Five Notable Women’s Top 10 Open Performances

March 16, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Victoria Costello (left) | Sean Ellison (right)
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While the big story of the 2022 CrossFit Games Open is undoubtedly 18-year-old Mallory O’Brien becoming the youngest Open champion in history, it’s certainly not the only notable, even head-turning finish from the three-week event. 

And sure, the argument can be made that the Open doesn’t mean that much, especially with the new format where the top 10 percent advance to Quarterfinals. But on the other hand, it can be argued that the Open does still set the tone for the season.

Case in point: Eight of last year’s top 10 Open females qualified to the CrossFit Games, while the other two missed Games qualification by just two spots at Semifinals. 

  • Further, four of last year’s top 10 Open finishers also had top 10 finishes at the Games. The point is, the Open is still useful for telling us who we should be paying attention to this season.

Note: The leaderboard doesn’t become official until March 18.

Five Notable, Even Surprising, 2022 Open Performances

Tia-Clair Toomey: Second

Ok, so it might not seem like anything notable, let alone a surprise, that the five-time fittest woman in the world, Tia-Clair Toomey, found herself very close to the top spot in this year’s Open, but considering that she spent the bulk of the off-season training with the Australian bobsled team for a chance to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, certainly threw a wrench into the Open mix. Or so we might have assumed.

But even after being out of pocket when it comes to classic CrossFit training in lieu of pushing sleds in ice houses—Toomey was still posting bobsledding videos until February 1— Toomey showed up and delivered, proving even an arguably not-fully-CrossFit-prepared Toomey is still basically better than the rest of the world.  One event win included in 22.2.

Laurie Clement: Fourth

Laurie who? 

Laurie Clement, an unknown athlete from France, was the top athlete in the Open without individual Games experience—fourth overall—but what makes that even more impressive is that she isn’t some new up-and-coming teen phenom in a time of her life where gains come fast and furious. 

Clement is a 35-year-old veteran—she competed with a team at the 2018 Meridian Regionals and with a team last year at the CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown—who is apparently still on the big time rise. 

Brooke Wells: Fifth

Six weeks ago, while watching Wodapalooza in Miami, FL, Brooke Wells told the Morning Chalk Up she was about 80 percent back to her old self after dislocating her elbow and tearing her UCL during last year’s CrossFit Games.

Wells told us that at the time (January 2022) she still hadn’t done any kipping movements on the bar, nor had she attempted movements like muscle-ups or handstand walking since her injury last summer, and was not expecting to be at her best during this year’s Open

“I had a hard conversation with one of my coaches the other day about the reality of the Open, and Quarterfinals… there are going to be events where I do very poorly because I just haven’t been training those movements, and I just need to get through those,” Wells said.

Still, Wells placed fifth overall worldwide—her best ever Open finish—and was an impressive 16th overall on 22.3, which featured all sorts of kipping action. 

If this is Wells at 80 percent, that is terrifying for the rest of the field this season.

Ellie Turner: Seventh

Australian Ellie Turner, a 2021 CrossFit Games rookie, proved to the CrossFit community at Wodapalooza that she belongs with the best—she literally led the entire competition until the final event, where she placed 32nd overall and dropped herself from first to sixth—but according to her coach Michele Letendre, gymnastics has notoriously been Turner’s weakness, so you might have expected 22.3 to have dropped her down the leaderboard. 

It did not. Turner placed 26th overall on 22.3, good enough to keep her well in the top 10 overall. 

Heading into this season, Turner’s greatest strength might just be her will to get to the podium at the Games.

“We’re facing a lot of ambition from (Ellie)…a lot of drive and a lot of want to already be in the top three on the podium,” Letendre said. “I can tell Ellie that it is very possible for her to be on the top of the podium one day. 100 percent. Is it possible (this) year? I don’t think so. And this is why. There are a bunch of things that need to happen before that happens. And working on all that in one year, unless you’re a superhuman, is not going to happen.”

Still, this ambition and will to be at the top led Turner to move to Montreal, Canada to train in-person with Letendre this season, a decision that, if the Open is any indication, might just be paying off quicker than even Letendre expected. 

Jamie Simmonds: 10th

Though it shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise to see Jamie Simmonds in the top 10 in the Open—considering she won the Open in 2016, placed 8th at the Games in 2017 and finished on the podium in 2019—but after sitting out the 2021 because of a shoulder injury that led to surgery, it was unclear the form Simmonds would be in this season. 

The result: A top 10 finish and it’s safe to say Simmonds is back in the mix.

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