CrossFit Games

Week 2 Semifinals Team Preview: North America West, Oceania, and South America

May 23, 2023 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit Invictus
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With one week down and two weeks to go, week 2 of the 2023 Semifinal season kicks off this weekend with 3 semifinals on 3 continents. This week, we’ll see teams from North America West, Oceania, and South America battle it out for one of the few coveted spots at the 2023 CrossFit Games.

North America West:

Perhaps one of the most competitive regions in the world, North America West boasts an average worldwide Quarterfinals ranking of 142 amongst its teams. It is also home to three teams in the top ten worldwide, as well as the number two ranked team worldwide, CrossFit Invictus.

The Sea of Green Takes Pasadena: Since 2009, CrossFit Invictus has been one of the most dominant teams in the sport of fitness, sending at least one team to the Games every year since 2009. In that time, they’ve had multiple teams stand on the podium and have taken home one affiliate cup championship.

This year, Invictus had five teams from two of their three affiliates (San Diego, Boston, and Seattle) rank in the top 50 of their respective regions and three teams qualify for Semifinals. Of those three teams, 100% of them are currently ranked in the top ten in North America West, with two ranked in the top three. This means Invictus not only has a realistic chance of putting two teams on the podium this weekend, but also qualifying three teams for the 2023 CrossFit Games from one affiliate.

  • CrossFit Invictus: This year, the same powerful team that took the floor in 2022 and placed third at the CrossFit Games is back and stronger than ever.
  • During the Open, they ranked fourth worldwide and only continued to improve throughout the season, finishing Quarterfinals in second worldwide and first in North America West.
  • CrossFit Invictus Unconquerable: With only one finish outside of the top ten during Quarterfinals, Invictus Unconquerable is currently seeded third heading into semifinals and features Games veteran Eric Carmody.
  • He will be joined by Jessica Smith, Tyler Soderback, and Emily Rethwill.
  • CrossFit Invictus Sea of Green: Currently ranked seventh coming out of quarterfinals, CrossFit Invictus Sea of Green could potentially earn CrossFit Invictus their third team at the CrossFit Games this weekend.
  • Unlike CrossFit Invictus Unconquerable and Team CrossFit Invictus, the CrossFit Invictus Sea of Green is comprised solely of San Diego gym based members who come to regular CrossFit classes on a daily basis.
  • “These are not professional athletes, but they are the heartbeat of our community…the people who make time to train hard and improve themselves despite the demands of work and family,” CrossFit Invictus wrote.
  • “This group is the ultimate representation of what CrossFit is all about…learning new skills and improving capacity that can be applied to all fitness endeavors.”

Podium Contenders:

  • CrossFit Franco’s Misfits: Led by arguably one of CrossFit’s smartest athletes, Alexis Johnson not only has her PhD in mathematics, but also four previous CrossFit Games appearances under her belt, including a fifth place finish last year with CrossFit Mayhem Independence.
  • Johnson will be joined by fellow Games veterans Brandon Luckett (3x Games athlete) and Logan Collins (4x Games athlete), CrossFit Franco’s Misfits placed second in North America West and fifth worldwide.
  • They will be joined by Shaylin Laure. Last year, Laure qualified for the Games with breakout team CrossFit Shoofly, who placed second in last year’s MACC before ultimately being disqualified for a failed drug test by teammate, Jaylond Franklin.
  • This year, Franco’s Misfit’s finished every single Quarterfinals workout, except one, in the top three in North America West, making them a surefire candidate for the podium.
  • CrossFit Omnia: In 2022, CrossFit Omnia Black took seventh at the CrossFit Games. This year, Jacob Schmidt, Cooper Wise, and Mary Kay Dreisilker will return to the roster with Kelly Stone, who will replace Elisa Schauer.
  • They’ve already started to make moves early on in the season, finishing 15th worldwide in the Open and 12th worldwide in Quarterfinals.
  • While they came in fourth overall in North America West during Quarterfinals, three of five workouts were in the top five and four of five in the top ten.
  • Their rank was only dragged by one 20th place finish. However, a smaller field of could help to make that weakness less impactful this weekend.

The Wildcard: Last week, we had not just one, but two wildcard teams surprise us with podium finishes at North America East. This weekend’s North America West leaderboard has a few silent assassins lurking in the shadows ready to put it all out on the competition floor.

