2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Week One Semifinal Team Recap: North America East and Africa
The first weekend of team competition has come to a close and ten teams in North America East and one team in Africa have all punched the first tickets this season to the 2023 CrossFit Games.
North America East:
While the competition was fierce for the podium positions, the story still remained on the edge of the bubble. With an unprecedented number of qualifying spots up for grabs, the final line-up of the top ten teams continued to shift all the way to the last second of the final heat of the weekend.
The story at the top: Unsurprisingly, Day 1 started with a strong performance from number-one-seeded Team East Nashville PRNV as they stepped on the floor to separate themselves from the rest of the field by a full 22 seconds.
- But by the second event, it was clear that East Nashville PRVN was going to have to put in the work if they wanted to stand on the top of the podium by the end of the weekend.
- Throughout events 1 and 2, two wildcard teams emerged. 15th seeded team, CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy 247 and 14th seeded team, AB CrossFit – Mayhem both stepped up to earn themselves a spot at the top of the leaderboard by the end of the day.
- In workout 2, AB CrossFit – Mayhem would emerge victorious, beating CrossFit East Nashville PRVN and CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy 247.
- In workouts 1 and 2, CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy 247 would take second in both day 1 events, allowing them to end the day tied point-wise with CrossFit East Nashville PRVN.
The story on the bubble: Beyond the fight for the podium, a fierce competition began to materialize for the bottom few qualifying spots.
- By the end of Day 1, less than 10 points would separate CrossFit CLT the Grit Haus in 7th place from CrossFit Resurrection in 11th place.
- Beyond those sitting just on the bubble, another pocket of teams emerged in spots 12-17, with 12th place team, CrossFit PSC Invasion, trailing just 15 points behind CrossFit Resurrection and only separated from the 17th place team, Stadd CrossFit The JS Method NST by 24 points.
Moving day: Day 2 has historically been called “moving day” in three-day competitions and for good reason. With 17 teams in valid contention for the top ten spots, day 2 would prove to be a pivotal day for many teams.
Event 3: Perhaps one of the most important lessons CrossFit teaches us, is to be prepared for anything and everything. Event 3 would prove that with the introduction of what many would consider a high-level gymnastics skill for the athletes. After a set of single-leg squats, athletes would have to complete three handstand pirouettes.
- At the top of the leaderboard, event 3 would put wildcard team, CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy 247 in first over East Nashville PRVN by three points after they put another second-place finish up on the leaderboard.
- The high-level gymnastics skills of event 3 allowed CrossFit Krypton to put forth a first-place finish, which came as no surprise given their teammate Alec Smith’s propensity for gymnastics work.
- Wildcard CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy 247 would also continue to prove themselves with their third second-place finish of the day.
- Event 3 would also allow CrossFit PSC Invasion to pull themselves into a qualifying position, as they took their first top-ten finish to finish fourth overall and pull themselves into 8th.
- It would also be the first part of moving day for Stadd CrossFit The JS Method NST, who pulled themselves from 17th to 14th, well within striking distance of a qualifying spot with three more events to go.
Event 4: While event 3’s relay-style format focused largely on individual strengths, event 4 would bring the teams back together and call on them to communicate effectively through their synchronized work. While the top of the leaderboard remained relatively unchanged, event 4 was a chance for several teams to move into a qualifying position for day 3.
- Coming into heat 3, CrossFit Stadd the JS Method NST absolutely blew away all other times from heats 1 and 2. While their top time wouldn’t hold through the final heat, it would be enough for them to finish fourth overall and end the day in 12th, just 18 points out of a qualifying position.
- In the final heat, CrossFit East Nashville PRVN proved that they were not here to play around. After two third-place finishes in a row, they stepped out onto the floor with a renewed fire and beat every other team by a full six seconds.
- The final heat also had everyone on the edge of their seats, as CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy 247 and CrossFit CLT the Grit Haus went head to head, finishing in a near tie with CrossFit CLT The Grit Haus winning by a mere .73 seconds.
- TTT CrossFit Black also proved their incredible ability to work together as a team, taking third in the event and moving their team from 12th to 7th, well within a qualifying position.
Day 3: While the top spots on the leaderboard had largely solidified their ticket to the Games, the bottom few spots in the top ten were still anybody’s Game. Headed into Day 3,
Event 5: Event 5 would not only highlight the athlete’s individual raw strength abilities but more importantly their communication. With just one minute to complete as many exceptionally heavy cleans as possible between two athletes, communication proved to be the make or break, not just in reps, but also in spots on the leaderboard.
- Perhaps one of the strongest teams in the field, CrossFit East Nashville PRVN unsurprisingly took first overall in the event, outperforming the second-place finishers, CrossFit Milford Team Conquer, by a full eleven reps.
- While CrossFit Milford Team Conquer came second to CrossFit East Nashville PRVN, event 5 would prove to be a pivotal workout for them.
- Their second-place finish gave them enough points to move from 14th overall into 10th, where they had a 12-point lead on 8th Day CrossFit, the team who previously sat in 10th coming into Day 3.
- Event 5 would also pull CrossFit Westchase, who previously sat in 13th, into a tie point-wise with 11th place team, 8th Day CrossFit.
Event 6: Headed into event 6, the bottom few spots of the top ten were truly anyone’s game. Just 27 points separated TTT CrossFit Black in 8th place and CrossFit Westchase in 12th.
- While hopes were high for CrossFit Westchase to make one last push in the final workout to knock CrossFit Milford Team Conquer out of the tenth place spot, as heat 3 kicked off, CrossFit Westchase quickly fell to the back of the pack and out of contention. Their 23rd place finish in event 6 would land them in 13th overall.
