Competition

Surprise Women’s Teams Occupy Top Two Spots at 2024 TYR Wodapalooza After Day 1

January 13, 2024 by
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Cox, https://www.instagram.com/elizabethcoxphoto/
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Heading into the Elite Women’s Team competition at the 2024 TYR Wodapalooza in Miami, FL, all bets were on Team Ice Barrel to take the title. 

  • The team of 2023 Wodapalooza individual champion Paige Powers, three-time CrossFit Games athlete Baylee Rayl, and eight-time Games veteran Brooke Wells is by far the most decorated in the field.

But with three events down and three to go, it’s RX Performance—a European team made up of Camilla Salomonsson Hellman (an individual Games competitor from 2018, 2019, and 2020) and Swedish athletes Antonia Fält-Kottulinsky and Maria Längfors (both of whom competed on teams at the recent Games)—who leads the way.

Behind them is another unexpected team—Lycan Gang—a South American team made up of 2023 CrossFit Games teammates Laura Sanchez and Maria Quintero, and Venezuelan athlete Dayana Vicentelli. They sit eight points behind second, while Team Ice Barrel sits back in seventh, 31 points out of a podium position.

Rounding out the top three at the competition’s midway point in Miami is a team with a boatload of team experience: Stronger Than a 90s Trend. 

  • The team includes veteran team athlete Kelsey Kiel, Emelie Lundberg, who placed eighth on a team at the 2023 Games, and 2023 individual Games rookie Kelly Baker, who also has CrossFit Games team experience.

The Details

“Elite Team Event 1: Bike Race” (5K Trail Run)

The first team event was held off-site on a bike trail through the woods and asked each athlete to run 5km. The score was the cumulative time from all three athletes.

  • The top time belonged to NGH, a team of Nicole Crouch from the UK, New Zealand’s Katie Brock (14th at the 2023 Oceania Semifinals), and Iceland’s Gudbjorg Valdimarsdottir. Second belonged to a European team, Lifters Girls, while Lycan Gang finished just behind them in third and RX Performance fourth.
  • As for the teams we expect to contend for the podium, Stronger Than a 90s Trend finished seventh, while Team Ice Barrel finished way back in 14th.
  • Finally, another team with a lot of hype, Team Scandinadian—made up of two athletes with individual Games experience, Matilde Garnes and Rebecka Vitesson, and up-and-comer, Canadian Anikha Greer—finished 10th.

“Elite Team Event 2: Worms Can’t Swim”: The second event of the day involved 30-20-10 of worm clean and jerks, burpees-over-the-worm, and an (approximately) 200-meter swim, where each athlete did one swim. The story was similar to Event 1, where some of the lesser-known teams led the way.

  • Coming off a strong fourth-place finish on Event 1, RX Performance all but dominated, finishing almost an entire minute ahead of Team Bareen, a Danish team of Frederikke Mollerup, Astrid Tind, and Silja Zillo. (Mollerup and Zillo competed together on a team at the 2023 European Semifinals, where they placed 18th).
  • Lycan Gang continued their strong performance, finishing third place for a second straight time, while fourth belonged to the winners of the first event, NGH.
  • As for the favorites, Team Scandinadian finished sixth, Stronger Than a 90s Trend seventh, and Team Ice Barrell 10th.

“Event 3: Uno. Dos. Tres.”: The final event on Saturday started with 20 wall walks, followed by 100 handstand push-ups (the first 40 had to be strict), 240 synchronized double-unders, and finished with 60 synchronized deadlifts, 40 synchronized hang cleans, and 20 synchronized front squats. 

  • Not surprisingly, in this more classic CrossFit-style event, the teams we expected to contend for the podium stepped up in a big way.
  • Team Ice Barrel made a statement that they’re not going to go down without a fight, taking the top time, while Team Scandinadian finished second and Stronger Than a 90s Trend rounded out the top three.
  • That being said, RX Performance and Lycan Gang continued to hold their own against the bigger-name athletes, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.

One big thing: While it can be argued that Day 1 at Wodapalooza didn’t feature enough classic CrossFit for teams like Team Ice Barrel and Team Scandinadian to set themselves apart, it can also be argued that having team competition experience might just be more important than individual talent and a glowing competition resume.

  • Case in point: Seven of the nine athletes on teams currently in the top three have team experience at the CrossFit Games, while not a single athlete on the star-studded Team Ice Barrel has CrossFit Games team experience, which was especially evident when they struggled with communication, both during the synchronized barbell work in Event 3 and the worm portion of Event 2. 

The big picture: With three events down and three to go, we can expect Team Ice Barrel and Team Scandinadian to fight hard to get into the top three, but with a lot of teamwork coming, including a final event featuring worm thrusters, it’s not going to be easy for them to knock off the more experienced team athletes on the top three teams.

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