REPS AHEAD Pro 3 “Redemption” Preview 

June 24, 202413 min read

Stop two of four of the summer swing takes us to Denver, Colorado for a one day, three hours, invitation-only REPS AHEAD Pro 3 Showcase being billed as Redemption

Two community matches, one undercard, and three main cards will all take on “John” a workout Phil Thomas, Founder of REPS AHEAD, created.

“John” (named after a prominent person in Phil’s life)

*When Phil comes up with a sequence he feels hits the sweet spot he intends to name it, similarly to how benchmark workouts are referenced, so that it can be used again with familiarity at future matches

3:00 on / 1:00 off for a maximum of 5 Rounds

14 Reps Ahead

12 Box Jump Over (20/14)

6 Thrusters 155/105 lbs

12 Chest to Bar Pull Ups

If you are not familiar with the REPS AHEAD format, here are two previous iterations you can watch:


  • Friday June 28, 3:00-6:00 pm MT (5:00-8:00 pm EST/2:00-5:00 pm PST)


Match Ups: all times are tentative, with the intent to start 20 minutes apart from each other.

Community Match 1: Riley McNamara vs Riley Myrick (3:30 pm)

Myrick represents CrossFit Cherry Creek and will be competing in his third REPS AHEAD Event. He had a 2-1 record at V.O1 and a 1-2 record at V.O2. This is his first season eligible for the Masters 35-39 division, he placed 84th in the Age Group Semis last month.

McNamara will be a rookie in the REPS AHEAD format competing out of CrossFit Koda Ironview. He’s 25 years old and has been on Iron View team rosters over the past several years. He had a career best 282nd place finish during individual quarters in the West region in 2023.

Community Match 2: Ashlynne Slovek vs Isabelle Sneller (3:50 pm)

Sneller competes out of CrossFit Koda Ironview, this will be her third REPS AHEAD event. She had a 1-1 record in both of her previous appearances. At just 19 years old, she is coming off a 157th place finish during Quarterfinals in North America West. 

Slovek is a rookie from CrossFit Decimate and will be making her REPS AHEAD debut. She’s 28 years old and finished 124th in the North America West Quarterfinal.  

Undercard: Jake Marconi vs Malachi Bennett (4:10 pm)

For an undercard match, this is about as fascinating as you can get. Although Bennett has a lot of other areas of focus and responsibility in his life, he has been competing a bit recently including taking a podium at the 2023 NorCal Classic and winning the 30-34 year old division at the Masters Fitness Championships in 2023. He’s a veteran of a REPS AHEAD, including the second pro showcase in which he lost in an extremely tight battle that went the distance against Ryley Humrighouse. 

His opponent, Marconi, is only 27 years old and has a ton of high level competition experience, but almost nothing in the last two years as he has transitioned his focus to coaching and programming with HWPO. We last saw him in action at the 2022 Mid Atlantic Semifinal where he was 17th, and Wodapalooza in 2022 before that where he took 23rd in the elite division. 

There is a little nugget of competition history in the pasts of these two athletes as well. At the 2017 Granite Games Marconi was sitting in a podium position with Bennett on the outside of that conversation. Bennett took 6th in the final to Marconi’s 9th, which was enough to jump him for the third and final spot on the leaderboard. Although it was seven years ago, you can bet Marconi remembers the man who took him off that podium that day; and this weekend is his chance for Redemption. 

Main Card #1: Kyra Milligan vs Kelly Stone (4:30 pm)

These two athletes enter the ring in the midst of very different seasons. Milligan is coming off what has to be considered her best ever individual performance in live competition taking the 8th and final qualifying spot to the 2024 CrossFit Games at the West Coast Classic a few weeks ago. 

Stone, who after a 9th place finish at the Games in 2023 with CrossFit Omnia last season, decided to make an individual run this year, however she did not advance out of Quarterfinals after receiving “a major penalty for not extending hips and knees on top of the box” during Quarterfinal workout 1 (her original score of 206 reps was modified to 165). 

Stone has made strong runs at an individual Games spot before. She was 8th at the West Coast Classic in 2021, and also took 8th at the Granite Games in 2022. Despite three Games appearances with a team, the individual accolades has eluded her to this point; her Redemption could come in the form of knocking out a 2024 individual Games athlete this weekend however. 

