Friend of the Week: Colten Mertens Sets World Record in Open Workout 24.1

March 8, 20243 min read

With the official start of the 2024 CrossFit Games season occurring last Thursday with the Open announcement, we decided that would be an appropriate time to unveil the B.Friendly Fitness “Friend of the Week”. The purpose of the “Friend of the Week” is to recognize athletes within the functional fitness community for their achievements not just on the competition floor but also off the field of play.

We couldn’t think of a more appropriate athlete to honor in the inaugural presentation than Colten Mertens and what he accomplished with his performance during Open Workout 24.1 for the week of February 25-March 3, 2024.

CrossFit Open Workout 24.1

What the Iowa native accomplished last week wasn’t just win the opening workout of the CrossFit Games season, he simply dominated with a world record time of 5:19 in the workout that featured a 21-15-9 couplet of single arm dumbbell snatches and burpees over the dumbbell. His winning time was an astonishing :21 seconds better than his closest competitor.

For the 26-year old four-time CrossFit Games athlete, Open workout success is not new for him as he has ranked in the top-20 in the last three Opens, not coincidentally earning individual Games appearances in each of those season. The last two Opens saw him finish third worldwide last year after placing fourth in 2022.

What makes his performance more incredible last week is that he did with a heavy heart as his mother passed away earlier in the week. In an interview with CrossFit he said he was overcome with emotions during the workout thinking of her but kept going because he knew that was what his she would want him to do.

Other Notable Performances

  • Julia Kato (Brazil) – Repeated as SFA SandClash Champion after placing in the top-5 in all six workouts in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia including two event wins. After competing at SandClash she performed Open Workout 24.1 on Sunday, finishing with a time of 7:12 which ranks 569th worldwide.
  • Mirjam Von Rohr (Switzerland) – A Hyrox champion and International Functional Fitness Federation (IF3) World Championship podium finisher added Open workout champion to her growing fitness resume. The 22-year old recorded a time of 5:39 (a time she hit twice in a span of one afternoon) in 24.1 for the top time in the women’s division.

Know a Great “Friend of the Week” Candidate?

If you’d like to submit an athlete to be considered for “Friend of the Week”, please email Patrick Clark at pc@bfriendlyfitness.com or submit through DM on the B.Friendly Fitness Instagram. For athletes to be considered, it must be for accomplishments for the preceding week (Monday-Sunday) and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EST the Monday after. Please include any verifiable results, links, and a brief explanation of why that athlete should be considered.

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Patrick Clark

Patrick is a veteran CrossFit writer and photographer with over 20 years of experience in professional and collegiate sports media. Before joining BarBend as a CrossFit writer, he worked for the Morning Chalk Up. Clark is also an Army Veteran, the proud Dog Father of two pups, a taco lover, and an avid runner.


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