2023 CrossFit Semifinal Preview: North America West
Week two of the individual Semifinals will run May 26-28, with three regions competing across the globe (North America West, Oceania, South America). The North America West will feature 24 CrossFit Games veterans and a stable of young talent looking to qualify for their first individual CrossFit Games. This weekend will determine the 10 women and 9 men who will punch their ticket for the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games.
- Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir: Davidsdottir is a nine-time CrossFit Games competitor and two-time champion, winning back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. She’s placed in the top five in six of her appearances and finished on the podium in 2018 (third place) and 2020 (second place). She looks to return to the competition floor in Madison for her 10th CrossFit Games this summer and it will be exciting to see the improvements she’s made in the last year under the HWPO banner.
- Chyna Cho: Cho has been competing at the CrossFit Games since 2010, where she’s competed as an individual six times, once on a team (where she won with CrossFit Mayhem Freedom), and finished on the podium last year in the 35-39 division. Her experience is going to be a major advantage heading into a long weekend and it will be exciting to see her return to the Semifinal floor as an individual for the first time since the 2021 Atlas Games.
- Emily Rolfe: Rolfe is looking to qualify for the fourth CrossFit Games in her career. She had to withdraw after the first event in 2022, as she was rushed to University of Wisconsin hospital, where she underwent emergency vascular surgery to remove blood clots in her brachial, ulnar and radial artery. She later suffered a Level 1 calf tear at the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza, taking her out of first place on the last day of competition. Rolfe has everything needed to be a top Games athlete and if she’s healthy she will be dangerous this weekend.
- Lauren Fisher: Fisher competed at seven CrossFit Games (four individual and three team), dating all the way back to 2013. She’s finished inside the top five the last two years in the team division and will be competing to qualify for her first individual CrossFit Games since 2018.
- Dani Speegle: Speegle is a four-time CrossFit Games competitor and has qualified every year since 2019. Speegle is known for her superhuman strength, so expect to see her do well with the hand-over-hand sled, Semifinals Linda and the max snatch events. She’s also extremely good upside down, so she has the potential to fight for a top spot in Test 6 if she can manage the seated legless rope climbs.
- Bethany Shadburne: Shadburne qualified for five consecutive CrossFit Games between 2017 and 2021. Unfortunately, she had to withdraw in 2021 after testing positive for COVID and was unable to compete in 2022 due to injury. It will be exciting to see one of the most aerobically dominant athletes return to the floor in hopes to qualify for her sixth Games appearance.
- Arielle Loewen: Loewen is looking to qualify for her third consecutive CrossFit Games this weekend, after placing 11th in 2022 and 14th in 2021. High volume squat cleans are definitely a strength for Loewen, as she won “Elizabeth Elevated” at the 2022 Games, so expect to see a good showing during Semifinals Linda if she’s able to manage the dumbbell bench without issues.
- Baylee Rayl: Rayl competed at the CrossFit Games in the team division in 2017 and 2018, but more recently has qualified as an individual in 2021 and 2022. She’s a well-rounded athlete that has continued to develop her strength over the years, so it will be exciting to see the improvements she’s made this offseason.
- Sydney Michalyshen: Michalyshen is a two time CrossFit Games athlete, competing back-to-back in 2021 and 2022 as an individual. She finished fourth this winter at TYR Wodapalooza and looks to qualify for her third consecutive Games this weekend.
- Alex Gazan: Gazan qualified for her first CrossFit Games in 2022, placing fourth at the Granite Games. She’d later go on to take 24th in her rookie debut at Madison. Gazan is extremely strong (specifically in the bench press), so expect to see her do well in Semifinals Linda.
- Christine Kolebrander: Kolebrander has competed at the CrossFit Games twice on a team (2017 and 2018) and once as an individual in 2022, where she placed 27th overall in her rookie season.
- Rebecca Fuselier: Fuselier competed at her first CrossFit Games in 2022 and was a part of one of the most iconic moments in Games history during The Capitol event. She’s extremely proficient in gymnastics, so be on the lookout for Tests 2 and 6 this weekend.
- Freya Moosebrugger: Moosebrugger qualified for her first CrossFit Games in 2022 after finishing fourth at the CrossFit Atlas Games Semifinal. This offseason, she finished ninth at the Dubai Fitness Championship and 15th at TYR Wodapalooza and hopes to return for her second straight CrossFit Games appearance.