Main Card #2: James Sprague vs Nick Mathew (4:50 pm)

Over the last three seasons the trajectories of these two athletes have been moving in opposite directions, though not always for the same reasons. 

Mathews missed the Games by one spot in 2021 at the Granite Games. He appeared to miss by one spot in 2022 as well, but a failed drug test bumped him into qualifying position after another close call in the Last Chance Qualifier that season. As a rookie he took 14th at the Games including two event wins. He qualified more comfortably for the Games last year at the NA West Semi, but showed a slight regression against the Games field taking 19th in his sophomore appearance. This season, the same penalty which got Stone (as well as Powers and Wells from the final Main Card match) cut Mathew’s season short. 

His opponent, Sprague, was the recipient of a semifinal heartbreak in 2022 where he fell from 3rd to 6th on the final event, went to the LCQ, and came up short there as well. Last year he secured a Games qualifying spot with a strong final event at the East semifinal and went on to take a respectable 25th as a rookie in Madison. In the final week of Semis this year Sprague had a fantastic showing beating athletes like Pat Vellner and Sam Kwant to earn a spot on the podium alongside Justin Medeiros and Brent Fikowski. 

Sprague is no stranger to REPS AHEAD holding a 1-1 record in the two Pro showcases. She won the inaugural Pro Showcase before falling to Dallin Pepper in Pro 2.

Will the upward trajectory of Sprague continue, or is Mathew out for blood and to prove that although the penalty kept him out of semis, he is still more than in the league of the Games caliber athlete Sprague has now established himself as?

Main Card #3: Sydney Wells vs Paige Powers (5:10 pm)

While each of our previous three cards clearly pit one athlete as the one seeking Redemption, that could be said for both Wells and Powers in our final match. Having both missed out on a chance to punch a return ticket to the Games (for Powers she would have been seeking her third consecutive appearance. Wells was a rookie in 2023), this is the first chance since then for either athlete to take a live competition floor. 

Wells, however, did get a featured opportunity in the final Open announcement of the season from the new PRVN headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. Although she was the last finisher of the four athletes on hand for that one, she had a tremendously impressive showing going against two podium athletes from the previous years Games season in Arielle Loewen (3rd women) and Roman Khrennikov (3rd men) as well as top ten Games finisher from 2023 Jay Crouch (8th men). Outside of the penalty this year in Quarterfinals, everything has been trending up for Wells in her career. Many were eager to see if she could back up her Games qualification from last year this season, but that will have to wait. In the meantime, she once again has the spotlight on her taking on another top ten Games athlete from 2023 in Powers.

Powers has a much more storied career, despite her young age, than Wells. Powers boasts two teenage CrossFit Games podiums (3rd in the 14-15 age division in 2018, 3rd in the 16-17 age division in 2019). At her first elite Semifinal she placed 21st (2021 Granite Games), and followed that up with a second place at the 2022 Atlas Games, which turned into a 25th place at the Games in her rookie season. Last year she was 6th at the East Semifinal, which was only one spot better than Wells’ 7th… but the points gap was 148 points. Powers then went on to make a big jump up the leaderboard in her second season, taking 10th. 

Both women have had some offseason success in recent years too, specifically at Wodapalooza. Powers beat out Dani Speegle and Emma Cary to win it in 2023, while Wells had a strong showing and placed 7th early this year, an improvement from 12th in 2023. 

Preview Podcasts

All eight athletes from the final four matchups will be on the B.Friendly Fitness podcast at some point during the week leading into the event:

  • Monday June 24 2:00 pm EST: Kyra Milligan and Kelly Stone
  • Monday June 24 2:30 pm EST: Nick Mathew
  • Tuesday June 25 2:30 pm EST: Malachi Bennett and Jake Marconi
  • Thursday June 27 2:00 pm EST: James Sprague
  • Thursday June 27 2:30 pm EST: Sydney Wells and Paige Powers

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Brian Friend

Brian stumbled upon CrossFit in the Fall of 2013. He has been a writer, data analyst, content creator, commentator, and broadcast coordinator. He's worked at a majority of the largest CrossFit competitions over the last three seasons, is a regular guest on the Sevan Podcast, and has been amongst the leading sports analysts in the sport in recent years. He has a passion for advancing the sport of CrossFit, and spreading the CrossFit methodology, by living it out in both his personal and professional life.


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