Our most physically fit new addition, Ryan Ardigo is looking to make big waves in
the Toughest Mudder series and has the resume to back it up. In 2021 he finished 13th at
World’s Toughest Mudder with 80 miles, 4th at Toughest Mudder
Poconos and 3rd at Tougher Mudder Tri-State. Add in a 2nd place finish at
Chopawamsic 100k Ryan is focusing on endurance moving forward. Prior to 2020, he was focused mostly on
Spartan Races, but moving forward it looks like all Tough Mudders on the
schedule….a wise choice?
Mychelle Smith is the athlete on our 2022 Development Team
that races the most. Her 2021 calendar
you might confuse with an OCR Buddy list of events as she goes from weekend to
weekend running Spartans, Battle of the Lions, local trail races, Stadium
Races, Deka Fit, Hyrox and more. She
seems to be always on or just off the Age Group podium and manages to snag a
couple of overall podiums in the process. Look for her at any race, strength or fitness competition in
2022…because she’ll probably be there.
You know we love endurance over here at Strength & Speed
and our newest athlete Jeff Lippert does too. His PR at World’s Toughest Mudder is 80 miles (19th overall
and 2nd in AG) but that’s not the farthest he has run, he once did
108 miles for a 2nd place finish at the Island Time 24 hour in
2021. Add in a couple of top ten
finishes at Tougher Mudders Jeff isn’t afraid of the shorter distances. Look for him at Toughest Mudder in 2022 where
he looks to improve upon his 50 mile/7th place finish as well as
World’s Toughest Mudder.
Kim Welch only raced a couple of times in 2021 but had some great results including 18th at the 3k at OCR World Championships Pro 3k, 3rd place at KC Timber Challenge OGTC and 10th at Battle of the Lions Kansas City. Kim’s been involved in the sport for a while and has qualified for OCRWC every year for the last five years. When not racing, he’s teaching 3rd graders and instilling lifelong lessons. Look from him racing at any brand that comes through the Midwest.
After racing for a couple of years Austin has continued to improve race
after race. In 2020 he finally
conquered, what many consider to be the hardest obstacle in OCR, Pegatron at
Conquer the Gauntlet Tulsa and also scored his first podium that year at Primal
Fear OCR. Since then he has raced across
brands including Savage, KC Timber, Spartan, Rugged Maniac and Battle of the
He’s got big plans for 2022 including the goal of finishing his first Spartan Ultra Beast in under six hours and shooting for some age group podiums at several of his races.
A veteran of World’s Toughest Mudder who owns several 50 mile brown bibs, he loves beer and running. The champion of several beer miles and a Western States Qualifier (after finishing the Georgia Death Race in under 22 hours).
His 2019 highlights include:
Georgia Death Race Beer Mile 1st Overall
Knock on Wood 100 Mile 1st Male
Shamrox Beer Mile 2nd Overall
Fast and the Furriest Canicross 5k 1st Overall
Post Oak Heavy Marathon, 50k, Heavy Marathon Challenge 2nd Male
Swamp Stomper 50k 3rd Male
Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 8th Overall 23:06:37
24 Hour Enduro World Championship 12th Elite Male 127.6km
Our first female addition to the 2020 Development Team is OCR Pro Rachel Watters. She’s been crushing it for years at all distances and has been focusing increasingly on endurance recently. She’s an amazing athlete but I don’t need to tell you that, just look at these finishes from 2019!
1st Place Pro Female Barbarian Challenge June 2019
2nd Place Elite Atlanta Spartan Sprint October 2019
3rd Place Elite Killington Spartan Ultra September 2019
3rd Place Elite Atlanta Spartan Super October 2019
3rd Place Elite Atlanta Spartan Spring April 2019
3rd Place Pro Female GA Fall Savage 2019
4th Place Elite Aspen Spartan Ultra August 2019
5th Place Elite Asheville Spartan Super July 2019
5th Place Female World’s Toughest Mudder (14 laps)
Watch for her crushing races appearing on the podium throughout the south eastern part of the USA. Watch out ladies, she has her sights set on a 1st place for some Spartan races as well as competing in several Ultra-OCRs including Spartan Ultra-Beast and World’s Toughest Mudder.
