CrossFit Games

2022 Post-Semifinals Power Rankings

June 20, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Instagram @saxon_panchik
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Most of the Semifinal stage of competition is behind us now (the Last Chance Qualifier is technically part of this six  week stage of competition), and it’s an important one. The Semifinals is our first opportunity of the CrossFit Games season to see the athletes live at in-person competitions where the variables are largely out of their control, and the aspects of fitness that don’t show up on a leaderboard are put to the test for the first time. 

To get caught up on previous power rankings from earlier in the season:

As we delve further and further into the season we’re expanding the scope of the rankings. This iteration will go from one to thirty, and includes only athletes who are still alive in the season (including still being in the Last Chance Qualifier). It also will show the relative change when applicable for athletes who have moved up or down based on the Semifinal competitions and data. 

Men

This field is really starting to shape up to be one of the deepest and most competitive fields we’ve ever seen. Several notable athletes who have already qualified for the Games, and who are still fighting for a Games spot in the LCQ, did not make the list:

RankAthleteChange (from Post-Qtrs)
1Justin Medeiros
2Patrick Vellner
3Brent Fikowski
4Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson
5Saxon PanchikUp 6
6Roman KhrennikovDown 1
7Lazar Dukic
8Guilherme Malheiros
9Jeffrey AdlerUp 3
10Ricky Garard
11Willy GeorgesUp 6
12Jonne KoskiDown 6
13Jayson HopperUp 5
14Alex VigneaultUp 5
15Dallin PepperNew to top 20
16Phil ToonNew to top 20
17Cole SagerDown 3
18Alexandre CaronUp 2
19Noah OhlsenDown 6
20Travis MayerDown 5
21Henrik HaapalainenN/A
22Andre HoudetN/A
23Jay CrouchN/A
24Samuel KwantN/A
25Bayden BrownN/A
26Tudor MagdaN/A
27Cole GreashaberN/A
28Tyler ChristophelN/A
29Royce DunneN/A
30Spencer PanchikN/A
2022 Post-Semifinals Power Rankings, Individual Men | Brian Friend

Generalities:

A lot of shifting in the five through twenty range for the men, and half of the bottom ten on this list have a top twenty finish in recent history (last two years), speaking to the depth on the men’s side. Names in yellow will still have to battle for their Games spot via the LCQ, and if any of them get to the Games they could see an uptick in ranking. 

  • Saxon Panchik: The biggest mover in the positive direction near the top of the list is Saxon. It can be easy to overlook him at times, and perhaps that’s what we did following Quarterfinals. Anyone who watched him at the MACC was able to see how methodically he dismantled a majority of the workouts. Three event wins, one second-place finish, and fifth on the lift demonstrate both the fitness and calm execution in the midst of competition that are needed to be at the top of this sport.
  • Jonne Koski: Although he failed to qualify for the Games via Strength in Depth, don’t be surprised if he takes one of the two LCQ spots. If you’re in the men’s Games field already, you should be hoping he doesn’t make it. If he qualifies, he’ll be right back in the mix for a top ten spot. 
  • Dallin Pepper and Phil Toon: The two new entrants to the top twenty both earned this bump in ranking based on impressive second-place performances at their respective Semifinals. Pepper racked up 520 points, with five out of six top five finishes and nothing worse than a seventh. He didn’t quite have the home run event wins (as Saxon was busy accumulating those on some of Pepper’s best events), but it was his mature, methodical approach to the weekend that caught our attention most. Toon was a little more up and down with three top three finishes (including a very impressive event win) and three finishes of seventh or worse. The skill sets for these two are a bit different, but the overall makeup of each as an athlete suggests the potential for success at the Games.

Women

Similarly to the men’s field there seems to be some increasing depth in the women’s field, and in some cases it’s come at the expense of some big names in the sport. Those women are still in the top 30 when it comes to power rankings, but only two of them at most will be able to round out the Games field via the Last Chance Qualifier. 

