2020 CrossFit Games Age Group Preview: Men and Women Ages 55-59
Today we continue with our preview of the 2020 CrossFit Games Age Group qualifiers with part five, the 55-59 Masters 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. According to the recent news from CrossFit HQ, the deadline for video review results will be extended and should conclude on April 29. The leaderboard is scheduled to be finalized after the appeals process concludes on May 11 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 55-59 division: The division features nine Games veterans including two athletes who have won Games titles within the division. For five of the athletes it will be their first time competing at the Games in the 55-59 Masters age group. Nine of the athletes will represent the United States in the experienced field.
- Paul McCrary qualified for his fourth Games and his first in the 55-59 division after winning the AGOQ. His previous three trips were in the 50-54 division including last year when he placed seventh. McCrary has recorded top-ten finishes in all three of his Games appearances, twice finishing seventh in the 50-54 division. In the AGOQ, he recorded four top-ten finishes including an event win.
- Jeff Goebel makes his return to the Games after a three year hiatus. A veteran with two Games appearances in the 50-54 division, he finished just two points behind McCrary for the AGOQ title. Goebel last appeared at the Games in 2016 when he placed tenth in the 50-54 division. In 2015, he missed out on a podium finish, placing fourth in that division. Goebel recorded four top-three finishes in this year’s AGOQ including two event wins, the only athlete to accomplish that feat. This will be his first appearance in the 55-59 division at the Games.
- Jody Clements placed third in the AGOQ after placing first in the worldwide CrossFit Open in the 55-59 division. He qualifies for his second Games trip, last appearing at the 2015 Games where he placed 18th in the 50-54 division. Clements recorded three top-five finishes in the AGOQ as he finished four points off the lead, qualifying in the 55-59 division for the first time.
- Allen Duarte will make his second-straight appearance in Madison after qualifying for his fifth Games. In his division debut at the Games in 2019, Duarte finished on the podium for the first time in his career. He placed third, ten points behind the championship position. He recorded three top-three finishes including back-to-back victories in the final two events to make the podium finish the closest of any division at the 2019 Games. Duarte competed in three-straight Games from 2014-2016 where he recorded three-top ten finishes in the 50-54 division. In this year’s AGOQ, he had four top-five finishes. Last year, Duarte placed second in the AGOQ.
- Abe Cook made his lone Games appearance in 2016, competing in the 50-54 division, placing eighth. His fifth place in the AGOQ matched his placing in the Worldwide Open. In the AGOQ, he recorded three top-ten finishes including a fourth place finish in event two.
- Stuart Swanson will receive his third-straight Games invitation after placing sixth in the AGOQ. His previous two trips were within the division where he placed seventh last year after finishing fifth at the 2018 Games. In Madison last year, he recorded three top-five finishes. Swanson recorded three top-ten finishes in the AGOQ including two fourth place finishes. In February, Swanson won the 55-59 division title at Wodapalooza, placing in the top three in all seven events including three event wins.
- Shannon Aiken looks fully recovered from an injury that prevented him from competing at the 2019 Games. One of the top athletes in the division, he is one of two athletes in the division who has stood atop the podium. Aiken won the title in 2017 before placing second in 2018. This will be Aiken’s third Games appearance.
- Lonnie Ataman made his first Games appearance in 2011, finishing sixth in the 45-49 division. He returned to the Games in 2015, this time competing in the 50-54 division. Ataman now has another Games spot secured after a long lay-off and in yet another division, as he secured his third trip with an eighth place finish in the AGOQ.
- Franklin Winters is the lone rookie and non-American in the qualifying group. The native of the Netherlands placed 166th in the division in the Worldwide Open but came out of nowhere to finish ninth in the AGOQ to secure his first trip to the Games. Winters recorded two top-ten finishes in the AGOQ including an impressive win in the max clean and jerk event with a lift of 267 lbs.
- Joe Ames will get the chance to defend his title after earning the final qualifying spot in the division. This will be his fifth Games appearance and third consecutive. Last year, Ames was able to defeat Ken Idler by tie-breaker to become a multiple Games champion. In 2015, Ames won the 50-54 division in Carson, California a year after making his Games debut. At the 2019 Games, Ames placed in the top-five in all six events including an event win in the “Ruck” event to open the competition. In this year’s AGOQ, he was able to squeak into the final qualifying spot thanks to four top-ten finishes including a second place finish in event six.
Outside looking in: Walter Schreiber, Perry Siplon, Chris Podesto, John Orrett and Tom Fameree are the next five athletes outside the cutline. Schreiber, the runner-up to Swanson at Wodapalooza, finished just one point out of the Games qualifying spot. Siplon is a two-time Games qualifier in the 50-54 division. Podesto competed in the 50-54 division at the 2015 Games, placing ninth in his only Games appearance. Fameree placed ninth in the division at the 2018 Games.
