2020 CrossFit Games Age Group Preview: Men and Women Ages 45-49

April 1, 2020 by
Credit: CrossFit Games Facebook
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Today we preview the men and women that qualified for the 2020 CrossFit Games 45-49 Age Group division. These standings are unofficial after the Age Group Online Qualifier (AGOQ) scores were submitted and could change due to score adjustments as the top-25 athletes in each division must submit videos to CrossFit HQ for review. The video review period concludes on April 13 with the top ten athletes in each division receiving an invitation to the Games.

Chad Schroeder dives into the numbers of the AGOQ even more, breaking down all the divisions with his statistical analysis.

Men’s 45-49 division: All ten athletes in qualifying spots after the AGOQ have all appeared at the Games in the Masters division previously; it’s the only division to feature such a high level of experience. Five of these athletes competed in the age group at this past year’s Games including the returning champion. The division features eight Americans, but the top two spots in the AGOQ are held by international athletes.

  1. Michael Orlov won the AGOQ after recording four top-ten finishes including an event win. The Russian athlete will appear in his second Games, his first appearance in this division. Orlov competed in the 40-44 division at the 2017 Games, finishing 16th. That year he recorded four top-ten finishes with his best finish being sixth in the “Final Couplet” event.
  2. Giulio Silvino will make his fourth-straight appearance at the Games as a Masters athlete and third in this division. Last year he placed eighth at the Games following a sixth place showing in 2018. The Italian is one of two athletes in the division to record multiple event wins in this year’s AGOQ. Silvino won two events including the one-rep max clean and jerk, with a lift of 353 lbs, 33 lbs more than his nearest competitor. His two event wins gave him seven total career AGOQ victories, tied for second all-time in the AGOQ.
  3. Justin Lasala joins Silvino with his fourth-straight Games appearance. Last year he won the AGOQ in dominating fashion with 18 points and five top-five finishes. That translated over to a runner-up finish at the Games after a 13th place showing in 2018, his debut in the division. Lasala also joined Silvino with two event wins in this year’s AGOQ.
  4. Thomas Hyland will receive his second Games invitation, five years after his first Games appearance. Hyland made his Games debut in 2015, finishing 10th in the 40-44 division. This year, he recorded three top-three finishes in the AGOQ including an event win.
  5. Clint Paddock will also make his fourth-straight Games appearance but unlike Lasala and Silvino, all his appearances are in this division. Last year he placed fifth at the Games after finishing seventh in the AGOQ. His best finish at the Games was a fourth place in 2017.
  6. Jeb Simmons qualified for his third Games and his first in the division. Simmons previously competed in the 40-44 division at the 2017 and 2018 Games. At the 2017 Games he just missed a podium spot, finishing fourth.
  7. Bob Jennings returns for his second-straight Games appearance. Last year he placed ninth at the Games after a fifth place showing in the division’s AGOQ. Jennings was the only athlete in the top-ten of the AGOQ to compete at Wodapalooza in February, finishing second.
  8. Stacey Adams will make his debut in the division this year but has plenty of experience competing at the Games. In 2015 he competed in the 40-44 division, placing 16th. Prior to that, he made two appearances on a team, competing in 2012 as a member of CrossFit Adrenaline.
  9. Cory Dague has the longest break in Games appearances amongst the division qualifiers. He last competed at the 2013 Games in the 40-44 division, placing 15th. This year he recorded two top-ten finishes to help him earn his second Games invitation.
  10. Joel Hughes is the defending champion in the division. He dominated in his Games debut, winning by 100 points. His worst event finish at the Games was a third place as he won two events and finished second in three others. Hughes was able to grab the tenth and final qualifying spot in the AGOQ thanks in part to four top-five finishes.

Outside looking in: Sascha Tank, Jeremiah Head, Greg Merkac, Brian Garvin and Bernard Luzi are the next five athletes outside the cutline. Luzi sits in 15th and looks unlikely to extend his streak of Games appearances in the division. Last year he finished fourth, just ten points out of the podium spot. Tank is a two-time Games masters athlete and sits 14 points below the cutline.

