2022 CrossFit Games Preview: Men’s Masters Divisions
Seventy men, ten in each of the seven divisions, will battle for podium spots in the Masters Divisions during three days of competition at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games in Madison, WI.
The ten athletes in each division battled it out in the online Semifinals. The top-three finishers of each respective Semifinals are listed below.
35-39 Age Group Division
Sam Dancer looks to complete the age-group quadruple crown as he was the top athlete in the Open and followed that with a division wins in both the Quarterfinals and Semifinals. He had five top-5 finishes in the Semifinals including an event win in the opening workout.
Longtime Greek athlete Ioannis Papadopoulos will be making his first Games appearance in any division. He turned down his invitation to an individual Semifinal to compete at the Games as a masters athlete. He won two events during Semifinals including workout 6, clean and jerking 352 LBs.
Bryan Wong finally makes his Games debut, placing third in the Semifinals. The three-time Central Regional individual athlete won Workout 4 and had five top-10 finishes in the Semifinals.
Games veterans Roy Gamboa, Justin Aherns and Craig Kenney will return to Madison to compete as Masters in their first year in the age group.
Gamboa has five trips to the Games, four as an individual athlete, including a trip to Madison last year.
Aherns joins Papadopoulos as the only athletes to win multiple events during the Semifinals. He won workouts 2 and 5 helping the former Games team athlete to an eighth place finish.
- Sam Dancer
- Ioannis Papadopoulos
- Bryan Wong
40-44 Age Group Division
A new champion will be crowned in this division as last year’s champion Maxime Guyon did not qualify, the same with runner-up David Johnston. Third place finisher Alexandre Jolivet placed fourth in the Semis with two event wins including a clean and jerk win with a lift of 330 LBs.
Michael Laverriere won the semis after placing second in the Quarterfinals in his first season in the division after “aging up”.
Lebanon’s Samer Zaarour has a chance to become his country’s first Games champion. He placed second behind Laverriere in the Semifinals.
Aaron Bielefeldt finished just one point behind Zaarour in the Semifinals and will make his return to Madison after competing in 2017 in the 35-39 division, placing fifth.
Australian Caine Hayes makes his return to the division, his first since placing third at the 2019 Games. He made his first Games appearance in 2017, competing with Injustice CrossFit.
- Michael Laverriere
- Samer Zaarour
- Aaron Bielefeldt
45-49 Age Group Division
Belarusian Vlad Liashkevich repeated his Quarterfinal performance with a win in the Semifinals again over American and returning podium finisher Mike Kern. Liashkevich finished in the top-6 in all Semifinal workouts and received his first Games invitation.
Kern is making his fifth CrossFit Games appearance this year. In his four previous Games appearances, Kern has three top-10 finishes, including second-place finishes in 2016 and 2021
Returning and two-time division champ Jason Grubb placed fourth just behind Yurii Hanson. Grubb has three previous Games appearances, finishing third in his Games debut in 2018.
Justin Lasala will make his fifth Games appearance, finishing in the top-10 in three of his four trips including two podium finishes in the division. He placed third last year and second in 2019.
Alan Bates placed fourth in his Games debut last season and placed eighth in the Semifinals.
- Vlad Liashkevich
- Mike Kern
- Yurii Hanson
50-54 Age Group Division
A new champion will be crowned in this division as none of the podium finishers from the 2021 Games made it to the Semifinals which resulted in six athletes who will be making their Games debut.
Semifinal winner Clint Paddock is not among that group as he has competed in Madison three times in the 45-49 division, finishing as high as fourth in 2017, before making his debut this season in this division.
Americans Sean Patrick and Richard Stevenson finished second and third
Chris Exarhos is a veteran of four Games and placed ninth in the Semifinals in his first year in this age division. The American won the max clean and jerk with a lift of 252 pounds.
- Clint Paddock
- Sean Patrick
- Richard Stevenson
55-59 Age Group Division
Five nations will be represented in this field with Brazilian Leonardo Wernersbach Lima leading the way after 58-point Semifinal win. This will be his third Game appearance but his first in the division. He last competed at the Games in 2019, placing fifth in the 50-54 division.
American Bill Cileo won two events during the Semifinals as he secured second place to go with his second place in the Open and third place in Quarterfinals.
Mike Egan last competed in the Games in 2018, placing second in the 50-54 division. He placed second in the Quarterfinals before placing fourth in the Semifinals.
Six of the athletes in the Mens 55-59 division will be making their Games debut.
- Leonardo Wernersbach Lima
- Bill Cileo
- Andrew Kuhlmann
60-64 Age Group Division
Tom Fameree may be the “new kid on the block” in the division but he’s no stranger to the Games, twice competing in the 55-59 division. The native of Green Bay, WI followed his Quarterfinals victory by winning the Semifinals by 29 points.
Shannon Aiken is another veteran Masters athlete who is making his division debut. Aiken won the 55-59 division in 2017 and followed that with a runner-up finish in 2018. He placed second in the Semifinal, the only athlete to win multiple Semifinal workouts.
Will Powell made history last year when he became the first athlete in Games history to win titles in three divisions. It was his fourth title overall in his eight Games appearances.
In total, eight athletes will compete in the division with prior Games experience with Kiwi Ian Buster and American Charlie Hunt making their rookie appearances.
Tony Turski returns to the Games after serving his four-year ban after testing positive for Anastrozole after placing second at the 2017 Games in the 55-59 division.
- Tom Fameree
- Shannon Aiken
- Will Powell
65+ Age Group Division
Nine of the ten athletes in the field are newcomers. Tom Muhlbeier heads into the Games with alot of momentum having won the Quarterfinals and Semifinals in his debut season to the division. The three-time Games veteran placed 11th last year in the 60-64 division.
Fellow division newcomer Cal Cherrington placed second in the Semifinals, just 14 points behind Muhlbeier. Cherrington was one of only two athletes in the division Semifinals to win multiple workouts.
Three-time Games veteran John Mariotti also makes his division debut, joining rivals Muhlbeier and Cherrington who all finished within 19 points of each other in the Semifinals.
Semifinal fourth place finisher Michael Bridges joined Cherrington as the other athlete with multiple Semifinal workouts wins. Bridges won the max clean and jerk with a lift of 217 pounds, 25 pounds more than runner-up Muhlbeier.
The lone returner from last year’s Games is the defending champion Ken Ogden who at 67 years old will be the oldest man competing at the Games. He placed fourth in the Quarterfinals and followed that with a ninth place finish in the Semifinals.
- Tom Muhlbeier
- Cal Cherrington
- John Mariotti