St. Louis’ Stephen Wallace wins global CrossFit workout with 455lb front squat. Now prepares the team to take on the CrossFit Games.
St. Louis, MO—During the fourth test of the Crossfit Games individual quarter finals, Stephen Wallace (30), owner of Blues City Athletics and a competitive CrossFit athlete, placed first in the world with a 455lb front squat.
“When I came in that day, I just operated my programming the way I always have. I built the weight up slow and steady, and that day it all came together in a really big lift at exactly the right time. It felt good. It was really exciting to hit that number and it was really exciting to watch the standings in the days following,” said Wallace.
His performance beat out Veteran athletes such as Sam Dancer, who was a member of the Crossfit Games second-place team in 2018; and Griffin Roelle, who finished 49th in the United States and 98th in the world in the 2020 Games.
“What people have to understand is that 455 in a front rack position is ridiculous… That’s like a 99 percent of most people’s max deadlift. Man, that’s just really impressive,” said Neal Maddox, an official CrossFit Games commentator.
Wallace was just one of 12 athletes from Blues City Athletics to advance to the individual quarterfinal round out of the qualifying Open.
“To have 12 athletes qualify to move to the next level beyond the Open, it’s amazing. As a gym owner, coach, trainer and general fan of this sport, I’m just so proud and so humbled by the hard work and dedication of our members. And I’m really excited for them,” said Wallace.
Now Wallace, along with three other Blues City athletes: Taylor Streid (30); Marrah Sanders (27); and Chris Harbison (37), are preparing to advance to the next round of the teams division of the CrossFit games.
Streid, a veteran Games athlete, has participated in the competition every year since 2014, and has ranked in the top 100 worldwide since 2017. Streid is currently ranked 60th in the North America individual competition. By choosing to join Wallace and the others for the team competition, she abandons the option to compete for the individual title of “Fittest Woman on Earth.”
“There’s something special about being part of a team in this sport and it’s even more special to do it with people you train with everyday. There’s an added level of complexity, in most cases you have to be totally synched up – both in our movements and mentally. This team we have is excited and ready to see how far we can go,” said Streid.
Streid is a full-time Physical Therapist for St. Louis-based Athletico, and is one of only a few in the top 100 who juggles a full-time career alongside the sport.
This weekend, the team of four will complete five workouts between Thursday (April 22) and Sunday (April 25) at their home affiliate: Blues City Athletics, located at 8500 Manchester Rd., with the intention to continue through the semifinals and ultimately to the CrossFit Games, to be held on July 26 in Madison, WI. Scoring of each of the workouts is completed in-house and verified by official CrossFit Games personnel via video recording. Members of the gym, family members of the athletes and select media are invited to watch the athletes’ performances, as they aim to reach the next level of competition.
Watch the official Crossfit review, highlighting Wallace’s lift (24:00)
About the CrossFit Games:
Each year, the global competitive Crossfit Games competition kicks off with the Crossfit Open: a multi-week competition that brings together the crossfit community, where each affiliate gym hosts official Crossfit sanctioned events. The Open aims to find the fittest athletes in each region to move on to the quarterfinals, it’s also an opportunity for any athlete at any level to participate in the competition, add meaning and purpose to training while also bringing your gym’s community closer together. The Open is the first qualifying stage of the CrossFit Games. Any athlete who wants to compete at the Games must first make it through the Open in their region.
This year, Due to Covid-19, and for the first time in CrossFit Games history, athletes continued their season after the Open in the comfort of their own gyms. Out of all the workouts of the Quarterfinals, the four-rep max front squat provided the most direct way to compare raw strength across the continents.
About Blues City Athletics
Blue City Athletics is a gym with a mission to provide the most comprehensive, well-rounded fitness experience that improves the overall health and wellness of its members. As a CrossFit affiliate, it provides a cyclical, multi-phased experience that is focused on professional coaching that is process-oriented to get you to your goals. Not to mention, some help with accountability. Learn more.
About CrossFit HQ:CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance. The program works for everyone — people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years. Learn more.