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Alex Gazan makes statement in sophomore season

Morning Chalk Up

March 28   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Alex Gazan takes on her sophomore season with more confidence and a stellar team at her back
  • Allie Weiss decides to go indy and crushes Quarterfinals
  • Age Group Quarterfinals start this week and we have you covered
  • The story of Aaron Hoff and the Keala Foundation
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“The best way to predict your future is to create it” - Abraham Lincoln

  Alex Gazan Enters Sophomore Season with a New Confidence  

Alex Gazan Enters Sophomore Season with a New Confidence

21-year-old Alex Gazan burst onto the elite competition scene at last year’s Granite Games Semifinal, where she grabbed the final qualifying spot in arguably the most stacked field, securing her first-ever ticket to the CrossFit Games.

And while she placed 24th in Madison, she and the team at Underdogs Athletics agree that Gazan’s potential is yet to be fully understood.

When Gazan first started at Underdogs, coach Justin Cotler says the team didn’t quite understand just how good she could be yet. Gazan had some previous experience, being just a few spots away from qualifying for the Games in 2019 as a teenager, which immediately stuck out to Cotler. He says she was naturally strong and good at things that often take athletes years to develop such as strict deficit handstand push-ups and legless rope climbs.

  • Cotler: “I think last year when I started to see her getting better and better at such a quick rate, I got her believing that she could be a Games athlete. I think it’s really been amazing to see her progress and I think we’re seeing it again.”

Between Cotler, the other athletes at Underdogs, and Gazan’s mentor and one of, if not the top American female Games athlete Kari Pearce, she has a solid team behind her.

While Pearce is retired now and doesn’t make it into the gym every day, she says that working with Gazan to support her however possible has been a mainstay of their relationship. Whether it’s doing partner workouts together, going on hikes, or just chatting about life, she says that her goal is to always be there for Gazan and help however she can.

  • “Before the Games last year, I was like, ‘okay let’s sit down and talk. There are a few things I want to tell you especially about being a rookie that nobody else will tell you,’” Pearce said. “Just things about the Games because I wish I had someone who was there that told me certain things about the Games.”

Despite her natural talent, extreme potential, and the team behind her, Gazan has struggled in the past with believing in her ability. Cotler says that up until last year, she was still thinking of herself as someone who “might” make Semifinals, but was showing up day in and day out as a Games athlete during training.

  • “I still think she battles with (confidence), I still think that she has so much further to go in her career, I still think her trajectory is incredibly high,” Cotler said. “She is untapped and has so much potential left, so we work on a lot of stuff in between her ears.”

Gazan herself says that believing in herself has been the biggest lesson that she’s learned in her career. Plus, she says that most of how she gains that confidence is by showing up every day at the gym and learning what she’s capable of.

  • “Something I’m still working on, but has definitely gotten a lot better is trusting my fitness,” Gazan said. “Just making sure my mind fitness matches my physical fitness. I feel like that was the big improvement this year.”

Gazan, Cotler, and Pearce all have high expectations for where her career will lead in the future. While she’s still learning and growing as an athlete, the next few years have lots of potential, starting in just one month as she takes on the North America West Semifinal.

  • “She’s going to be one of the top athletes in the sport definitely, there’s no doubt in my mind,” Pearce said. “She’s definitely somebody you want to see succeed.”
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The Individual division Quarterfinals leaderboard should be finalized soon.

Volunteer at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Semifinals, apply now.

Check out the Mayhem crew taking on all five Quarterfinal workouts. 🏋️‍♀️

Think getting into college is hard, try getting into these gyms.

The Cowboy Way: Sean Sweeney explains how he tested the Quarterfinals workouts and as such, will sit out the rest of the season.

  Invictus Athlete Allie Weiss Makes Last Minute Decision to Go Individual, Crushes Quarterfinals Tests  


Invictus Athlete Allie Weiss Makes Last Minute Decision to Go Individual, Crushes Quarterfinals Tests

Allie Weiss followed her gut when it told her to go individual for the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games season. While it was a very impromptu decision, it’s a good thing she did because Weiss is now well on her way to the Semifinals.

