Friday afternoon at the 2014 Granite Games in St. Cloud, Minnesota got off to a great start with an impressive group of Kill Cliff athletes tackling the always popular “Snatch Ladder” event.
On the Men’s Elite side, Kill Cliff athletes Elijah “EZ” Muhammad and Mat Fraser got things moving as they tore through the event one. After posting an online video last week snatching 315 lb., it was no surprise that Fraser, a former Olympic weightlifter hopeful, took first place in the opening event with a 305lb. lift in a time of 5:16. Although four men hit the same weight as Fraser, he was able to take home the win by completing it in a faster time. Just as impressive was Muhammad who completed the rep of 295 lb. but did so at a blistering pace of 4:06 good enough for fifth place.
In the evening, both men took on the formidable “Deadly Ropes” event which consisted of five rounds of two rope climbs, four deadlifts at 365 lb. and eight burpees over the bar. Just as he did at Regionals this year, Muhammad flew through the rope climbs but Fraser’s consistent pace throughout allowed him hang on to second place overall at the end of day one as he finished fifth in this event. Slowed slightly by the deadlifts and burpees, Muhammad took a seventh place result on the “Ropes” but moved up to end day one fourth in the standings.
The Kill Cliff ladies were also in action today with Brooke Ence Sawyers, Stacie Tovar and Grace Dresher throwing around some serious weight in their own “Snatch Ladder” competition. Sawyers flew through the ladder notching a 185 lb. lift while posting a scorching time of 4:05 to take the win in the first event of the Granite Games. Although Dresher and Tovar both were able to hoist 180 lb. (a PR for Tovar) neither could put up as much weight as Sawyers or do it as quickly. After event one, Dresher sat in fourth with a time of 2:31 while Tovar followed in seventh with a time of 6:39.
After a presentation of the American flag and a singing of the National Anthem, the Women’s Elite athletes set off for event two. Just as the men did, the ladies hustled through the “Deadly Ropes” event which also consisted of five rounds of rope climbs, deadlifts at 240lb. and burpees over the bar. The final heat was loaded with some of the fittest women around in the realm of competitive fitness who turned a ten minute time cap into a five minute workout. Tovar got off to a great start but after some confusion from her judge with a rep count, fell off the lead pace a bit. Sawyers brought home another solid result finishing in sixth place with a time of 6:07. The result kept her in the overall lead for the first day while Tovar headed home sitting comfortably in fourth, closely trailed by Dresher in fifth.