Make some room on the overall podium, for Chris McLeod. You may recognize him from the two man relay podiums of World’s Toughest Mudder where him and his teammate finished 2nd overall with 100 miles.
We could say more but we will just let the results speak for themselves:
World’s Toughest Mudder 2 Man Relay 2nd Place
Toughest Mudder Central 2nd Place
Spartan Nashville Sprint 4th Elite
Spartan Nashville Super 5th Elite
Spartan Ohio Beast 11th Elite
Spartan Atlanta Sprint: 2nd Place Elite
Spartan Carolina Ultra: 3rd Place Elite
Spartan Nashville Super: 5th Place Elite
Spartan Chicago Beast: 9th Place Elite
2020 Development Team athlete Ian Pereira has been tearing up the Midwest all year long running races like Conquer The Gauntlet (where he earned the Centurion medal after doing 4xCTG Ultra-OCRs), Dauntless Assault Primal Fear local OCR, earning a Spartan Trifecta and a Bonefrog Trident.
He’s looking to take his racing to the next level in 2020 including belting at CTG, reducing his 5k time by a couple of minutes and increasing his endurance. Watch for him at Midwest races including Savage Race, CTG, Rugged Maniac, KC Timber Challenge and Bonefrog Challenge Dallas.
Trina has been representing KOR Komplex for the last couple
of years (which sadly closed at the end of 2019). In 2018 she had four Age Group
Spartan podiums and four Age Group Spartan top ten finishes. She’s continues to improve in her AG as well
as finishing on a couple of overall podiums last year.
Here are some of her highlights from 2019:
She’s shown consistent improvement over the last couple of years and in 2020 she’s got some big plans to run CTG, Indian Mud Run, Savage Race Chicago as well as a hand full of Spartan’s like the Fort Campbell Honor Series race…and of course the big show in Vermont, OCR World Championships.
Alan has been a long time member of the #CTGFamily. This firefighter has been running OCR for several years competitive in his age group including 2019’s 3rd Place AG in Savage Blitz Pro in TX, 2nd Place AG in Thunderdash and even finishing 3rd place overall in the Jurassic Trail 5k.
He’s got some big goals in 2020 including completing CTG with his elite belt, finishing 3rd place at the multi-lap CTG Continuum and earning his Bonefrog Trident. Look for him at all the major brands coming through Texas, Savage, CTG and Spartan.
However, we are more excited by what she does off the race course. As a middle school teacher, she is a sponsor of the OCR club at her school. OCR has a future because of athletes like her who are actively bringing in the next generation into the sport.
Post- Dev Team
In between racing elite at Spartan Races he sprinkles in road races. In 2019, he finished in the top 20 elite at Spartan Fenway on both Saturday and Sunday. Add in a podium finish in the open waves of Savage Blitz MA and some solid performances in Spartan Sprints and Stadiums. Matthew has some speed in him as shown by North Canal Classic 5K (Lawrence, MA) – 1st overall (17:38) and Commitment Day 5k (Burlington, MA) – 1st (18:09)
Watch for him tearing up short course races like FIT Challenge, Jersey City Challenge, Bonefrog, Savage and of course the epic OCRWC in Stratton Vermont.
One of KCOCR’s own, she’s been on a steady path of improvement as long as we have known her. This type of persistence is what we love and is more impressive than being born with exceptional talent.
Her goals for 2020 are largely endurance focused with plans to earn a brown bib at World’s Toughest Mudder, completing Conquer The Gauntlet Continuum, racing Savage Race and running the new OCRWC qualifier KC Timber Challenge.
Brian already started his race season a couple weekends ago at The Abominable Snow Race in Wisconsin. Brian is a regular on the AG podium and even has a solid number of overall podiums at events like Dirt Runner. Not just an athlete he has also worked on the support side of the sport including build crew, helping with race organization, photography and volunteering. He's a true representative of what it means to be part of the OCR Community.
