Podium Guide: Teen Division Showcases the Future of the Sport
The future of the sport will be on display early at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games, as the teen division is among the first groups to kick off the competition on Tuesday. With much discussion around teen athletes competing in the individual division this year, such as Emma Cary and Mallory O’Brien, the teen division will feature many athletes hoping to follow suit in the near future.
- P.S. All age group divisions will be broadcast live. Here’s how to watch.
Here are the teens we’re going to be watching to make a run at the podium this year.
16-17 Girl’s Podium Contenders (in no particular order)
- Emma Lawson: Lawson was flirting with an individual Games invitation all season and fell just short of her goal. The 16-year-old Canadian placed 9th at the Atlas Games Semifinal, just one point away from the Last Chance Qualifier spot. This will be her second trip to Madison to compete in the teenage division, previously finishing third in the 14-15 age group at the 2019 Games. If Lawson can finish atop the podium next Thursday, she will be the 4th 16-year-old to win joining Isabella Vallejo, Allison Weiss and Kaela Stephano.
- Olivia Sulek: Sulek also came up short in qualifying for the individual division, finishing 16th at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge. This will be her 3rd invitation to the Games as a teen competitor highlighted by her first trip in 2018 where she won the 14-15 division. A win by Sulek in her new division will put her in the company of Stephano and Chloe Smith as two-division champions for the girls.
- Paulina Haro: Haro has the distinction of being the only national champion in the field of teens. She was the top Open finisher in Mexico and finished 27th worldwide. A veteran of two previous trips to Madison in the 14-15 division, she has been training with Tia-Clair Toomey and Brooke Wells with the PRVN Fitness camp in the weeks leading up to the Games.
- Sophie Shaft: Shaft also moves up a division after competing in the 14-15 division at the 2019 Games where she placed an impressive 8th as a 14-year-old. The American Ninja Warrior semifinalist placed 226 in the Open this year before tapering down the rest of the season to deal with injuries. She is one of nine 16-year-olds in the field.
- Claire Doty: Doty will make her second Games appearance and first in the division. In 2019 she placed 10th in the 14-15 division. She placed 5th in the Age Group Online Qualifier (AGOQ).
- Eduarda Souza: This will be the 16-year-olds first trip to the Games despite earning invitations two previous times. In 2019 she was denied a Visa to compete and last year she placed 3rd in the AGOQ only to see her Games cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Brazilian, who resides in Portugal, is one of the top athletes out of South America.
16-17 Boy’s Podium Contenders (in no particular order)
- Nate Ackerman: The 17-year-old heads into his first Games with momentum, winning the AGOQ in dominating fashion with three event wins and two third place finishes. In the Open he was the second-highest finisher in the field, placing 1,308 worldwide and earning a berth into the Quarterfinals. He placed a very respectable 265th in a Quarterfinal field that featured over 7,000 athletes competing.
- Omri Meller: Meller was the top finisher among the boys in the Quarterfinals. The 17-year-old from Israel was the closest teen to qualify for a semifinal spot finishing 81st in Asia, just 51 spots out of a qualifying spot. Meler placed third in the AGOQ after placing 4th overall in the Open among the boys.
- David Bradley: Bradley will attempt to join Dallin Pepper and Angelo Dicicco as two-division champs in the boys division. Bradley won the 14-15 division in 2019 and this year placed 6th in the AGOQ with an event win under his belt.
- Rokkvi Gudnason: Gudnason is one of five 16-year-olds in the field and one of the podium favorites after a runner-up finish in the AGOQ. The Iceland native is one of the biggest teens in the field standing over six feet and weighing over 200 pounds/90kg.
- Amato Mazzocca: Mazzocca is the only teen in the field with multiple Games appearances, competing in the 14-15 divisions in both 2018 and 2019. In 2019 he was the runner-up to Bradley.
- Elijah Subiono: Subiono won the AGOQ for the 14-15 division last year before having his first Games appearance taken away from him due to the pandemic. As a 16-year-old, he is one of the strongest teens in the field, finishing 7th in the AGOQ with a four-rep max front squat of 340 pounds/154kg.
14-15 Girl’s Podium Contenders (in no particular order)
- Olivia Kerstetter: Kerstetter was one of the favorites last year in this division after finishing 6th in the AGOQ as a 14-year-old. This year, she was even better in the AGOQ, winning the online competition with two event wins and two runner-up finishes.
- Lucy McGonigle: McGonigle is one of four 14-year-olds in the field and by far the most impressive. The United Kingdom native finished second in the Open in her division and followed that with a runner-up finish in the AGOQ.
- Trista Smith: Smith was the Open champion for the division, beating McGonigle by one point, and followed that with a third place finish in the AGOQ.
- Emily Meyer: Meyer just missed out on a Games invite last year as a 14-year-old but continued to make inroads in her development by competing at the Pit Teen Throwdown, finishing 6th behind a field that included Kerstetter and Shaft. This year, she placed 4th in the AGOQ after a 5th place finish in the Open.
- Dariana Rosales: Rosales traveled from her native Mexico during the height of the pandemic to compete at the Pit Teen Throwdown, placing 8th. She recorded her second top-ten finish in the AGOQ this year, improving from 10th to 7th last year.
- Delia Moises: Moises is one of the smaller athletes in the field but has added strength over the course of the year to go with her excellent motor. She competed at the Pit Teen Throwdown and The Fittest Experience finishing third at the latter.
14-15 Boy’s Podium Contenders (in no particular order)
- Isaiah Weber: Weber won the AGOQ despite not winning a single event. He was consistent across all five workouts placing no worse than 5th and recording three second place finishes. His performance in the AGOQ was a carry-over from his second place finish in the Open, finishing just three points beyond the leader.
- Brode Beckwith: Beckwith was the athlete that ultimately won the Open for the division and followed that up with a runner-up finish in the AGOQ. He is one of five 14-year-olds in the field.
- Gustavo Pusch: The Brazilian placed 4th in the AGOQ after a third place finish in the Open. One of the stronger teens in the field, he front squatted 301 pounds/136kg in the four-rep max event of the AGOQ. He’s also one of the few teens with top-level teen competitions under his belt, competing at Wodapalooza in 2020.
- RJ Mestre: Mestre is another 14-year-old in the division that will push for a podium finish. He placed third in the AGOQ, earning an event win in Workout 1, making him the only teen that finished in the top-five of the AGOQ with a workout win.
- Caden Poulin: Poulin is one of the taller athletes in the field, standing over 5’10 and one of the more consistent as well. He placed 5th in both the AGOQ and the Open.
- Kaiden Hogan: Hogan was the only teen in the top-ten of the AGOQ with multiple event victories, winning Workouts 2 and 3.
- Nathan Kwant: The younger brother of Samuel Kwant, he placed 15th in the AGOQ after finishing 19th in the Open.
How to watch the teen division: The CrossFit Games will be broadcast LIVE all divisions with the exception of coverage conflicts on Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Live video coverage will be available on the Games homepage as well as on their official YouTube and Twitch channels as well their Facebook page.
- The MCU team will be onsite providing coverage of the competition with exclusive athlete interviews, in-depth coverage, highlights, analysis, images and daily recaps on our website, and on our official YouTube and Instagram pages. Subscribe and sign-up for alerts and updates on the latest content as it’s posted.
- We will also be providing a Live Blog on our Games Page throughout the week of competition where our staff and expert analysts will keep you up to date on the latest news and stats.
- We will have media staff on site dedicated to covering age group and adaptive divisions.