Regional Team Catches a Bad Break

After an injury forces a teammate out of the competition, Team Rollins – QCCF struggles to pick up the pieces.
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The answer is “no.” (For the record, I don’t think that this is a bad rule or that CrossFit is wrong for setting it up this way.)

There is no team who knows the implications of this rule more than Team Rollins – QCCF (Quad Cities CrossFit). Sitting in second place in the very competitive Central Regional going into the third day and final two events, Team Rollins (named after WWE champion Seth Rollins who helped put the team together) suffered an unexpected mishap. While running up to the GHD for her turn during Event 6, Maddy Ruggeberg slipped on the concrete and landed directly on her kneecap.

The result: Her patella was broken into two pieces, and with no ability to sub, Team Rollins’ dreams of making it to the CrossFit Games came to a screeching halt. The event was set up so that each female athlete had to finish her set of GHD sit-ups before the next athlete could advance. When Ruggeberg fell injured, the athletes behind her were not able to advance, and that put Rollins dead last in the event and out of the top five. Furthermore, with only five remaining athletes for the seventh event, Rollins was again limited on what they would be able to complete and took a 26th place on Event 7 ending their weekend in eighth place overall, three spots out of a podium finish and ticket to the Games.

Credit: Image courtesy of Mekenzie Riley

Credit: Image courtesy of Mekenzie Riley

I spoke to Team Rollins’ Mekenzie Riley about everything that went down that day and what the team’s plans are moving forward in 2016.

The Box: What’s the main thing you want people to know about what happened?

Riley: Really, we feel like it wasn’t covered by the Update Show much. We just don’t want people to think that we were doing well and suddenly we just sucked and got eighth. We feel that Event 6 was the best one for us and that we could have won it based on our practice times. We just wanted a chance to beat CrossFit Mayhem Freedom.

The Box: So you felt good about your chance to make it to the Games if the injury hadn’t occurred?

Riley: Absolutely. Event 7 wasn’t going to be our best event, but if we could have finished sixth, then we could have held our own in the last one and then made it to the Games. I think we could have ended up on the podium at the Games. I think we would have had to battle NorCal CrossFit and some others, but we have the team to do it.”

The Box: Was that the plan going into Minnesota? Win the Games?

Riley: Oh no. The weekend, for me, went from thinking that we could do pretty well to realizing that we could beat [Rich] Froning’s team to thinking that we could really have a shot at the Games. Then everything just came to a stop. It’s hard because it wasn’t anyone’s fault. It was just a freak accident.”

The Box: Moving forward, what does 2016 have in store for Team Rollins – QCCF?

Riley: Obviously, we want Maddy to be OK and see how she does with her physical therapy. She’s tough, but we’ll have to see how’s she’s doing. No one wants to have to replace her, but if she tells us she can’t go 100 percent, then we’ll have to address that. There are just a lot of variables right now, but we know we have what it takes to make it back.”

What do you think about the no-substitute rule when it comes to the Regionals and Games? Does it make sense to keep the six athletes you registered, or should you be able to sub someone in when this kind of situation occurs?

Stay on the Grind.