- However, as the heat progressed, an unexpected team began to emerge. CrossFit Resurrection, who for the first two days sat in 11th, but dropped to 14th with a 28th place finish in event 5, began to take the lead.
- They would go on to dominate the workout, posting the time to beat for the final heat.
- All eyes remained on CrossFit Resurrection as they remained on the competition floor to watch the fourth and final heat take on event 6. As the final heat took on the rope climbs and handstand pushups, 10th place team, CrossFit Milford Team Conquer, began to fall behind the pack.
- By the time other top teams were onto their third set of worm squats, CrossFit Milford Team Conquer was behind by nearly a full round.
- The only question remained, would this gap be enough to allow CrossFit Resurrection or even 8th Day CrossFit who currently sat in 11th to move into one of those top ten spots.
- As the heat ended, CrossFit Milford Team Conquer found themselves 19th in event five and unclear as to whether they had maintained their 10th place standing.
- As the points were calculated, everyone sat on the edge of their seats to see whether CrossFit Milford Team Conquer had allowed for 8th Day CrossFit to close the gap.
- Ultimately, 8th Day CrossFit would cede the tenth place spot in a tie break to CrossFit Milford Conquer, whose 19th place finish was just barely enough to hold them in that tenth place spot.
A Wildcard Podium: Beyond the excitement at the bottom of the qualifying leaderboard, the podium at North America East also had some unexpected surprises.
- 15th and 14th seeded teams, CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy 247 and AB CrossFit – Mayhem both took second and third respectively.
- While they may not have had the strongest Quarterfinals performance, both teams proved their abilities as both individuals and teams this weekend.
- “It’s been a long weekend, last year we learned that we have to have fun in the journey,” said Laura Laudice Sanchez of AB CrossFit – Mayhem in a post-game interview.
- “And that’s basically what we’ve been focusing on throughout the season because we know we deserve better than what we did last year at Semifinals,” she continued.
- “We are here to show everyone that we deserve to be here,” Sanchez concluded as a crowd of cheering fans waving CrossFit AB flags erupted in the stands.
The big picture: This weekend’s unprecedented number of qualifying spots led to one of the most exciting team competitions we’ve seen in a Semifinals event to date. From the end of Day 2 to the final workout, 5 teams finished in exactly the same position (1, 2, 3, 6, and 9) spots. 4 and 5 and 7 and 8 swapped while the 10th place position changed entirely. As we move forward to North America West and Europe, both with significant numbers of team qualifying positions, we look forward to seeing how the competition continues to play out with this new format.
With only one qualifying position available for the African Semifinal teams, and 18 teams competing, the competition would be fierce for top of the podium.
Day 1: The first day of competition kicked off with an absolutely dominant performance from first seed CrossFit FBDV – Mayhem Africa.
- In the first event, they came in first by over 90 seconds, beating CrossFit Tijger Valley Synergy who came in second and Cape CrossFit Wolfpack.
- Their dominance continued into the second event, where they beat CrossFit 10 Star Hybrids by 13 points.
- By the end of day 1, CrossFit FBDV Mayhem – Africa held a 20-point lead after just two events, trailed by Cape CrossFit Wolfpack, who received two third place finishes on day 1.
Day 2: Day 2 would start to mix things up for the Africa Semifinal, as Cape CrossFit Wolfpack came into event 3 with a renewed fire to close the gap between them and CrossFit FBDV Mayhem – Africa.
- They would take first in event 3, beating CrossFit FBDV Mayhem – Africa by just over 25 seconds.
- CrossFit 10 Star Hybrids would also make their comeback in the second event of day 2, beating CrossFit FBDV Mayhem – Africa by over 20 seconds.
- Cape CrossFit Wolfpack would, unfortunately, take third again, which would continue to widen the gap between them and CrossFit FBDV Mayhem – Africa heading into the final day of competition.
Day 3: Headed into day 3, CrossFit FBDV – Mayhem Africa would still maintain the 20-point lead that they had going into Day 2 over Cape CrossFit Wolfpack. While a 20 point lead was still closeable with two workouts remaining, the fierce competition and the strength of CrossFit FBDV Mayhem – Africa would make this an exceptionally hard feat for Cape CrossFit Wolfpack.
- In event 5, Cape CrossFit Wolfpack would, unfortunately, continue to widen that gap, taking 4th while CrossFit FBDV Mayhem – Africa would dominate the event, taking first overall.
- While the qualifying spot was nearly a given going into the final workout, the fight for the podium still remained strong.
- While CrossFit Tijger Valley Synergy struggled on day 2 with a 5th and 4th place finish in events 3 and 4, they came back to push for the podium in events 5 and 6 with two second place finishes.
- These two second-place finishes would end the leaderboard in a points tie with CrossFit 10 Star Hybrids.
- However, CrossFit 10 Star Hybrids’ dominant performance in the final workout would allow for them to break the tie and stand in the third-place position on the podium.
- Ultimately the podium would end with CrossFit FBDV – Mayhem on top followed by Cape CrossFit Wolfpack in second and CrossFit 10 Star Hybrids in third.
Your Week 1 Games Qualifiers: From this weekend, ten teams earned their spot at the 2023 CrossFit Games.
The teams who you’ll be seeing in just a few months take the floor in Madison to represent North America East are:
- CrossFit East Nashville PRVN (1st)
- CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy 247 (2nd)
- AB CrossFit – Mayhem (3rd)
- CrossFit Mayhem Independence (4th)
- CrossFit Krypton (5th)
- CrossFit CLT The Grit Haus (6th)
- CrossFit OBA (7th)
- CLT The Grit Haus (8th)
- CrossFit PSC Invasion (9th)
- CrossFit Team Milford Conquer (10th)
The team representing Africa this year at the Games will be:
- CrossFit FBDV Mayhem – Africa (1st)