Sanctional Season Continues in the “Great White North” with the CrossFit Atlas Games
The eyes and attention of CrossFit Games fans will focus on Montreal, Quebec this weekend as the “City of Saints” hosts the CrossFit Atlas Games at the Claude Robillard Sports Complex, March 13-15. The first of two Sanctionals that will be held in Canada this season, it promises to be an exciting competition that will ultimately send two deserved individuals and one team to the 2020 CrossFit games.
What’s on the line: The competition features 13 divisions including the elite men, women and team. The top finishers in those three divisions at the end of the three-day event without a 2020 Games invitation will be awarded that honor. A prize purse worth over $36,000 USD will be on the line for the top elite individuals and teams.
- $7,258 USD
- $1,814 USD
- $726 USD
Additionally, the individual and team who earns the CrossFit games invitation will receive $726 USD. Event winners also receive cash.
Who to watch: Athletes from North America make up the majority of the field in both the individual and team divisions. The field is full of athletes with Games and Regional experience.
The women’s division: The women’s division consists of 32 athletes, four of those women have their 2020 Games invitation secured. Twenty five of the athletes have Regional experience either as an individual or as a member of a team with 11 having competed at the Games. The top women in Canada will be well represented as seven of the top ten from the Open will be competing.
- Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault will be making her sixth-straight Games appearance after repeating as the national champion in Canada through the Open where she finished eighth overall. Last year at the Games she placed 16th. This will be her second Sanctional appearance of the season after competing on a Team “Nation” at the Filthy 150.
- Carolyne Prevost has been the runner-up to Reason-Thibault as the “Fittest” in Canada the last two years after claiming that title in 2018. She earned her second-straight Games invitation after finishing 26th in the Open. In her first Games appearance last year she finished an impressive 12th. Like Reason-Thibault she too makes her second Sanctional appearance, competing with the Athlete Program at the Norwegian CrossFit Championship.
- Emily Rolfe punched her ticket to Madison in dramatic fashion three weeks ago at Wodapalooza when she placed 10th in a stacked field. The Canadian returns to the Games for the second-straight year after placing 18th in her rookie appearance. This will be her third Sanctional of the season, she also competed at the Dubai CrossFit Championship where she placed sixth.
- Kelsey Kiel is the fourth athlete in the field with a Games invitation in-hand. The three-time Games team athlete secured her first individual invite after placing fifth at Strength in Depth. This will be her third Sanctional appearance this season.
- Three-time individual Games athlete Amanda Goodman makes her Sanctional season debut. Goodman looks to return to the Games after last appearing in 2015 where she placed tenth.
- Paige Semenza competes in her second Sanctional of the season after making her debut three weeks ago at Wodapalooza. She is a three-time Games qualifier, with two appearances as an individual. Last year she placed 30th at the Games.
- Steph Chung competes in her fourth Sanctional of the season as she looks to return to the Games after competing on that stage in 2018. Her four Sanctional appearances lead all women this season. She has placed sixth all three of her previous Sanctionals, coming up just short of the Games qualifying spot in each competition.
- Canadian Amy Morton competed at the 2017 Games with Ocean State CrossFit and makes the switch to individual competition after finishing as the eighth “fittest” woman in Canada in this year’s Open.
- Fellow Canadians to watch are Karine Shrum, Laurie Pfleiderer, Marie-Pier Bonneau and Erica Folo. Shrum and Pfleiderer each finished in the top-ten in the Open for “fittest” in Canada. Bonneau and Folo each have competed at the Games in the teen divisions. Bonneau in 2017 and Folo in 2018, each in the Girls 16-17 division.
- American Caroline Conners is seeking her first Games appearance, the three-time Regional athlete finished 69th in the Open this season. This will be her second Sanctional of the season after finishing seventh in an impressive field at the Mayhem Classic in January.
- Nikki Matarazzo is the lone athlete not from Canada or the USA in the field. The third “fittest” woman in Italy is also seeking her first Games appearance after competing in two Regionals. Like Conners, this is her second Sanctional after competing at the Mayhem Classic.
- Notable withdrawals from the competition include past Games athletes Jessica Coughlan, Erin Vandendriessche and Taylor Streid.
The men’s division: Thirty five athletes will take the floor this weekend with six of them already with their Games invitation. Coincedently all six are from the home country. Twenty four athletes have competed at a Regional either as an individual or on a team, nine have competed at the Games. Six of the top-ten Canadians from the Open will be competing.
- Jeffrey Adler received his second Games invitation after being crowned the “fittest” in Canada this year through the Open. He placed fifth overall in the Open. Last year he placed 33rd in his first Games appearance. This is Adler’s third Sanctional of the season, placing eighth at the Dubai CrossFit Championship and third at the Mayhem Classic.
- Jean-Simon Roy-Lemaire finished third this year after winning the “fittest” in Canada honor last year. Lemaire was eighth in the Open this season to earn his second-straight Games invitation. This is his third Sanctional appearance after competing at the Filthy 150 and Wodapalooza.
- Samuel Cournoyer received his second Games invitation after his 12th place finish in the Open. Last year he placed 35th in the Games.
- Alexandre Caron received his third invitation to the Games after placing 23rd in the Open. Last year Caron competed on a team with PRO1, placing ninth. In 2018, he competed as an individual.
- Cedric Lapointe finished 25th in the Open to punch his ticket to the Games as an individual. This will be his second appearance at the Games after competing with PRO1 at the 2018 Games.
- Peter Shaw received his first career Games invitation after winning the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge in December. The four-time Regional veteran is also a member of the CrossFit Seminar Staff.
- Games veteran Cody Anderson is seeking his 2020 invitation. The three-time Games individual qualifier last appeared at the Games in 2018 when he placed tenth.
- Owen Bernstein has two Games appearances in the team competition, placing ninth at the 2018 Games with Invictus Back Bay.
- Dallin Pepper makes his Sanctional debut after dominating the teen division over the last four years. He is a three-time age group champion having repeated as the boys 16-17 champion last year at the Games. Prior to that he won the boys 14-15 title in 2017.
- Fellow former teen competitor Cole Greashaber will compete in his second Sanctional of his career. He placed third in the boys 16-17 division at the 2017 Games.
- Other athletes to keep an eye on who are looking for their first Games invitation are Canadians Brendan Willis, Jonathan Gibson, Josh Gervais and Nycolas Joyal. Americans Austin Spencer, Jake Berman, Matt Morton and Zach Watts all are Regional veterans hungry for their first Games invite.
- The United Kingdom’s Will Kane and Argentina’s Nicolas Bidarte are also Sanctional and Regional veterans seeking their first Games berth.
- United Kingdom national champion Zack George has withdrawn from the competition.
The team division: The division features 40 teams competing for the tenth Games invitation for teams. A number of teams feature Games athletes who are looking to return to the big stage for a chance to compete for the title of “Fittest Team on Earth”.
- Team Sico features Games veteran Elijah Muhammad who will be joined by Regional veterans Connor Schmitz, Kelly Clark and Chelsea Nicholas.
- Tydax Nation features four athletes with a wealth of Games experience and success. Paul Tremblay, Albert-Dominic Larouche, Meredith Root and Alex Parker make up this Canadian “Super” team.
- Other teams to keep an eye on are Team Pro1 from Canada and American teams Halfway There, Team Conquer, Team Element 26 and Training Think Tank.