CrossFit Games

How Accurate Were Our Composite Power Rankings?

August 30, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Crispy Dudes
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Following the Last Chance Qualifier in July, six CrossFit analysts put power rankings out for the 40 athletes competing in the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games men’s and women’s fields. In case you missed them:

Well, the Games have concluded, so the obvious question is, how did we do? 

As a collective group, our composite rankings were quite good:

  • For the men we had three athletes exactly correct:
    • Justin Medeiros 1st overall
    • Willy Georges 17th overall
    • Agustin Richelme 39th overall
  • For the women we only had one exactly right:
    • Tia Clair-Toomey 1st overall
  • We had 4 other men within 1 spot:
    • Lazar Djukic, Guilherme Malheiros, Travis Mayer, and Austin Spencer
  • And 8 other women within 1 spot:
    • Laura Horvath, Mallory O’Brien, Kara Saunders, Alexis Raptis, Jacqueline Dahlstrom, Freya Mossbrugger, Elisa Fuliano, and Julia Kato.
  • There were 13 additional men we were within 3 spots for:
    • Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson, Jeff Adler, Jonne Koski, Noah Ohlsen, Cole Sager, Dallin Pepper, Henrik Haaplainen, Will Moorad, Tim Paulson, Colten Mertens, Moritz Fiebig, Arthur Semenov, and Kealan Henry
  • And 8 additional women we had within 3:
    • Emma McQuaid, Kristi O’Connell, Ellie Turner, Alex Gazan, Christine Kolenbrander, Paige Powers, Victoria Campos, and Michelle Merand

In total, we were within 3 spots for 20 men and 17 women in our composite rankings.

On the not so good side there were four men we missed by at least 10 spots:

  • Brent Fikowksi (projected 3rd, finished 16th)
  • Samuel Kwant (projected 19th, finished 4th)
  • Nick Mathew (projected 32nd, finished 14th)
  • Guillaume Briant (projected 32nd, finished 26th)

And it was similar for the women:

  • Emma Lawson (projected 17th, finished 6th)
  • Brooke Wells (projected 17th, finished 5th)
  • Sydney Michalyshen (projected 21st, finished 31st)
  • Emily Rolfe (projected 20th, finished 40th- due to withdrawal after event 1)
  • Seher Kaya (projected 39th, finished 29th)

Most of the names on the lists of athletes we missed badly on are understandable as many of those athletes either greatly exceeded expectations or had large question marks surrounding them leading into the Games for any number of reasons (from inexperience, to injury, to illness, to age).

Turning our focus more to individual predictions, here were some of the more impressive picks on the men’s side:

  • Chad Schroeder, projected BKG  to take nineth, lowest amongst all analysts… he finished 9th
    • Chad was also highest on Roman Khrennikov, ranking him 5th
    • And also got Lazar Djukic exactly correct at 8th
  • Chad Schroeder also had a great read on Alex Vigneault, he ranked him 26th (the next lowest ranking for Vigneault was 23rd by Patrick Clark), VIgneault finished 25th.
  • While everyone had Jeff Adler in the top 10, only Chase Ingraham had him exactly 5th.
  • Chase was closest, and by a wide margin, on Samuel Kwant. Harkening back to our preview articles for these picks (above), Ingraham said he wouldn’t let Kwant surprise him again and therefore placed him 9th. Although it’s impressive relative to the rest of the analysts, I think it’s fair to say Kwant’s 4th place finish was still a surprise.
  • On the opposite end, Chase Ingraham faded Andre Houdet and picked him 27th (the next lowest rank was 22nd by Patrick Clark), Houdet finished exactly 27th.
  • Ingraham again gets the credit with his projection of 23rd for Uldis Upeneiks (who finished 21st). 
  • There was a lot of variance in ranking rookie Dallin Pepper, compositely, we were close, but Lauren Kalil had his finish of 19th pegged exactly in her rankings.
  • While many like to give him a hard time for consistently ranking Colten Mertens low, Brian Friend had Mertens 33rd, he finished 32nd, the closest ranking for Mertens of any analyst.

For point of comparison (and fun), Chase Ingraham had the men’s most picks within 5 spots of their eventual placement:

And here are some of the most impressive picks on the women’s side:

  • While almost everyone had Amanda Barnhart making the top 10, Patrick Clark ranked her 17th, she ended up 14th, so he accurately projected a decline
  • Patrick also got rookie Alexis Raptis’s placement exactly right, ranking her 10th, she finished 10th
  • Lauren Kalil did the same with Jacqueline Dahlstrom, projecting her 15th, exactly where she finished.
  • Only one analyst took the risk and placed Emma Lawson in the top 10, it was Lauren Kalil who ranked her 10th. Although that was only within 4 spots, it was by far the best of the group relative to her eventual 6th place finish.
  • Lauren was also most accurate with her placement of Thuri Helgadottir; she predicted her 23rd, she took 22nd
  • There was quite a range of projected finishes for LCQ athlete Arielle Loewen, no one had her as high as 11th (where she finished), but Tommy Marquez was closest at 12th.
  • There was a wide range of rankings for Brooke Wells (understandably so coming back from injury), only Tommy Marquez had her coming back into the top 10; he ranked her 9th, she finished 5th.
  • No athlete had a greater range of rankings than Dani Speegle, but right in the middle was Tommy Marquez, picking her 18th, she made him look good taking 17th.
  • Almost everyone had Solveig Sigurdardottir doing much better than she did, Tommy Marquez was nearly exact though, taking her 33rd, she finished 34th.
  • Another great pick by Tommy was Carolyne Prevost, she had a range of ranks from 21-38; but he got it on the money at 23rd.
  • Nearly everyone had Sydney Michalyshen ranked close to 10th. Not Chase Ingraham though, he had her 28th, she finished 31st, the closest pick for her.
  • Lucy Campbell was another tough rookie for the group to place, Brian Friend was closest ranking her 18th (she finished 16th).
  • Another good pick for Brian was Paige Semenza; he projected her 23rd, she finished 21st (no one else was within five spots for her). 

For the women, Tommy Marquez had the most placements within five of their eventual finish:

Generally speaking, Chase Ingraham and Chad Schroeder had a lot of solid picks on the men’s side, while Tommy Marquez and Lauren Kalil made their best picks for the women. Patrick Clark and Brian Friend had the least really exceptional picks, but in many instances were second closest with some of the more varied picks. 

It’s just one metric, but overall in terms of picks within five of their eventual finish Tommy Marquez ended up prevailing:

The big picture: The overall takeaway is definitely that the power of the group is better than any one individual (this is true in many aspects of life). While it’s easy for an analyst to be impressed or unimpressed by something specifically they have seen (or know about) from an athlete; it can just as often lead to a good projection as a bad one. However, when these six put their picks on paper, and we looked at the average of the groups’ picks, the results were quite impressive. 

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