Consistency Pays, as Emma Lawson Creeps Back into the Lead in Madison; Alexis Raptis, Laura Horvath Close on her Heels
Top 10. Top 10. Top 10. It’s the secret formula to any multi-event CrossFit competition, and it’s the reason 18-year-old Emma Lawson leads the women’s field at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games after two days of competition.
After starting out the week with a test win on Thursday morning, Lawson hasn’t been flashy, but she has been consistent. She has placed inside the top 10 on four of the six tests, and is the only woman in the entire field to have top 15 finishes in every single test so far.
Rounding out the top three heading into Saturday are yesterday’s leader Alexis Raptis, 19 points behind Lawson, and Laura Horvath, 20 points back of the top spot.
Worth noting: Three-time podium finisher Horvath, the favorite to win the whole thing, came into the day in seventh overall, and jumped into the lead after a second place finish on Test 4: The Alpaca Redux and a test win on Test 5: Ski-Bag, a sprint workout of SkiErg calories and 50 heavy sandbag squats. Horvath was in a class of her own; her time of 4:36 was a minute and 14 seconds ahead of the next fastest athlete.
- “I love moving heavy things from A to B and this was all about that,” Horvath shrugged after her easy win.
Horvath was also leading her heat during the last test of the day, Helena—three rounds of a 400-meter run, 12 bar muscle-ups and 21 dumbbell snatches—until the final round of bar muscle-ups, when she failed her last rep, costing her valuable time and ultimately the overall lead heading into Saturday.
One big thing: Raptis’ performances also cannot be understated. She has placed in the top five on all but one test so far.
- The only hole in her game so far has been the legless rope climbs in Test 5. Raptis placed 37th on the test, which knocked her out of first; however, she rebounded like a veteran to finish the day with a third place finish on Test 6: Helena.
Raptis’ plan for Saturday: “Run fast” and “try to lift pretty heavy.”
Also, keep an eye on: North America West Semifinal winner Alex Gazan, who had a huge Friday. The 21-year-old sophomore Games competitor placed in the top 10 on every event on Friday, including logging a third and a second on Test 4 and 5 respectively. Gazan is only seven points back of third and might just have momentum on her side.
The big picture: Lawson, Horvath, Raptis: Those are the names we’re looking at right now to take the top spot at the end of the weekend, but Saturday is the day the leaderboard often “gets put in a blender” (to quote announcer Sean Woodland). So the story heading into Sunday could look a whole lot different than it does now.