Leah Storen Makes a Name for Herself After Second CrossFit Open
Every year there are names that pop up on the Open leaderboard after one workout that the average person doesn’t recognize. Typically, those athletes are what we call “specialists” in a certain workout, and most of the time, their names don’t come back up.
But then there’s the other scenario. The one where their name pops up more frequently, making us think this may be the next up and coming athlete, and as sports analysts, we take note. After 18-year-old Norwegian athlete Leah Storen’s Open performance, she may be someone who could very well stick around.
“When my name was in the top five and I was with Tia-Clair Toomey, it was absolutely mind blowing, I couldn’t really understand it. It was like a dream waiting for you to wake up and then you realize no, this is not a dream, this is really happening.”
Storen finished 5th in 22.1 and 8th in 22.2 placing her third overall after the first two weeks. And – she is just one of three women to record top-10 finishes in the first two workouts, sitting in company with Toomey and eventual Open winner Mal O’Brien.
“I remember seeing the live announcements and seeing Laura [Horvath] and Emma [Lawson] who are both amazing athletes. I saw them doing the workout and thought, ‘Oh I’m never going to finish this.’ And then I did the workout not too long later and I finished it and I was in shock and when they told me my time I was like, ‘What! Are you sure? Are you missing something?’ I didn’t believe them so that was crazy.”
Storen finished week three of the Open 22nd overall – a respectable position for someone who has only one other Open under their belt.
Storen started her CrossFit journey two years ago shortly after the coronavirus pandemic shut down her gymnastics gym. After competing in gymnastics since the age of nine and competing at the 2018 Norwegian Junior Championships, Storen decided to join a CrossFit gym after doing strength training on her own during the pandemic shutdowns.
“It was only a few months until the Open of 2021, I absolutely had no idea what I was doing but I really liked it and after that I was 100 percent sure that I wanted to compete in CrossFit.”
After just a few months of doing CrossFit, Storen finished her first Open in 2021 placing 72nd in her 16-17 age group. She then went on to qualify for the Age Group Online Qualifier where she finished 52nd overall.
Going into the 2022 season, Storen trains remotely under Magnus Haugan, a coach at CrossFit Oslo – home to Kristen Holte, Andrea Solberg and the reigning second “Fittest Team on Earth.” As she continues to work on building strength, you can expect to see Storen’s name on the Quarterfinals leaderboard as she heads to CrossFit Oslo to train in person.