Women’s 55-59 division: The women’s field is balanced with athletes who will be making their Games debut and those who are staples of the Age Group divisions with multiple appearances. Among the group are two athletes who have stood atop the Game’s podium including the defending champion, another athlete who has stood atop the highest point in the world, and four women who will be making their first trip to the Games.
- Karen Lundgren will make her very first appearance at the Games after capturing the top spot in the AGOQ. After finishing third in the age group in the Worldwide Open, she used four top-ten finishes including an event win to punch her ticket to Madison. Last year she placed 12th in the Open in the 50-54 division but finished 25th in the AGOQ to miss out on qualifying. A ski instructor and professional adventure racer, Lundgren has summited the seven tallest mountains on each continent including Mt. Everest.
- Linda Elstun will make her seventh Games appearance and fifth straight after placing second in the AGOQ. Elstun comes off her best finish at the Games, placing second in her division debut at Madison last year. It was her second-straight podium finish after she placed third at the 2018 Games in the 50-54 division. Elstun has competed in three divisions after making her Games debut in 2012 in the 45-49 division. At the Games last year, she recorded five top-three finishes including an event win in the “Sandbag Triplet.” In this year’s AGOQ, Elstun recorded five top-ten finishes including a second place in event three. In February, she won the title in the 55-59 division at Wodapalooza.
- Bianca Williams qualified for her fourth games appearance after taking the 2019 season off. Prior to that, she had qualified for three-straight Games, all within the division. In 2016, she recorded a runner-up finish in her Games debut. She would later return to the podium at the 2018 Games, again finishing as the runner-up. Williams is the only athlete in the division to win multiple AGOQ events this year, winning event two and six. She recorded four top-ten finishes in the AGOQ.
- Lasara Magnani received her first Games invitation after placing fourth in the AGOQ. The Brazilian finished seventh in the Worldwide Open in the division to earn her spot into the AGOQ where she recorded five top-ten finishes including two second places. One of her runner-up finishes was in the max clean and jerk event where she recorded a lift of 173 lbs.
- Laurie Meschishnick capped off a memorable 2019 season with her first Games championship as she won the 55-59 division in dominating fashion. The Canadian and seven-time Games qualifier, won two events enroute to a 90-point victory. She placed fifth in the AGOQ this year after running away with the top position in the AGOQ a year ago. She recorded five top-ten finishes this year including an event win in the max clean and jerk with a lift of 175 lbs. At the 2019 Games, Meschishnick’s worst finish was fourth place as she won two events and placed second in three others. For her Games career, she has four podium finishes and has finished in the top-ten in all seven of her appearances. Our own Emily Beers recently spotlighted Meschishnick and her Games journey.
- Joanne McCullough qualified for her first-ever Games after finishing sixth in the AGOQ. Representing the United Kingdom, McCullough placed second in the Worldwide Open in the division. She recorded four top-ten finishes in the AGOQ to help her punch her ticket to Madison. Among her finishes was an event win in event one and a third place finish in the max clean and jerk with a lift of 171 lbs.
- Sue Velott qualified for her sixth-straight Games and seventh overall with a seventh place finish in the AGOQ. Last year she recorded her best Games finish when she placed sixth. This will be the third year she will compete in the 55-59 division after making four Games appearances in the 50-54 division. In this year’s AGOQ, she recorded four top-ten finishes
- Sue Oakman makes her return to Games competition after four years away. The three-time Games qualifier last competed at the 2015 Games where she placed 11th in the 50-54 division. The Australian recorded two top-ten finishes in the AGOQ including a fourth place finish in event one.
- Colleen Fahey is the second Games champion in the field, claiming the 2013 title in the 50-54 division. After missing out on qualifying last year by one spot, she secured her sixth invitation after finishing ninth in the AGOQ. This will be her second time competing at the Games in this division after placing third at the 2018 Games.
- Maggie Hoehn is the fourth Games rookie in this division, securing her trip to Madison with the tenth and final spot in the AGOQ. She placed 17th in the division in the Worldwide Open.
Outside looking in: Stacey Hastings, Barbara Sessa, Sheryl Boyd, Sydney Courtney and Maureen Triller are the next five athletes outside the cutline. Hastings, who placed second at Wodapalooza in the division in February, is on the outside looking in with just seven points keeping her out of the final Games qualifying spot. Sessa is a multiple Games qualifier, last competing in 2014 in the 50-54 division.