Strength & Speed was built on principles of stealing lessons from other sports....so we added a former Pro Mixed Martial Arts fighter to the team, Casey Johnson. With a background in both Brazilian Jujitsu and Boxing he had an amateur MMA record of 11-1 and a pro record of 5-5.
With MMA behind him, he is now focusing on Crossfit (strength) and OCR (speed). You might recognize his face from several team podiums with another S&S athlete, Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team nutritionist Luc Labonte.
Watch for him at races in 2019 including Bonefrog, Legend Race, Savage Race, Spartan Race, Terrain Race as well as a handful of local road races.
6/8/13 – Tri-State NY Spartan Sprint 3rd Place Elite Female
9/22/13 – Spartan Ultra Beast, Killington VT (2nd age group 5th overall Elite)
9/20/14 – Vermont Spartan Beast Sunday – 1st place Elite Female
10/25/14 – OCR World Championships, Ohio 1st in Age Group Winner
10/30/14 – Broken Skull Challenge episode was filmed Aired in Jan. 2015
11/15/14 - World’s Toughest Mudder 50 Miles (2nd age group 15th overall female)
5/30/15 – Ohio Spartan Beast 1st Place Elite Women’s Masters
5/31/15 – Ohio Spartan Spring 1st Place Elite Women’s Masters
6/6/15 – Tri-State NY Spartan Sprint #2 2nd Place Elite Women’s Masters
6/13/15 – Viking Obstacle Race 1st Place Elite Female
8/1/15 – DC Spartan Sprint 3rd Place Elite Women’s Masters
8/6/16 – 24-Hours Shale Hell 1st Place Female
9/24/16 – Virginia Spartan Super 3rd Place Elite Women’s Masters
10/2/16 – Lake Tahoe Spartan Beast Sunday 3rd Elite Female 1st Masters
11/12/16 – World’s Toughest Mudder (4th in age group)
10/6/18 – Tri-State Tougher Tough Mudder (2nd age group, 8th overall female)
11/10/18 – World’s Toughest Mudder (6th age group, 18th overall female)
If you are member of the #CTGFamily, you might recognize Josh as a regular of CTG as well as being a local of Tulsa, OK. Josh has killer grip strength and is almost always on the podium of the Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team Takeover ninja courses. Josh’s focus in 2019 will be heavy on the short course and ninja side. With a big focus being qualifying for UNAA regionals by competing in competitions in Tulsa, OK; Springfield, MO; and Fayetteville, AR.
On the OCR side, expect to see him at four Conquer The Gauntlets (earning the Centurion medal), Tough Mudder MO, Terrain Race OK, Savage Race Florida and Dallas, as well as several OK based road races
If you are looking for the female on the team that embodies both Strength & Speed, then look no further. Morgan Schulz, the newest member of the S&S Development Team, is a 10 on strength and 10 on speed on our criteria scale. Coming off her collegiate running career, she is ready to throw down at OCR events.
She’s not just an amazing athlete but a huge value added to the group on the intellect side. She graduates this May with a degree in exercise science and plans to attend Physician Assistant school soon after.
This North Carolina resident can bee seen racing any Spartan race within driving distance as well as some smaller brands like finishing 1st at the Legend Race in 2015, 3rd at Green Beret Challenge NC in 2018 and 10th at Savage Race Charlotte in 2018.
After some injuries in the past, he is ready to tackle 2019. Keep on eye on him at more Spartans in 2019 as well as possibly North American Obstacle Course Racing Championships (seriously…S&S plus friends of S&S dinner?).
I don’t think we need to say much more, her 2018 results speak for themselves:
The Abominable Snow Race 1st Place Female Masters
Bealuh 9 Hr Trail race 2nd female
Castlewood Cup Trail Race 2nd Place age group
Battlegrounds 3rd place Elite female
Toughest Mudder Midwest 5th Place Female
Dark To Dawn 6 hr trail Race 2nd place female overall
Green Beret Challenge 1st Place Female
Tough Mudder: Tougher Chicago 5th place female
North American Obstacle Course Racing Championships Team Event 4th Place team elite females
Chicago Spartan Beast 1st place age group
Warrior Dash KC 1st Place elite female
Green Beret Challenge Team event 2nd Place Coed Division
World’s Toughest Mudder 2018 13th Place female overall
Lisa, based out of Boston, is an endurance focused OCR athlete with a top 11 finish at 2018’s World’s Toughest Mudder. She is an Age Group podium regular with top three finishes at 2018’s WTM, Tri State Super, Tougher Northeast, Killington Spartan Ultra-Beast, Terrain Race Boston (also an overall podium) and Bonefrog MA.
