Injury-Plagued wild/STRONG Team Set for 2016 Throwdown

A tumultuous two weeks finally came to an end for the wild/STRONG squad as they gear up for the 307 Throwdown on October 8-9 in Casper, WY.

The team was set months ago, with wild/STRONG Founder Seth Waggener teaming up with “The Polar Bear” Jordan Erwin from MBS CrossFit, Josie Pettipiece and Melissa Burrows from CrossFit Frontier.

 An 11th place finish at Girls Gone RX came at a price. Melissa Burrows (left) aggravated a shoulder injury and was forced to drop off the Throwdown roster. C.J. Engels (middle) declined an invite to replace her because of her upcoming figure competition, leaving Josie Pettipiece (right) searching for a second female to fill the roster spot.

An 11th place finish at Girls Gone RX came at a price. Melissa Burrows (left) aggravated a shoulder injury and was forced to drop off the Throwdown roster. C.J. Engels (middle) declined an invite to replace her because of her upcoming figure competition, leaving Josie Pettipiece (right) searching for a second female to fill the roster spot.

Burrows has been dealing with a shoulder injury, that became worse during their 11th place finish at Girls Gone RX on September 24.  She officially dropped out last week. It seemed all but certain that the third member of the Girls Gone RX squad, C.J. Engels, would take Burrows place. However, with a national figure competition looming, Engels refused the invite citing her diet and prep. This lead to a Hail Mary “if you can’t beat them join them” invite to Backcountry CrossFit’s Heather Gammel. Gammel and her teammate defeated Pettipiece and Burrows at The Hangry Games this summer at CrossFit Decimate, then topped them again at Girls Gone RX, finishing fourth.

 From the "if you can't beat them, join them" files. Gammel (top of podium, left) defeated Burrows and Pettipiece (right) at the Hangry Games in July, 2016.

From the "if you can't beat them, join them" files. Gammel (top of podium, left) defeated Burrows and Pettipiece (right) at the Hangry Games in July, 2016.

The chaos wasn’t done for the wild/STRONG squad however. Monday morning, 4-time regional qualifier Jordan Erwin announced he had injured his ankle over the weekend, and would not be able to compete. It didn’t take long to fill his spot. Just a few hours later, Waggener posted a photo of 4-time Wyoming Open Champion Malachi Bennett on the wild/STRONG Facebook page, announcing “Erwin had been replaced.”

 It didn't take long to announce Erwin's spot had been filled.

It didn't take long to announce Erwin's spot had been filled.

“It sucks losing people to injury and I hope Jordan and Melissa recover quickly. At the same time, it’s nice to know enough people in our region, that you can lose half your team, and end up replacing them with athletes like Heather and Malachi. It’s hard to be upset when you look at that roster,” said wild/STRONG Founder Seth Waggener.

Bennett originally planned to sit this year’s Throwdown out, following the drama surrounding he and teammate Westy Guill’s ban from the event. You can read more about that here and here. Ultimately, CrossFit 307 announced Bennett was not banned.

 wild/STRONG Founder Seth Waggener (blue shirt) and Josie Pettipiece (right) with Malachi Bennett and the rest of the Your Box CrossFit crew during a drop-in this summer.

wild/STRONG Founder Seth Waggener (blue shirt) and Josie Pettipiece (right) with Malachi Bennett and the rest of the Your Box CrossFit crew during a drop-in this summer.

“This isn’t about Malachi and 307 – that issue is over with. They cleared him to compete and he is competing, that’s it. We aren’t trying to create problems. The Throwdown is one of the best competitions in the state – we just wanna do some competitive exercising for a weekend,” Waggener said.

 

wild/STRONG Throwdown Roster

Seth Waggener – CrossFit Frontier

Josie Pettipiece – CrossFit Frontier

Malachi Bennett – Your Box CrossFit

Heather Gammel – Backcountry CrossFit