Rookie Rebecca Fuselier Joins Four Games Veterans, Punches Games Ticket in Dramatic Finish at the MACC
With five CrossFit Games berths available at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, and only four female individual CrossFit Games competitors in the field, one thing was certain in Knoxville, TN on Sunday: A new CrossFit Games rookie would be born. The question was whether that rookie would be Rebecca Fuselier, Shelby Neal or Kelly Clark.
After six events, and a whole lot of leaderboard shuffling throughout the weekend, it was 22-year-old Fuselier who earned the ticket, and will join overall winner Danielle Brandon, 2021 Games rookies Sydney Michalyshen and Baylee Rayl, and seven-time Games veteran Brooke Wells in Madison, WI this summer.
The Dramatic Finish: Fuselier entered the final event just one point ahead of Neal and five points ahead of Clark, so it would essentially come down to the final event of muscle-ups, front squats, shoulder to overhead and front rack lunges.
- Fuselier and Clark were neck-and-neck throughout pretty much the entire event, but it was Fueslier who finished her bar muscle-ups and shoulder-to-overheads first before beginning her final 45-foot overhead lunge to the finish line.
- But one lunge before the finish line, Fuselier dropped her barbell, leaving enough time for Clark to pass her and cross the line first. Fuselier, though, gathered herself quickly and did exactly what she needed to do: make sure no one finished between her and Clark.
- In the end, Fuselier snagged the final spot by one single point over Clark, while Neal, who came fifth in the final event, finished seventh overall.
- When she crossed the line, Fuselier said she didn’t think she had done enough. “My arms gave out over that last line, and I thought that was it. But coach said before we went, ‘Fight to the finish.’ And that’s what we did,” she said.
More on Fuselier: Fuselier will head to Madison this summer as a rookie, but she competed twice at the Games as a teenager—in 2016 and 2017—placing 9th and 10th respectively.
- After aging out of the teenage divisions, Fuselier gained valuable Semifinals experience at last year’s Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, where she placed 12th overall.
What Wells and Brandon said: After her win, Brandon, who finished the competition with three straight event wins, expressed how one of the keys to her success was her ability to stay emotionally calm and stick to her plan all weekend, something she hasn’t always been able to do.
- “In the past I have been really reckless in not really planning and just telling coach, ‘I’m going to do (whatever)…whatever happens,’ and this year I think we really approached it so I could go into it more confident,” Brandon said, adding that she’s going to take a bit of a break now before getting “back to working even harder.”
- As for Wells, though this is her eighth time qualifying to the Games, she couldn’t stop the tears from flowing at the end of the competition, saying this last year was “the hardest year I have ever had training in my life.”
- She added: “I worked really hard to be ready to compete. It has only been nine months since I had reconstructive surgery, and nobody thought that was even in the cards to be here. And to start Saturday off with one of my first finishes ever…It has just been a battle this entire weekend and year, so to have it all pay off, it’s just so relieving. I can finally breathe. It’s just so worth it.”