Watch for her at races this year including Spartan Ultra-Beast, Tough Mudder's Toughest East, Northface Endurance Challenge and Spartan Killington Ultra-Beast as well as (we predict in the top ten) at World’s Toughest Mudder.
The S&S Dev Team is a group of OCR athletes that have a strong desire to improve. Unlike a regular club, the athletes on this team are all actively pursuing improvement. Some are new to OCR, some are age group athletes looking to join the elite wave and others are elites looking to climb higher towards the podium.
Pre Dev Team: Expect to see him on the courses of most of the Conquer The Gauntlet races in 2018, as well as The Battlegrounds, Rugged Maniac and Warrior Dash in the KC area. With a top 20 finish at two CTG races in 2017 he plans on improving this year so he is ready for OCR World Championships in the UK this Fall.
KC Corporate Challenge 5k - 23:10 PR
Battlegrounds top 25
Murph WOD for Memorial Day - 53:20 (PR with 20lb vest)
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification
Rugged Maniac KC - Top 10
Became OCR Director at my gym, host OCR classes Sundays @ 3pm
Pre Dev Team: Based out of North
Carolina, his goals for 2018 include competitive racing at Savage Race,
Bonefrog and Spartan in the NC area.
2017 Results include:
1st Place Age Group – Indian Mud Run
3rd Place Pro Team – Ohio Savage Race: Luc LeBonte, Patrick Gorby
7th Overall / 1st Age Group Competitive Heat – Ohio Spartan Sprint
Post Dev Team:
2nd Place Legend Race
3rd Place Terrain Race (cash prize)
Pre Dev Team: Jake is stronger on the speed side with a half marathon PR time of 1:29.
2017 Results include:
6x AG OCR Podiums, 2x 4th Place AG Spartan Finishes 2x overall podiums at 10k road races and a 12th place finish at Rugged Maniac Atlanta. Formerly of Kansas City, Jake is ready to tear up the east coast in 2018 competing at races in and around North Carolina and Georgia including Spartan, Warrior Dash, Terrain plus a couple of Midwest favorites including Conquer The Gauntlet and The Battlegrounds.
Post Dev Team:
4th Place (1st AG) Bull Moon 5k
2nd in AG Whitewater Center Trail Race
5th Overall: Hawk Hundred(50 miler)- 10:14 - First Ultra
3rd Place Male Team Green Beret Challenge Commando- KC
4th Place Terrain Race NC
5th Place Terrain Race VA Beach
7th Place Terrain Race ATL
5th Place at 3xLegend Races
24th Overall (11th AG) The Battlegrounds
25th Overall Elite Spartan Spartanburg Ultra
13th in AG Spartan Super Asheville
17th Spartan Charlotte Sprint (Sat)
18th Spartan Charlotte Sprint (Sun)
23rd in AG Spartan Fayetteville Super
Pre Dev Team: Kevin qualified for OCR World Championships last year at The Battlegrounds in addition to some solid top five age group finishes throughout the year. He’s a long time OCR athlete with a 7th place AG finish at 2014 OCRWC and a 14th place AG finish at 2015 OCRWC.
Also has a history of top ten finishes including:
1st place at Colossal Crusher in 2014
2nd place at Sandmine Challenge 2014
4th place at The Battlegrounds in 2013
5th place at Mud Mayhem in 2012
Kevin is another athlete that not only brings a great attitude and dedicated athletic performance to the team but also brings his a solid knowledge base. He is a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) in addition to owning a gym for 8 years.
Recovering from injury at the end of last year, he is motivated to crush it in 2018!