- Alison Scudds: Scudds competed on a team at the 2019 CrossFit Games and was part of a fifth place finish in pursuit of the Affiliate Cup. She’s been a bubble athlete in the last two years of Semifinals qualification, finishing ninth at the 2021 West Coast Classic and 12th at the 2022 CrossFit Atlas Games.
- Olivia Kerstetter: Kerstetter is a two-time CrossFit Games champion, winning the teenage division in 2021 and 2022. She turned heads at the 2022 Rogue Invitational when she was able to hang with some of the best in the world in a strength-biased series of events and is looking to qualify for her first CrossFit Games at just 17 years old.
- Kloie Wilson: Wilson has been on the cusp of qualifying for the past two seasons, missing the Games by one placement at the 2022 Granite Games. She struggled in the legless rope climb event last year, so if she’s able to get through that with minimal damage this could be the year she qualifies for her first CrossFit Games.
- Trista Smith: Smith has competed the last two years in the teen division, finishing fourth in back-to-back appearances. Smith trains under Adam Neiffer at CrossFit Fort Vancouver, who also coaches the men’s repeat champion in Justin Medeiros. This will be a great weekend for Smith to gain valuable experience for future seasons and gauge where her current fitness measures up next to some of the top talent in the world.
- Justin Medeiros: The reigning back-to-back champ is poised to qualify for his fourth CrossFit Games and has the opportunity to join only three other athletes in CrossFit Games history to win three consecutive titles. He released a video of his preparation for this upcoming weekend, testing strategies and simulating each of the seven tests.
- Patrick Vellner: Vellner looks to qualify for his eighth consecutive CrossFit Games, where he’s finished on the podium four times since 2016. Aside from 2019, Vellner has never finished outside the top 10 at the CrossFit Games. It will be exciting to see Vellner and Medeiros go head-to-head for the first time since Vellner nearly beat the champ at the Rogue Invitational, but lost the lead in the final event.
- Brent Fikowski: The Professor looks to join Vellner in qualifying for his eighth consecutive CrossFit Games, where he’s finished in the top five in four of his appearances.
- Cole Sager: Sager looks to qualify for his 10th consecutive CrossFit Games in Pasadena this weekend, which would put him in the CrossFit history books with some of the greatest athletes to ever compete in the sport of fitness.
- Samuel Kwant: Kwant is competing to qualify for the sixth CrossFit Games in his decorated career, where he’s finished on the podium in 2020 and in fourth place in 2022 following a year off for medical reasons.
- Chandler Smith: Smith looks to return for his fourth CrossFit Games and bounce back after a disappointing finish at the 2022 Granite Games, where he missed qualifying due to factors outside of his control. The Buttery Bros covered the story of his struggles in their documentary “In the Arena,” showing Smith’s never-quit attitude despite the challenging circumstances. Smith bounced back this past fall with a second place finish at the Rogue Invitational behind Justin Medeiros and looks to carry that momentum into this weekend’s Semifinal.
- Nick Mathew: “Big Nick Energy” became an immediate fan favorite during his rookie debut at the 2023 CrossFit Games, bringing crop tops and two event wins to help him take 14th overall in his first year at the CrossFit Games.
- Cole Greashaber: Greashaber had an impressive fifth place finish at the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza and is looking to return for the second consecutive year at the CrossFit Games after making his rookie debut in 2022.
- Colten Mertens: Mertens has been to the CrossFit Games twice as an individual and once on a team. He most recently qualified out of the Granite Games in 2022, finishing fourth overall.
- Tudor Magda: Magda qualified for his first individual CrossFit Games in 2022 after three successful years in the teen division from 2017 to 2019 (he won in 2018). He is known for being incredibly fast on his hands so look for him to succeed on the pirouettes in Test 6.
- Mitchel Stevenson: Stevenson has been to the CrossFit Games twice in his career (individual in 2018 and team in 2021). He finished sixth in the Last Chance Qualifier in 2022, looking to return as an individual for the first time in five years.
The bottom line: After this weekend, nearly 70 percent of the men’s and women’s fields will be set in stone for the 2023 CrossFit Games roster. With one week remaining, the Europe and Asia regions will determine the remaining 13 spots for the 2023 CrossFit Games.
Be on the lookout for updates and news on the Morning Chalk Up’s instagram and competition corner on our website for everything Semifinals related!