CrossFit Games

Quarterfinals: Five Key Takeaways

April 11, 2021 by
Credit: Fitness Volt
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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

European Women: 

65th – Lisa Eble (Germany)

66th – Hanne Venemyr (Norway)

69th – Hanne Short (Norway)

70th – Carole Castellani (France)

75th – Sabrina Caron (France)

77th- Andrea Solberg (Norway)

European Men:

61st – Klaus Uggerhoj

64th – Michael Smith

71st – Will Kane

81st – Lukas Hogberg

94th – Kristof Horvath

Oceanic Women: 

31st – Laken Watt

34th- Courtney Haley

Oceanic Men:

33rd – Luke McMahon

34th – CJ Walker

South American Women: 

32nd – Carolina Long

South American Men: 

31st – Omar Martinez

43rd – Pablo Chalfun 

African Men:

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:

African Men:

David Levy : 26th Africa

Oceania Women: 

Kara Saunders : 2nd Oceania

Oceania Men:

Rob Forte : 4th Oceania

Brandon Swan : 6th Oceania

European Men:

Jonne Koski : 4th Europe

Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson : 5th Europe

Frederik Aegidius : 9th Europe

European Women:

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. 

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