Pit Teen Throwdown Documentary “More Than CrossFit” Provides Glimpse into New Season Format

October 18, 2023 by
Image Credit: Ava Kitzi
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A new documentary, produced by teenage athlete and longtime community member Ellie Tinker, featuring the 2023 Pit Teen Throwdown sheds some light on how the “Teen CrossFit Championship” (CrossFit has not yet provides a name for the end-of-season competitions for the age groups) next season could prove to be wholly beneficial for the community. 

The documentary premiered the same day that CrossFit announced major changes to the Games season for 2024, namely that Age Group and Adaptive Divisions would compete at separate championships hosted by specialty partner hosts. 

The Pit, which has hosted some of the top teenage athletes in the world since it’s inaugural year in 2020, will serve as the championship destination for teenage divisions. The community at the Pit Fitness Ranch has routinely stepped up, filling in after the Games were cancelled for teenagers in the pandemic year. The youngest athletes in the sport are the sole focus of the operation, and the staff are poised to make sure they all get the attention they deserve. 

The Pit has always been around for the teens who choose to attend. 

Next year, though, the Pit will be the place to be, with every elite teenager from across the world descending on Three Rivers, Michigan. 

One of the top athletes in the teen division right now, Marissa Nichols, says that the announcement that teens wouldn’t be competing in Fort Worth, TX (her home state) was disappointing at first. But over time, she’s come to terms with the decision. 

  • “At first, i was surprised and honestly even a little upset, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to realize that the situation is a really good thing,” Nichols said. “(I know) how much they love and value the teen athletes..The  Pit is the most teen-positive place on Earth for CrossFitters and I can attest to that.”

Nichols competed at the Pit in 2021, and it was one of her first big competitions. Since, she’s competed at the CrossFit Games twice, placing sixth in the 14-15 division in 2023. She says that despite all of the changes and how much is left up in the air about what next season will actually look like, nothing in her day-to-day will change. 

  • “Change can be good and while this may bring some athletes frustration, I think trying to look on the positive side and knowing it all happened for a reason will help with accepting the decision made by CrossFit,” Nichols said. “I know the team at the Pit will put on a great competition and do whatever they can to give us the best experience possible.”

The documentary describes how, for teen athletes, CrossFit can be a lonely endeavor. 

Because most gyms don’t have a robust program with many young, competitive athletes that can train together on a daily basis, athletes are often stuck training alone and can even be isolated from their peers because of how different their lifestyles are. This all changes at the Pit, though, when they’re for once surrounded by completely like-minded people their own age. 

  • “If you’re gonna go to any competition and you’re a teenager or young adult, you should go to the Pit. If there’s any one competition I would recommend it would be the Pit,” Tinker said. “It’s always so nice being around other like minded people and kids my own age that are interested in the things I’m interested in.”

Tinker’s documentary shows the love that surrounds the Pit. Between the athletes, staff, judges, volunteers, and parents, it’s truly evident that this community cares.

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