Life on the Bubble
We now know the entire scope of programming for the 2020 CrossFit Games Open after it was revealed that Open workout 20.5 would be a “choose your own adventure,” style triplet of ring muscle-ups, wall balls, and rowing. Most people will spend the weekend figuring out how to properly chip away at as many of the 40 muscle-ups as possible, but there is a select group of athletes on the bubble of qualification that will be treating this workout like it’s Saturday morning of the CrossFit Games, and the last round of cuts is coming in hot.
Some of these athletes are also in the hunt for their national championship as well, which doubles down on the importance of finishing strong in the final week. The athletes below the cut line that are in bold are currently at the top of their national leaderboard, and their top 20 spot would get backfilled if they hold onto their position.
The Last Five In: first let’s take a look at the athletes that managed to keep themselves above the cut line after four daunting weeks of the Open.
The Breakdown: Five of the ten athletes on this list made the CrossFit Games in 2019, but only one athlete – Cole Sager – managed to qualify for the Open. Froning is excluded from this as he will decline his invite and go team, while Hanna Karlsson didn’t do the Open last season.
- Women: Four of the five women on the bubble were at the Games competing in 2019. Garibay and Karlsson earned their individual invites through Sanctionals, and Chapman and Lesur competed on teams in Madison. Dreisilker is the lone newcomer to the Games stratosphere but is the lone athlete of the bunch without a workout finish outside of the top 100 worldwide.
- Men: The fact that Rich Froning will decline to go team should mean that the bubble will extend down one spot, but he still has to finish above the cut line for that to happen. The remaining four men all have individual Games experience, and should have no issue manhandling 20.5, which puts the pressure on the athletes below to put together a top 20 score worldwide to make up ground.
Women’s Projected Cut Line: 375-400 points.
Athletes in the hunt: Alessandra Pichelli (Italy), Sasha Nievas, Taylor Williamson, Emma Tall, Haley Adams, Larissa Cunha (Brazil), Emelie Lundberg, Olivia Sulek, Meg Reardon, Stephanie Chung, Emilia Leppanen (Finland), Caroline Connors, Sara Alicia Fernandez Costa (Spain), Alexis Johnson, Danielle Brandon, Harriet Roberts, Jimena Delamer.
Analysis: Haley Adams has impressively worked her way back into the conversation following a 242nd place finish in 20.1, and Olivia Sulek stands on the brink of history of being the first teenage competitor since the formal inclusion of the teenage competition for qualify in the Open division. If Taylor Williamson makes it in alongside Andrea Nisler – who currently sits in 19th – then both of OC3 Black’s women from their 2019 Games team that took 4th will qualify as individuals. Danielle Brandon – 10th at the Games in 2019 – looked to be out of the running for a spot after two weeks until back to back finishes of 15th or better worldwide has her on the outer edge of possibly qualifying, but only if she has a third straight top finish to close out.
Men’s Projected Cut Line: 325-350 points.
Athletes in the hunt: Marquan jones, Scott Panchik*, Elliot Simmonds, Zack George (U.K.), Spencer Panchik, Connor Duddy, Christian Lucero, Sean Sweeney, Piotr Szczycinski (Poland).
*Going team, would decline invite
Analysis: If things held up from week four, then Marquan Jones would be in given Rich Froning’s placement above him, but there’s a ton of talented individuals right behind him on the leaderboard. Spencer Panchik could make the Panchik family the second family in history (behind the Anderson brothers Z.A., Alex, and Jacob) to have three siblings qualify for the CrossFit Games as individuals. Elliot Simmonds and Zack George are currently in quite the fitness dance off, as both are side by side on both the worldwide leaderboard, and at the top of the United Kingdom national championship leaderboard. Simmonds is one spot ahead worldwide, while George is two points ahead in the U.K. Both could make it in with a strong enough 20.5.