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The Pit Fitness Ranch Teen Games: A Possibility?

May 5, 2020 by
Photo credit: The Pit Fitness Ranch
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After the cancelation of the age group competition at the 2020 CrossFit Games, athletes and fans expressed disappointment and frustration. As of now, the Games are planning to hold an individual athletes-only event at the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas, California. While age group athletes have generally conceded that the Ranch could not have hosted every individual, teen, and masters athlete, as well as teams, many aren’t quite ready to let go of their dreams of competing against their fittest peers this summer. So, they are attempting to do what teens throughout time have been known for: they are rebelling.

In a May 1 Instagram post, 2019 Games teen athlete Azariah Price announced plans to hold a “Games-like” competition for qualifying teen athletes this summer.

The first step? A Zoom brainstorming session.

More than 30 age-group enthusiasts participated in the session on Sunday night, including individual Games athlete, Chandler Smith. The discussion was led, however, by 16-year-old Price and other teens.

What’s the plan?

  • Brock Yost, who owns The Pit Fitness Ranch, part of Triple Rivers CrossFit on the Michigan-Indiana border, is teaming up with Price to hold the Teen Games.
  • The Ranch boasts a 12,000 square foot indoor facility with a vast surrounding property (perfect for hill sprints?).
  • Invitations will be sent out to the top ten boys and girls in each age group for a total of 40 athletes. Athletes will need to commit to competing by June 1 and the event is tentatively being planned for late August.
  • If an athlete cannot participate due to travel restrictions, their spot will be backfilled to the next highest-ranking athlete.
  • Yost plans to program for the event using past Games workouts.
  • Yost: “There’d be nothing more cool to take a simulator of Games events and prove how teens have evolved.”
  • Price announced on Monday night that event one of the Teen Games will be “Morris,” a workout created to celebrate the life of Jacob Morris, who passed away last year.
Photo credit: The Pit Fitness Ranch

Is it plausible?

  • According to Yost, the Teen Games will follow whatever CrossFit and the CrossFit Games decide to do. If the Games cancel, the Teen Games will echo the decision.
  • In the Zoom discussion, concerns popped up about rival competitions putting a dent in the Teen Games’ plan and attendance. Comptrain and other well-known organizations reportedly already have plans for a similar event in the works.
  • Michigan is well-known for its hefty supply of teen Games athletes. On the Zoom call, several of these Michigander teens warmly opened their homes to visiting athletes, judges, and volunteers
  • Price and others remained adamant that if the competition is to go on, the safety of athletes and involved parties must stand as the top priority
  • Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended the state’s stay-at-home order to May 15, and has not yet issued a re-opening timeline. Michigan has maintained one of the strictest state coronavirus responses, which could preview challenges ahead.

What are the next steps?

  • Getting invitations sent out and “letters of commitment returned” are Yost and Price’s number one priority.
  • Accumulating support — sponsors, legal and medical consultants, judges, volunteers, and of course, athletes, are also high on the agenda.
  • Coordinating with, or clearing the deck of, other competitions also appears to be critical.
  • Price created a short survey for people interested in the competition.

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