  • CrossFit Lumberyard (11th after Quarterfinals): During Quarterfinals, they only had one finish outside the top twenty and finished three of the five workouts inside the top ten. If you take away their one outlier workout, you end with an average finish of 8.5, meaning a smaller field and time to work on their weaknesses could work in favor for them this weekend.
  • CrossFit Complex (17th after Quarterfinals): While they are currently ranked 17th, they finished three of five Quarterfinal workouts in the top 20 and two of five in the top ten. Similar to CrossFit Lumberyard, a smaller field and time to work on their weaknesses could help to secure them a spot right on the bubble.
  • Ben Lamond CrossFit Rise (19th after Quarterfinals): With multiple Games and individual Semifinal veterans on their team, Ben Lamond CrossFit Rise is not one to be overlooked this weekend. That coupled with a sixth place finish on workout one and two other top twenty finishes during quarterfinals, it really seems like the main element dragging them down to 19th, is their 56th place finish on workout four. A smaller field could play in their favor this weekend.

Oceania: This weekend, three qualifying spots are up for grabs. While not as competitive as North America or Europe, Oceania still has the third seeded team worldwide coming out of Quarterfinals, as well as a number of fiercely competitive teams ready to put up a fight for those podium positions.

The Torian Takeover: With two teams seeded in the top three headed into this weekend, CrossFit Torian has a realistic chance of potentially sending two teams to the 2023 CrossFit Games from Oceania.

  • CrossFit Torian Mayhem: Currently ranked third in the world, CrossFit Torian Mayhem will be led this weekend by 4-time CrossFit Games athlete Royce Dunn.
    • He will be joined by 2019’s Fifth Fittest Man on Earth and four-time Games athlete James Newbury. The two will pair with Games veterans Marnie Sykes and Christee Bishop to form an absolute powerhouse of a team.
    • If Torian Mayhem qualifies this weekend, they will be the fourth Mayhem team to qualify for the Games after just two weeks of Semifinals. 
  • CrossFit Torian Black: Currently seeded third in Oceania, CrossFit Torian Black is the team that could potentially allow CrossFit Torian to send two teams to the CrossFit Games.
    • With three of five Quarterfinals workouts in the top five and all but one in the top ten, they have a solid chance of standing on the podium at the end of this weekend.

The Final Ticket: With Torian gunning for two of the five qualifying positions, that leaves one still up for contention. Here are the teams with a strong chance to fight for that podium position.

  • Plus64 CrossFit 64Army Endgame (2nd After Quarterfinals)
  • CrossFit East Tamaki Jack’s Pack (4th After Quarterfinals)
  • PFC CrossFit 3076 (5th After Quarterfinals)

The Wildcard: 

  • CrossFit Peak Baxland: While ranked 10th in Oceania coming out of Quarterfinals, they still have three finishes inside the top ten, including a fourth place finish on workout one. A smaller field of play could help them to shake up the leaderboard a bit, if not push them closer to the podium.

South America: With just one spot up for grabs, the competition will be fierce in South America this weekend.

The comeback year: This year, all eyes will be on Sense CrossFit Mayhem Soul. Last year, the team was penalized during the early stages of the season. Due to the fact that their gym had limited space, they performed online qualifier workouts at another gym, causing them to be penalized and unable to compete in last year’s Semifinals.

  • This year, they’re back and ready to prove that they deserve a spot at the 2023 CrossFit Games.
  • During Quarterfinals, they finished four of five Quarterfinals workouts in the top three, with two first place finishes. 
  • With multiple Games veterans on their team, Sense CrossFit Mayhem Soul is the obvious pick for the first place qualifying position.

The fight for number one: While Sense CrossFit Mayhem Soul is currently the favorite for the top of the podium, they are going to have to fight it out with one of South America’s strongest teams this weekend.

  • Q21 CrossFit: With not a single finish outside the top five during Quarterfinals, Q21 CrossFit is the most realistic team to potentially take away that Games ticket from Sense CrossFit Mayhem Soul.
  • In 2022, they qualified for the CrossFit Games, taking first at CrossFit Copa Sur before one of their team members tested positive for PEDs.
  • This year, they’re back with the addition of Augustina Corrandi, who took third with CrossFit Villa Luro at the 2021 Brazil CrossFit Championship.

The Wildcard:

  • This year, they are currently ranked fourth headed into Semifinals with only one workout finish outside the top ten during Quarterfinals.

The big picture: With three Semifinals and 14 Games spots up for grabs, this weekend is sure to be an exciting watch. And if we learned anything from last weekend, it’s not over until it’s over and with so many strong teams vying for just a few spots, every second will truly count.

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