RankAthleteChange (from April 2022)
1Tia-Clair Toomey
2Laura Horvath
3Mallory O’BrienUp 3
4Gabriela Migala
5Haley AdamsDown 2
6Amanda BarnhartUp 4
7Danielle BrandonUp 2
8Karin FreyovaUp 8
9Kristi Eramo O’ConnellDown 1
10Kara SaundersDown 5
11Brooke WellsDown 4
12Ellie TurnerUp 5
13Emma McQuaidDown 2
14Jacqueline DahlstromUp 3
15Alexis RaptisNew to top 20
16Thuri HelgadottirUp 1
17Jamie SimmondsDown 3
18Katrin DavidsdottirDown 6
19Lucy CampbellNew to top 20
20Sydney Michalyshen
21Arielle LoewenDown 6
22Emma LawsonN/A
23Dani SpeegleN/A
24Emily RolfeN/A
25Matilde GarnesN/A
26Sara SigmundsdottirDown 12
27Baylee RaylN/A
28Alex GazanN/A
29Madeline SturtN/A
30Solveig SigurdardottirN/A
2022 Post-Semifinals Power Rankings | Brian Friend

Generalities: 

Just like the men’s field, there is quite a bit of shuffling of places between five and twenty including two newcomers this season to the list. And again, there are several women lurking in the LCQ, who, if they make it through, will only move up on this board. 

  • Karin Freyova: If you haven’t been reading our stuff, you might not know that Freyova was sixth last year in her online Semifinal–and that the five women who beat her all finished 13th or better at the Games. Freyova took second behind Horvath at the Lowlands Throwdown, including besting one of the shining stars from last season, Gabriela Migala. Freyova does have one or two holes in her game, but so do most of the women in the top ten. She finished school last year and has been able to devote more time to training. She’s also notably better in live events than online. Don’t sleep on her for the top ten this summer.
  • Kara Saunders and Brooke Wells: These are possibly the two hardest athletes to assess heading into the Games this year. Considering Toomey took the maximum points on every event, Saunders points relative to points available at Semifinals was as good as any one (she took 560 of the remaining 576 points available- or 97.2% of available points). Other performances in that vicinity were:
  • Seungyeon Choi, Far East: 588/600 (98%)
  • Mallory O’Brien, Granite Games: 576-600 (96%)
  • Emma Lawson, Atlas Games: 566/600 (94.3%)

Saunders is well-known for thriving at the Regional/Semifinal stage of competition, and she has the potential to be incredible at the Games. But, she’s also shown inconsistency there over the years. Which Kara will we get this summer?

For Wells it’s all about the road back and trying to guess what her ceiling of potential will be in a few weeks. She’s clearly still got the fitness to thrive (three top-three finishes at the MACC), but it’s also clear that some things are hindrances relative to the success she was demonstrating last season. 

The downward movement in the rankings here is not so much because of how well or poorly they did at Semis, it’s more about how good some of the other women who slide above them performed, coupled with the uncertainty detailed here. 

Alexis Raptis and Lucy Campbell: Just like the men, there are two newcomers to the top 20 here. Both women competed in week one, and while Raptis was challenging Haley Adams for the lead at the Syndicate Crown, Campbell was trying to hold off Sara Sigmundsdottir for the final qualifying spot at the Lowlands Throwdown. Those second and fifth place finishes respectively are not quite as different as you might think though. The fields and workouts were quite different, but Raptis took second at her Semi with 496 points, while Campbell placed fifth despite earning 484 points (Migala, who was third there had 496).

Raptis was very consistent with five finishes between third and fifth, but she wasn’t able to get the big finish. Campbell had a little more diversity to her event finishes (possibly due to the depth of that field), but also showed the home run potential with an event win (despite that depth).  It will certainly be intriguing to see which of these two is able to leverage their capacity into a better rookie performance at the Games.

Note: These are not predictions for the Games; more to come following the Last Chance Qualifier.

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