CrossFit Semifinal Fluffer: Week 3. 

June 3-5

Far East Throwdown: Busan, South Korea.

As the legend has it, there is a man living somewhere up in the Russian hills. Living? No. Surviving might be the more accurate depiction. Through freezing temperatures in an even harsher environment, he has slowly cultivated an unshakable will to dominate those around him.

There was a time when he thought he might be satisfied there. Living off the land, hunting with his hands. With Grace and Fran to keep him warm, he wanted to be forgotten. Just left alone. But they kept pushing.

Whispers from the CrossFit community pleaded, beckoning him to come out of his Siberian den and make the long journey to Madison. Some think this will be the year we finally see Roman Khrennikov at the Games, while others think that his legend is only a myth. 

Granite Games: Eagan, Minnesota.

The men’s division at Granite Games is shaping up to be one of the more compelling competitions in all of Semifinals. Unfortunately, when the music stops, someone’s feelings will be hurt. 

Chandler Smith, who placed 2nd at last year’s Granite Games, will be attempting to secure his spot at the CrossFit Games against the likes of Samual Kwant, Brent Fikowski (3rd at Games last year), Phil Toon, Travis Mayer, and Marquan Jones. To top it off, those six men must worry about Mr. Tyson himself, Colten Mertens. Fueled on nothing but pork-belly and dismay for Brian Friend, Colten will be hoping to punch his ticket to the Games through one of the more treacherous roads we have seen.

Looking at the lady’s side, there are few athletes who made a bigger splash after their 2021 season than Mallory O’Brian. After a 7th place finish last year, the 2022 season seems to be flashing more green lights Mal’s way, as she teamed up with Mat Fraser and won the worldwide Open.

 It is unlikely the woman’s competition at the Granite Games will test her extensively, but with the likes of Amanda Barnhart you can never be certain. Barnhart placed 9th at the Games last season and could likely trade event wins with Mal over this three-day weekend. Expect to see Emily Rolfe and Dani Speegle, who placed 15th and 35th respectively at last year at Games, fighting it out for a qualifying position as well.

-Dan Straub