Weiss, 24, crushed Quarterfinals where she currently sits in 36th place worldwide and 8th in the North America West division, according to the CrossFit HQ leaderboard. Last year, Weiss was on Team CrossFit Invictus Unconquerable where they placed 8th at the Granite Games.

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  Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 CrossFit Games Age Group Quarterfinals  

Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 CrossFit Games Age Group Quarterfinals

While phase two of CrossFit Games qualification has ended for Individual athletes, Quarterfinals week is just getting started for Team, Masters, and Teen athletes. Yesterday, we published a comprehensive guide to the Team Quarterfinals, and today, we’re sharing need-to-know information for all eighteen Age Group divisions. All information is sourced from the CrossFit Games website and 2023 CrossFit Games Rulebook directly.

Note: This is a resource based on published information by CrossFit LLC. Any questions regarding invitations, eligibility, or otherwise should be sent directly to [email protected].

In this article:

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  The Story of the Keala Foundation and how the CrossFit Community has Helped Raise $2.5 Million for Hawaiian Youth  

The Story of the Keala Foundation and how the CrossFit Community has Helped Raise $2.5 Million for Hawaiian Youth

Growing up in Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, Aaron Hoff was exposed to drugs and alcohol at a young age.

“There is a lot of drug and alcohol use here. It’s just a part of the community and it’s very accepted. It’s just normal. Every kid here, that stuff crosses their path at a young age,” Hoff explained of the culture in Kauai.

“We don’t really know anything else, and there is no alternative. So you’re just being walked right into a slaughter house growing up,” said Hoff, who first started drinking and dabbling with drugs at the age 9, behavior that eventually took over his life as an adult, nearly ruining it by the time he was in his early 20s.

“By the age of 23, I had cops looking for me. I had guys flying over here from the other islands to come and kill me because I had stolen all their dope. I was just in a bad spot,” he said.

Eventually he became suicidal.

Now, 25 years soberHoff is the Founder of the Keala Foundation which owns four non-profit CrossFit gyms in Kauai and an organization called the Keala Foundation aimed at helping Hawaiian youth use CrossFit and fitness to get fit and healthy, and most importantly to get clean, or to avoid even beginning to use drugs and alcohol in the first place.

Through the years, the CrossFit community has played a role in helping the Keala Foundation raise more than $2.5 million for Hawaiian youth through the Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run, a fundraiser that will be celebrating their 10th year anniversary this September in Kauai.

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New Gym Swag During Reebok’s Flash Sale

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This Study on the Relation of Physical Fitness to Depression and Anxiety During Pregnancy

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Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Teresa Trojanowski.
  • Congratulations to Alexia Swier from Tampa, FL on the 251-pound/114kg clean and jerk earlier this month in USA Weightlifting’s North American Open Series 1 at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH.
  • Taylor from Toronto does a pistol box jump to dragon pistol with shoulder tap, and our knees cracked just watching it.
  • Congratulations to Ben Sondgeroth from Babylon CrossFit in Babylon, NY on the 220 pound/100kg snatch PR.

CrossFit First Creek in Knoxville, TN hosted a memorial WOD “Alex” on March 13th in honor of 32-year-old U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Alexander Scott Lawson, who passed away on Wednesday March 13, 2019.

  • All proceeds from the event were donated to Smokey Moutain Service Dogs, a nonprofit organization that provides mobility assistance service dogs to veterans at no cost.
  • “Alex”
    For Time
    22 Rounds
    3 Burpees
    13 Wreck Bag Box Step Ups (50/35)
    19 American KB Swings (53/35)
12/16: Masters Mania 6 (Oklahoma City, OK)
1/13 - 1/14: The 615 Throwdown (Nashville, TN)
1/14: Battle Cancer Miami (Miami, FL)
1/20 - 1/21: Masters N Minors II (Beachwood, OH)
1/20: FrostFit Team Challenge (Colorado Springs, CO)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)
1/27: GOAT Youth Fitness Competition (Olyphant, PA)

See all upcoming events

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