A Family Affair: Siblings in the CrossFit Games Teen Division
The CrossFit Games has had its fair share of families compete at various stages of competition together: Scott, Spencer, and Saxon Panchik; Alec and Ben Smith; and most recently, Brooke and Sydney Wells.
Perhaps more interesting, though, is the long history of CrossFit teen siblings competing alongside each other at the CrossFit Games. With only a few years of eligibility, this new generation of CrossFit athletes is packing a punch and sandwiching multiple family members into the mix within a few years.
Siblings at the Games: History
Romy and Celia Gold competed together in the inaugural CrossFit Games teen division in 2015. The Connecticut natives placed 7th (14-15) and 5th (16-17) respectively.
Luke and Tim Pearson competed against each other in the 14-15 division in 2015. Older brother Luke, now 21, placed second, and the younger, Tim, placed 5th, then went on to secure bronze in 2016.
Allison and Brittany Weiss both have multiple Games appearances under their belts. Allison, 22, made the podium two times in her career, with a third place finish in 2015 and a first place finish in 2016. Older sister Brittany, 26, has competed twice at the Games on Team Invictus, helping the team place 32nd in 2018, and competing again on the team in 2021.
Past and Present
Olivia Kerstetter is making a name for herself in the 14-15 division, but previously, her older sister Ellie was also a teen force to be reckoned with, qualifying for the Games three times. She placed third in 2017 (14-15), 7th in 2018 (16-17) and 6th in 2019 (16-17). Now, Olivia is leading the 14-15 girls division after a 202 pound/91kg snatch and a stellar day two. Both Kerstetter girls are coached by Jacob Heppner.
Gustavo Pusch is proving himself a formidable competitor in the 14-15 division with two first place finishes as of Wednesday, including the max snatch event with the highest lift on the floor, 237 pounds/107kgs. Before him, though, older brother Lucas was a force in the gymnastics events, ending up in 13th place.
Yogev Meller punched his ticket to the Games in both 2015, when he placed 7th in the 14-15 division, and 2017, when he placed 8th in the 16-17 division. In 2021, younger brother Omri Meller made his debut in the 16-17 division, currently having racked up two top-ten finishes.
Current Sibling Competition
Rafael and Rodrigo Candeias, Portugeuese twins, are competing alongside each other in the 14-15 boys division this year. Like in the Age Group Online Qualifier, just two spots currently separate the 15-year-olds, in 6th and 8th place respectively.
Elijah and Ka’eo Subiono’s parents owned a gym when they were young, and the CrossFit bug stuck with the brothers too. 16-year-old Elijah has been competing since 2019, but made his first trip to Madison with his 15-year-old brother in 2021. Elijah is currently in 9th place, and Ka’eo is in 13th.
Sam Kwant, the 2020 CrossFit Games runner-up, may have had a tough season, but he’s traveled to Madison this year with a different role: coach. 15-year-old Nathan Kwant is making his Games debut in the 14-15 division under the watchful eye of his older brother.
- “The coaching advice I give him is what I would tell myself, it just comes naturally,” Sam said in an interview about his little brother. “He gets the bragging rights this year for sure, but next year I’m coming for him!”