slight edge early on. That edge was pressed as Athill struggled to find the proper leverage to slide the plates off her top posts.
By the time Athill dropped her first plate, Roselle had already cleared her top section. Her huge lead did not divert Roselle’s strategy which was to attempt to pull the wall down with all the weight on the lower center post still attached — a move host Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson questioned:
Might be too early! Might be too early!
With 350lb still left on her wall — more than any competitor has ever pulled down on Nuts & Bolts — Roselle was unable to lock it in and had to run back to slide off more plates. A huge setback that Athill needed to climb back into the race.
Roselle still managed to clear out the last of her plates before Athill and take another shot at pulling down the wall. The question looming as she jogged to position: was there was enough gas left in the tank?
Her adrenaline kicked in at the right moment, and in an event that was in Roselle’s control from beginning to end, the fitness model took a one to nothing lead.
- Roselle — 1
- Athill — 0
Launch Pad — Men’s Division
The goal of the event is to knock down four 250lb slabs suspended fifteen feet in the air while swinging from a gymnastic ring. It is a grueling test of balance and grip strength. First athlete to knock off all four slabs wins.
Since Porter jumps out of planes for a living, it was safe to assume that in this event that involves swinging in the air that he would be more comfortable than his police officer counterpart.
Broadhurst certainly appeared to be more controlled in his swings than Porter, but then managed to keep pace with each other early on. After Broadhurst took a lead 2-1, Porter decided to stop entirely to regain control.
The move paid off as Porter made up the deficit and managed to score a super narrow victory in the first event.
- Porter — 1
- Broadhurst — 0
Lunar Impact — Women’s Division
Both athletes race up a 25-foot ladder to opposite ends of a narrow ledge. They then run along the edge to the Sensor Wall. The winner is whomever able to push the wall all the way to the opponent’s end and knock them off the ledge.
Athill sped up the ladder faster than Roselle, but a slip towards the top brought both athletes to parity along the ledge.
Roselle was first to the Sensor Wall and her momentum was unbroken when Athill collided on the opposing side. In one of the more dominant performances ever seen on Lunar Impact, Rosella plowed Athill off the ledge and advanced to Mount Olympus.
- Roselle — Advanced
- Athill — Eliminated
Over the Edge — Men’s Division
A unique take on the classic tug-of-war, both athletes stand atop opposing platforms and pull on a 75 foot heavy chain attached a 75 foot rope. The rope is connected to the same giant block in between them. Once athletes have a hold of the rope and it’s taught, they must pull the block until it knocks over a Titan Relic latch on their side. Whomever knocks over their relic first wins.
Broadhurst had the pressure on him as a loss in this event would eliminate him from the competition.
On the chain pull, Porter moved hand-over-hand while Broadhurst pulled in sections with both arms. Ultimately, that hand-over-hand technique was the difference maker.
In what may have been the fastest blowout in the history of this event, Porter closed the door on Broadhurst in a blistering 35 seconds.
- Porter — Advanced
- Broadhurst — Eliminated
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The course on Mount Olympus consists of ten obstacles:
- Starting Gates — weaving over and under thick triangular hurdles.
- Box Flip — flipping a humungous box three times.
- Iron Ascent — using only their hands, athletes pull themselves up using a lever system.
- Log Lift — hauling a large log up a long flight of stairs. Note: entirely different from a strongman log lift.
- Sky Bridge — lifting two 120lb weights on a gear that is then spun to lower a bridge.
- Crank Down — turning a heavy crank to lower a pillar that is then climbed.
- Cage Crawl — a series of narrow crawl spaces built atop each other that must be crawled through.
- Drop Zone — a mounting series of large panels that hinge when the athlete places their weight at the edge.
- Ball & Chain — an spherical stone is dragged via chain across the arena.
- Titan Tomb — competitors smash a stone block to retrieve the Titan Relic (a metal relic shaped into The Titan Games logo).
Will Sutton vs. Josh Porter
Sutton is undefeated on this obstacle course, but Porter was arguably his toughest competition to date. Porter held both a height and size advantage over Sutton.
The school teacher from Tennessee seemed to pay no mind to being the smaller athlete as be barreled through the Starting Gates and took a slight lead on the Box Flip.
Porter sensed the pressure and ended up pushing too hard on the Box Flip causing it to land uneven on the ground. Without wasting time to square it up, Porter climbed over, but the mistake gave Sutton a big time advantage on the Iron Ascent.
That gap was partially closed as Porter raced up the Iron Ascent with a speed that even took The Rock by surprise.
Sutton’s experience on the course was apparent as he was smooth moving up the Log Lift. Porter, on the other hand, was much more manic but had the sheer power to battle through to regain parity.
In his biggest move on the course thus far, Porter ripped all the gears off the Sky Bridge in one motion. As they headed into the Crank Down, Porter actually took the lead by using that same hand-over-hand technique that dispatched Broadhurst earlier. Sutton’s best chance to reestablish his lead was to use his smaller size to navigate quickly through the Cage Crawl.
Porter’s clumsiness on the coarse bit him again as he toppled hard out of the Cage Crawl and landed hard on his shoulder. As both athletes ran to the Drop Zone, it was anyone’s game.
Sutton made a quick move out of the Drop Zone to take the lead running toward the Ball & Chain. As both athletes reached their second to last obstacle, it was clear they were both feeling fatigue set in.
There was speculation as to whether Porter might have injured himself at some point on the course as he struggled to pull the Ball & Chain.
Sutton was the first to Titan Tomb as Porter was winced in pain while stuck on the second to last obstacle. In the end, Sutton took it down, going a perfect 3-for-3 on Mount Olympus.
It was not disclosed if Porter had suffered an injury or not.
Courtney Roselle vs. Haley Johnson
Haley Johnson was undefeated in two appearances on Mount Olympus and that experience showed through the first four obstacles. Roselle has a hiccup on the Log Lift but kept pace with the defending Titan into the Sky Bridge.
Roselle took a narrow edge in the Cage Crawl, but Johnson caught up at the Drop Zone.
It came down to who had the better technique pulling the 200lb of the Ball & Chain. In a huge move, Roselle dragged the Ball & Chain over her shoulder as though it was feathers in a cloud and was first to the Titan Tomb.
Johnson was able to keep up and both athletes retrieved their Relics for a near photo finish. Ultimately, it was Roselle who claimed the throne as the new Titan of the East Region.
Next week, we’ll see Mount Olympus competitors and former Titans vie for a chance to reclaim their title and earn a spot in the Titan Games Championships.
Feature image via Josh Porter’s Instagram page: @sir.jumps.alot