Post Dev Team:
1st place OA The Battlegrounds 5K (OCRWC 2018 Qualifier)
2nd place OA The Crusher Race 5K.
11th place OA Terrain Race St. Louis.
Top 20 OA Rugged Maniac Kansas City.
4th place AG Green Beret Challenge Operators Course St. Louis.
NorAm Champs Finished with band in 3K and Team event.
Apple Harvest 5K 8th OA and 2nd AG while pushing 3 year old son
Pre Dev Team: Our newest American Ninja Warrior Veteran!
2nd place OA finisher Black Diamond obstacle course Memorial Day Mayhem
2nd Place OA Viking Dash 15k Trail run
5th Place OA Mud Ninja, 2nd AG
6th place OA Conquer the Gauntlet- XTC Kansas City
7th place Ranking for the total race series Dirt Days trail run series
10th place OA Indian Mud Run
29th OA Savage OH
25 miles at Toughest Mudder Midwest
Not only a great athlete but we think he has the best beard in OCR right now. Whether you are staring at him flying through obstacles or mesmerized by his beard, we can guarantee you will be staring in his direction in 2018.
Post Dev Team:
ANW National Finalist
1st Place OA War X Arctic Fever
2nd place total series points Topo Trail trail run series
3rd place OA Black Diamond OCR
2nd place team War X Apocalypse
3 way tie for 1st Place War X jungle ops
24th OA Savage race OH
29th OA Spartan Sprint Indy
Pre Dev Team: This ninja specialist is planning some big improvements in OCR in 2018 after her 1st place finish in the 3k Journeyman division of OCR World Championships.
2017 highlights include:
1st Journeyman at OCR World Championships
10th CTG Des Moines (1st in AG)
8th in AG at Arizona Spartan Super
Besides being great on obstacles, she brings another level of knowledge to the S&S team. She is currently certified in RockTape taping and IASTM techniques. In the next couple of years she will graduate from chiropractic school in addition to learning other recovery modalities such as myofascial release, dry needling and dynamic neuromuscular stabilization and sports screening for injury performance. Not to mention she is a great ambassador for the sport since she teaches weekly at Apex Climbing Gym in Kansas City where she teaches OCR every Thursday.
Post Dev Team:
1 AG Savage Houston (first AG podium)
4th AG North American OCR Championships- 100% completion (lost band last year at worlds for 15k)
4th Place AG Spartan Phoenix
13th Place AG North American OCR Championships
Pre Dev Team: He’s an
obstacle expert that has been working hard to improve his running. With lots of top 20 finishes last year, we
think this is the year he breaks into the top with more consistency 10 and
walks away with a couple of podium finishes. Here are his results from 2017:
6th CTG Little Rock
10th CTG-XTC Kansas City
16th CTG Tulsa
17th CTG Wichita
18th CTG Des Moines
19th CTG OKC
21st CTG Atlanta
Expect to see him at lots of Conquer The Gauntlet races along with a couple of other Midwest races including Big Red Challenge in Lincoln, Nebraska, Terrain Race Tulsa and the final The Battlegrounds race. Keep an eye out because this truck driver is going to go over the top in 2018.
Post Dev Team:
Besides being an OCR athlete Luc is also a registered dietitian, personal trainer and wellness coach. A true S&S Athlete Luc's background also includes some competitive bodybuilding!
