Quarterfinals: Five Key Takeaways
The Inaugural CrossFit Games Quarterfinals has come and gone, and while the stories to be told are many, there are five quick, key takeaways that deserve immediate recognition.
1: Missed The Cut
The first place I’m drawn after a competition like this is the cut line, specifically I want to know if any big names missed the cut. Being the first year of Quarterfinal competition, just how difficult qualifying for the Semifinals might be in each continent was somewhat of an unknown. Below is a list of notable names who were relatively close to qualifying. Many of these are people most would have put down as Semifinalists one week ago.
North American Women:
124th – Carrie Beamer
126th – Baylee Rahl
129 – MaryKay Dreisilker
137 – Hilary Steele
146 – Stacy Tovar
149 – Alex Parker
North American Men:
121st – James Sprague
129th – Streat Hoerner
133rd – Jason Carroll
136th – Tristan Mariorano
157th – Cody Anderson
65th – Lisa Eble (Germany)
66th – Hanne Venemyr (Norway)
69th – Hanne Short (Norway)
70th – Carole Castellani (France)
75th – Sabrina Caron (France)
77th- Andrea Solberg (Norway)
61st – Klaus Uggerhoj
64th – Michael Smith
71st – Will Kane
81st – Lukas Hogberg
94th – Kristof Horvath
31st – Laken Watt
34th- Courtney Haley
33rd – Luke McMahon
34th – CJ Walker
South American Women:
32nd – Carolina Long
South American Men:
31st – Omar Martinez
43rd – Pablo Chalfun
32nd – Ahmed Eid
This list does not speak to the inability of these athletes, but rather to the depth of the field in certain regions. There are always people training hard with high ambition who are ready to fight for a qualifying berth. Knowing that makes takeaway number two that much more impressive:
2: The Old Guard
Despite the ever-changing landscape of the competitive scene, there’s an “old guard” of athletes who continue to perform exceptionally well year in and year out. Even with this additional and new format, this group of athletes has managed to secure a Semifinal invitation should they want one, and also have Games experience from BEFORE 2015:
David Levy : 26th Africa
Kara Saunders : 2nd Oceania
Rob Forte : 4th Oceania
Brandon Swan : 6th Oceania
Jonne Koski : 4th Europe
Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson : 5th Europe
Frederik Aegidius : 9th Europe
Kristin Holte : 3rd Europe
Annie Thorisdottir : 9th Europe
Katrin Davidsdottir : 11th Europe
Sam Briggs : 12th Europe
Thuri Helgadottir : 19th Europe
North America Men:
Travis Mayer : 1st North America
Scott Panchik : 2nd North America
Noah Ohlsen : 9th North America
Ben Smith : 18th North America
Cole Sager : 20th North America
Will Moorad : 60th North America
Rogelio Gamboa : 67th North America
Paul Tremblay : 79th North America
Kyle Kasperbauer : 85th North America
North American Women:
Regan Huckaby : 7th North America
Alessandra Pichelli : 14th North America
Lauren Fisher : 28th North America
Chyna Cho : 53rd North America
Jennifer Smith : 92nd North America
Rebecca Voigt Miller : 109th North America
3: The Youth Movement is Real
At the totally other end of the spectrum is the undeniably obvious fact that the youth are coming. There will undoubtedly be a lot more information about these teenagers in the weeks and months and years to come; but for now it simply must be acknowledged that in the North American Women’s division in particular, there is a real possibly that athletes still eligible for the teenage divisions are going to be battling for Games spots in the elite division this season.
Mallory O’Brien: 3rd North America; 1 point out of a tie for first
Emma Cary: tied for 4th North America (tied with Brooke Wells)
Paige Powers: 23rd North America.
Emma Lawson: 24th North America
Olivia Sulek: 30th North America
Note: these are only the teenagers eligible for the teen division this season; there are several more athletes between 18 and 22 who will be major factors and players in the Semis.
4: Did the Test Work?
Again there is a lot that needs to be considered here, but the initial impression has to be yes. Despite the fact that there were some missing elements at first glance (no rig, no rings, and only five tests), when looked at as a whole there are some big positives here:
- 1: Time Domains: across a weekend that featured five tests, the time domains tested were beautifully varied: a lift that took about 20 seconds, a quick two to three minute sprint in test 5; two mid range tests, one in the seven to nine minute range, on in the ten to twelve minute range, and then a longer test in the 15 to 18 minute range.
- 2: Who Qualified?: Looking close to the cut line in a scenario like this, if the test is well balanced I’d want to see athletes of various experience levels and body types (weight, height, etc). Without going into an extreme amount of detail, this criteria is appropriately met.
- 3: Who Won?: Ultimately, if the test is a good one, the best athletes will find their way to the top of the leaderboard; and well, one quick glance reveals top three finishes in their respective continents by more than enough recognizable names to give validity to the test.
5: Unusually Good Performance
Finally, as typically is the case, there’s occasionally an athlete who performs exceedingly well that even those who are paying closest attention to the sport aren’t familiar with. It’s one of the beautiful things of an open registration sport like CrossFit.
- North American Man, Sarin Suvanasai, who currently sits in tenth, is that athlete for this competition. He has competed in the Open multiple times before, but his career best finish prior to this season was 963rd in 2020. This year he placed 554th. He does have listed one rep maxes of 375 pounds for clean and jerk and 300 pounds for snatch. But he has no Regional, Sanctional, or Games experience; and will surely be looking to prove he belongs on the live stage come Semifinals.