Lindsey Valenzuela failed to qualify for the 2014 CrossFit Games this weekend at the Socal Regional. She finished 4th among competitors behind Games veterans Valerie Voboril, Rebecca Voigt and newcomer to individual competition Lauren Fisher. How did this happen? We break down each event in a two part series to identify why Lindsey Valenzuela will not be returning to this years Games.
Lindsey Valenzuela, fresh off a 1st place finish earlier at this years OC Throwdown and a 2nd place finish at the 2013 CrossFit Games was certainly on everyones shortlist of female competitors to win the 2014 Games. With Sam Briggs failing to qualify, crowning Lindsey “The Fittest” seemed more of a reality. But there would be one 20 year prodigy and newcomer to individual competition at this years regionals who would spoil all of Lindsey’s plans of returning to Games. Her name is Lauren Fisher. Lets recap Lindsey’s weekend and highlight what if anything could have been done to secure a Games invite.
Event 1 – Max Hang Snatch
This event aligned perfectly with Lindsey’s skills, olympic lifts for strength.
Lindsey successfully nailing 175lbs
Attempt – (F)ail or (S)uccess
165lb (S), 175 (S), 185 (F)
Lindsey unsuccessfully attempted to match Jamie Hagiya’s final lift of 185. Before her attempt, she appeared to be communicating with her coach in the stands? She gestured 5, as in 5 more pounds but elected to attempt 185.
Had her coach been aware she was tied with the top lift for the day, she probably could’ve played it safe and attempted 5 more pounds. If Jamie failed at 185, she’d have top lift in SoCal. If Jamie was successful at 185, worst she could end up with is second in this event. Lindsey decided to go for the first place tie and attempted 185. The result was a missed lift and a second place finish in Event 1.
Event 2 – Max Distance Handstand Walk
(8th) 200 ft.
Before regionals, we posted an article breaking down how Lindsey could miss qualifying for the Games in this event (ala Sam Briggs). Her weakness unquestionably has been handstand walks. Whether it be at the Games last years ‘Cinco 2’ event or at the 2011 Games, Lindsey has struggled with this movement.
Lindsey silenced all critics walking a total distance of 200 ft, which is more than we expected. Her strategy was a very slow and steady pace. The commentators mentioned that walking that slow would more than likely lead to tiring out quicker. Nevertheless, she finished 8th in this event and appeared to be happy with her performance.
Event 3 – Nasty Girls V2
“Nasty Girls V2 began as a race between Hagiya and Valenzuela, but Hagiya quickly took the lead with quick and efficient pistols almost two times faster than any other woman. Hagiya was the first to the rings for her first seven muscle-ups, followed closely by Valenzuela.
As Hagiya finished, Valenzuela, Voboril and Fisher started on their last muscle-ups. Voboril made it off the rings and through ten unbroken cleans first, finishing in second with a time of 8:44. Fisher moved past Valenzuela, who was struggling on her final few muscle-ups, grabbing the fourth place spot. After multiple failed attempts, Valenzuela got her last muscle-up, completed her cleans unbroken, jumped over her bar and finished in 10:21. Visibly shaken, Valenzuela took a few moments alone to collect herself, then stood on the sidelines and cheered for the rest of the ladies in the final heat.”
Overall Standings After Day 1
1. Valerie Voboril (13)
2. Rebecca Voigt (14)
3. Lauren Fisher (15)
4. Lindsey Valenzuela (16)
5. Jamie Hagiya (21)
“Valenzuela both struggled on this event, starting off with singles on their first set of handstand push-ups. Valenzuela kept her cool and stuck to her strategy of breaking up the handstand push-ups and finished in eighth overall at 14:58, keeping her in fourth overall in the standings.
Before the event, Valenzuela said she has stuck to her game plan so far.
“Some external stuff that happened yesterday that (was) out of my control. But I’ve regrouped and I think it was a good kind of pressure to put on me, since I work well under pressure and I’m excited for everything,” she said.
Who knows what “external” stuff Lindsey is referencing? It may or may not have had an effect on her profrmance. We’ll never know…but If you watched Lindsey during this event, she knew heading into it she had to perform, but it seems that once Valerie and Lauren took an early lead, Lindsey decided to coast and go through the motions? It wasn’t until the final 2 rounds that Lindsey appeared to step on the gas. If she would have showed that sense of urgency earlier on in the event, she may have finished better than she did. She just looked defeated and not the typical Lindsey we all know. She was no-repped a few times on her strict handstand pushups for bringing her feet off the wall. Being no rep when you need every rep to count can be frustrating and discouraging. Maybe that was the case?
To Be Continued…