Ohio Savage Race (Savage Pro Heat): contributor to 3rd Place Pro Team Award (team “Kent Touch This”), 15/55 Age Group (27%), 62/307 Overall Pro (20%)
Ohio Mud Ninja (timed/elite heat): 2nd age group, 26th overall
Ohio Spartan Sprint (competitive heat): 2nd age group, 12th overall
• 15k (with DQs taken out): Males 25-29: 140/248 (56%), Overall Age Group/PRO: 841/2263 (37%)
• Strength leg of Open Male Team heat (team “Kent Touch This”),: 46/144 (32%)
3rd Elite Spartan Sprint Boston Sunday
5th Elite Spartan Super Boston Saturday
7th Elite Spartan Super Boston Sunday
8th Elite Spartan Sprint Boston Saturday
8th FIT Challenge
22nd Elite Spartan NJ Beast
1st place female F.I.T. 5 hr multi-lap (FIRST ULTRA-OCR WIN)
1st place Tougher Mudder VT (FIRST CASH PODIUM)
1st place Tougher Mudder NH (PR FOR OVERALL WINS IN A YEAR)
3rd female F.I.T 8 hr multi-lap
5th place Tougher Mudder East Coast Champs NJ
10th place NorthFace challenge trail marathon
11th elite female Dallas Spartan UltraBeast
12th elite spartan sprint
12th elite spartan super
18th elite female Spartan Beast VT
Leah Sandel Hensley
1st Battlegrounds Spring Sprint Course
2nd All Female Team Green Beret Challenge in St. Louis
50 miles at World's Toughest Mudder
6th Elite BattleFrog Chicago
9th BFX 24
10th Battlegrounds Spring Race
1st overall female- DRX 6hr (FIRST OVERALL WIN)
1st AG- Tougher Mudder Chicago
2nd overall female- Colossal Crusher Race
3rd AG Competitive wave-Spartan ATL Sprint
3rd AG- Green Beret ATL
4th AG- The Battlegrounds Elite wave
5th overall open female Team- OCRWC
7th AG- Toughest Mudder South
10th overall female- Rugged Maniac ATL
10th AG- WTM 50miles
1st 2016 Sports for Sound OCR
6th at the Indian Mud Run
7th at Mud, Guts and Glory
-a top 300 athlete in the Spartan Points series and finishing 50 miles at BFX24.
100 miler S&S Team record = 23:11:37 @ Canal Corridor (FIRST 100 MILER)
1st place overall Sports for Sound 5k XC (BACK TO BACK WINS)
2nd place overall Hardcore Mud Run (FIRST CASH PODIUM)
3rd place overall White Gravel Mines 5k XC
7th place overall Super Bull 50K
8th place overall Mud Ninja
9th place overall Camp Tuscazoar Adventure race
9th place overall Run For Home 10K
18th place elite Savage Race Ohio
24th place age group OCRWC 15K
24th elite Spartan Sprint Ohio
38th place age group OCRWC 3K
William is a 5x NCAA All-American, USATFCCCA Central Region Athlete of the Year and NCAA D2 Track and Field Academic All-American of the Year. In 2016, he finished 2nd at the USATF Outdoor 400m and 10th at the indoor 400m. He has also run an Olympic qualifying time in the 400m....no big deal.
Post-Dev Team (FIRST YEAR DEDICATED TO OCR):
Crusher 2- 1st OA
Warrior Dash KC 10th OA
CTG Little Rock 12th OA 5 AG
Rugged Maniac KC 13th OA
Battlegrounds 27th OA 8th AG
OCRWC 3k 32nd AG
Rookie season racing OCR and ninja:
American Ninja Warrior Season 9- San Antonio (FIRST ANW)
Rockford Ninja Warrior- 5th Female Overall
Conquer the Gauntlet- 3rd place Elite (FIRST CASH PRIZE AND ELITE PODIUM)
US OCR Championships- 2nd place Age Group (FIRST NATIONAL PODIUM)
OCRWC- 10th place overall co-ed team relay
Spartan Sprint- 1st place Women's competitive (FIRST SPARTAN RACE)
OCRWC- 5K & 15k- 13th in both for Age Group
1st Newbsanity Extreme Ravine 15k
2nd Newbsanity Mud Gauntlet
2nd Newbsanity Frozen Four
3rd Hardcore Mudd Run Extreme PA
6th Shale Hill 8Hour Polar Bear
6th Rugged Maniac New Jersey
9th Warrior Dash NY
10th Catherine Valley Trail Half Marathon
12th Glassfest 8k
14t Spartan UltraBeast Killington
11th place open male team at OCRWC
15th Male(3rd Age Group, 1st American in Age Group) at WTM 2016 (80 Miles)
Finisher on History Channel’s The Selection: Special Operations Experiment (Roster #19)