Women’s 45-49 division: The women’s division features seven athletes who have competed at the Games in the Masters division. Among those competing are two women who finished on the podium in this division at the 2019 Games including the defending champion. The AGOQ came down to a race between four women with the champion being decided by four points.

  1. Karen McCadam burst onto the scene in her first year competing in the division. A perennial contender at the 40-44 division where she competed the last five years at the Games, she won the AGOQ with 23 points, the third lowest point total of all the Masters divisions. She recorded five top-five finishes, including three second place event finishes. As a Masters athlete at the Games, she has finished in the top-ten all five years she has competed. In the 2015 and 2017 Games, she was the runner-up in the division. McCadam also won her second AGOQ, securing her sixth-straight Games invitation. For her career, she has five event wins at the Games.
  2. Jennifer Dieter improved on her AGOQ finish from the previous year by one spot, finishing second this year. This will be her sixth-straight Games appearance and second in the division. Last year she placed ninth at the Games in her division debut. She recorded her second career Games event win last year, winning the “2-rep Overhead Squat” event with a lift of 195 lbs. She recorded four top-five finishes in the AGOQ this year including an event win. Dieter was one of two athletes in the field who competed at Wodapalooza in February, where she took second place in the 45-49 division.
  3. Jolaine Undershute finished third in the AGOQ after winning it last year. She now has six Games invitations and her third straight within the division. The Canadian has strung together two-straight third place finishes at the Games and finished in the top-ten five times. For her career she has won four events at the Games including tying Dieter in the “2-Rep Overhead Squat” event last year. In this year’s AGOQ she was the only athlete to win multiple events in the division, including the one-rep max clean and jerk with a lift of 210 lbs.
  4. Janet Black is the highest decorated athlete in the division as she qualified for her eighth consecutive Games, seven-straight as a Masters athlete. Black is the defending champion in the division as she captured her second Masters championship in her career. She previously won the 40-44 division title in 2015. Last year she recorded four top-three finishes including two event wins enroute to her Games title. For her career she has five event wins. She tied Undershute for third in this year’s AGOQ after finishing second behind her in last year’s qualifier.
  5. Filareti Xanthoudaki will make her first career appearance at the Games after placing fifth in the AGOQ. The native of Greece recorded four top-ten finishes including a third place finish in the one-rep max clean and jerk, lifting 206 lbs.
  6. Julie Rappaport is the oldest athlete in the division at 49 years old but did not let that slow her down as she placed sixth in the AGOQ, earning her second career Games invitation. She made her first appearance at the 2017 Games, finishing 18th in the division.  
  7. Lynn Cassotis is a two-time Games veteran as a Masters athlete making her division debut after finishing seventh in the AGOQ. She competed in the 40-44 division in 2015 and 2017. Cassotis recorded three top-ten finishes in the AGOQ to secure her third Games invitation.
  8. Kim Purdy will make her Games debut after tying for eighth in the AGOQ. The Canadian’s best finish in the qualifier was a fourth place in event one. She was one of two athletes in the field to compete at Wodapalooza, finishing third in the 45-49 division.
  9. Heather Wood rounds out the trio of Canadian qualifiers in the division. Like Purdy, she will make her first-ever Games appearance after tying her fellow countrywoman in the AGOQ. A multiple individual Regional qualifier, she was able to punch her very first ticket to the Games after recording two top-ten finishes in the qualifier.
  10. Tracy O’Connell currently sits in the final Games qualifying spot after tying Jessica Manfro for tenth. O’Connell has the higher event finish than Manfro to win the tie-breaker. This will be O’Connell’s third Games and second consecutive after placing fourth in Madison last year. The seven-time All-American gymnast and NCAA Champion at the University of Utah, O’Connell had three top-ten finishes in the AGOQ including a second place in event four.

Outside looking in: Manfro, Carol Mezen, Michelle Wright, Kelly Edelmann and Sarah Hayes are the next five athletes outside the cutline. Manfro is the next in line if one of the top-ten athletes would decline or fall under the cutline. Wright is a two-time Games athlete in the division, placing 10th in 2018 and 11th in 2017. Edelmann also has two Games appearances, competing in the 40-44 division in 2015 and 2017.

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